9:20 AM CDT, May 22, 2013
Me, I’d have traded Matt Garza after the first inning in Pittsburgh when he survived a one-out walk and got a magnificent catch from Julio Borbon.
Or I might’ve cut the deal to send Garza to (your rotation here) after the second inning Tuesday when he struck out the side. One-two-three-see-ya-thanks-best-of-luck.
Why wait? Garza is going to be traded anyway. Why wait?
Making his first start in 10 months, Garza allowed no hits through four innings. He left after five terrific innings of one-hit ball. He left because of pitch count, not injury or horrible pitching.
So, if it were up to me, that Comcast SportsNet shot of Garza accepting congratulations in the dugout and heading to the clubhouse would’ve been the last shot of him as a Cub.
And given the way the relievers spit up his 3-0 lead -- omigod, they loaded the bases twice from scratch in the sixth inning -- I’m sure Garza would’ve screamed “Thank you’’ for his parole.
Here’s the thing about Garza: He’s not going to bring the kind of haul that Jim Hendry sent to Tampa Bay, so don’t try to squeeze a potential trade partner.
Another thing: Don’t wait because you think he’ll become more valuable to contenders. The most recent thing we’ve seen with Garza is the longer you wait, the greater the chance he lands on the disabled list.
Like almost every Cubs starter since Greg Maddux, Garza showed he can pitch, and then showed he can go badly or get injured, or both, and with the regularity of gulls in the outfield, by the way. Put me in charge, and I’m making the move now.
Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer waited last year. It cost them. They were stuck with Garza for another offseason, another negotiation, another reconstruction of a trade scenario.
OK, yeah, I’m overreacting here. It’s a little bit of satire. But it’s also a good deal of fear. I don’t trust Garza to stay healthy and I don’t trust Epstein and Hoyer to make a deal for a pitcher at the top of the rotation or back end of the bullpen.
I mean, look at what happened with Ryan Dempster last year. The Cubs didn’t have their own player locked down and saying yes before they traded him to Atlanta. They breached protocol by letting him listen to conversations with the Dodgers. Embarrassing.
Epstein and Hoyer finally, desperately dealt Dempster to Texas for a lot less than Atlanta was offering. Underwhelming play by the new executives.
And remember the Carlos Marmol trade in the offseason? No, wait, Marmol didn’t get traded. That’s right. The Cubs appeared to have traded Marmol to Anaheim for Dan Haren, but no, not so fast, because Haren had health issues. Never mind, said the Cubs.
For what it’s worth, Haren has a lower WHIP than Marmol this season, but a higher ERA. The trade that embarrassed both teams.
See what I mean about Epstein and Hoyer? They can make some lower-level deals, such as the signing and trade of Paul Maholm and the Sean Marshall deal that brought Travis Wood. But the big move remains a big question.
Me, I’d have hijacked the postgame Tuesday by announcing a trade: Garza and every reliever who pitched Tuesday night.
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