Friday, January 7, 2011

Rays Avoid Arbitration With Garza

Yikes. I thought the Angels were having a poor offseason. The Rays continued their "it's not really a fire sale" fire sale by dealing pitcher Matt Garza to the Cubs before he could hit arbitration for the second time. Rays fans, both of them, already had to deal with losing Carl Crawford, Carlos Pena and Rafael Soriano to free agency. Luckily for the Rays, it sounds like Jose Canseco is ready for his prodigious return to the baseball world and that just sounds like fun for the whole family.

What it means for the Rays
Uh, believe it or not, it doesn't mean that much. Garza is a fine pitcher but I don't think they miss a beat plugging Jeremy Hellickson into the rotation full time. The only fallout to the Rays rotation from this trade might be the removal of Jake Shields from the trading block. The Rays get Chris Archer, Brandon Guyer, Robinson Chirinos, Hak-Ju Lee and Sam Fuld from the Cubs to bolster their farm system.

Archer was the Cubs third best prospect according to Baseball Prospectus (or Kevin Goldstein if you're keeping score at home) but has some command issues to deal with before becoming a star. Lee was the fifth best prospect but his future short stop endeavors were blocked by Sterlin Castro similar to his new blockage at short by Reid Brignac. Guyer and Chirinos were 11 and 12 respectively but BP expects me to pay for any insight into them. Jerks, trying to make money and whatnot.

What it means for the Cubs
Garza jumps into the mix as the number two starter for the Cubs with Ryan Dempster and Carlos Zambrano. And one of those guys is going to have to the ace. My guess is that the Cubs rehash how much money they'll have to eat to move Zambrano and his psychiatry bills. It doesn't seem like a big hit to their minor league system that was already devoid of any big impact guys.

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