The New York Yankees have spent very little time looking to upgrade their starting rotation through free agency. One free agent the Yankees should definitely consider is Matt Garza.
Garza has been a good starting pitcher for eight seasons and the Yankees should sign him because of his pedigree and his success while he was in the American League, AL. The Yankees have been trying vigorously to fill the back-end of their rotation this offseason — they are really hoping to land Rakuten Golden Eagles, Japan, starting pitcher Masahiro Tanaka. The Golden Eagles have not posted a fee for Tanaka but ESPN Baseball Analyst Buster Olney tweeted on Friday that Japanese clubs might chip in to help the Golden Eagles reach the required $20 million posting fee.
Garza is 30-years-old and has already proven that he can be successful in the Major Leagues. He achieved his greatest success with the Chicago Cubs. He was a member of the Cubs from 2011 to July 22, 2013, and during that time span, he had a 21-18 record, with a 3.45 Earned Run Average-ERA and struck out 355 batters in 372.2 Innings Pitched.
Garza did miss some time due to injuries while he was a member of the Cubs. However, his record shows that his team scored few runs when he pitched. He would especially be valuable to the Yankees because he has experience pitching in the AL East, and not every starting pitcher can succeed in the AL East — Garza was successful when he was with the Tampa Bay Rays. When he was with the Rays between 2008 and 2010, he had a 34-31 record, with a 3.86 ERA and struck out 467 hitters in 592.1 Innings Pitched.
The Yankees have three very good starters to anchor their rotation in C.C. Sabathia, Hiroki Kuroda and Ivan Nova, but they are going to miss Andy Pettitte, who retired at the end of last season.
Pettitte was a reliable pitcher that could win 10-15 games nearly every season. Garza could fill Pettitte’s role if the Yankees sign him because he can typically pitch at least six innings every game. Garza typically does not give up many runs, so the Yankees would have a chance to win a majority of his starts.
Joel Sherman of the New York Post tweeted on Thursday that Garza is expected to sign soon with the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim or the Arizona Diamondbacks, but the Yankees have something that neither of those two teams can offer.
That one thing is a winning tradition.
If the Yankees promote this idea when they meet with Garza, then they should be able to sign him like they did with Jacoby Ellsbury.