Cubs and Matt Garza avoid arbitration

MattGarza-pitchThe Cubs have avoided arbitration with another of their players. Last week they re-signed Luis Valbuena and they have now reached an agreement with Matt Garza for $10.25 million.

Cubs right-hander Matt Garza avoided arbitration and agreed to a new $10.25 million contract on Thursday.

Garza's representatives at CAA announced the new deal on Twitter: "#Cubs Matt Garza (@Gdeuceswild) agrees to a $10.25M contract to avoid salary arbitration." Garza himself revealed the contract on his Twitter account: "Business side over! Hooray! Time to focus on what really matters … 2013 #GoCubsGo"

The Cubs were expected to make a formal announcement on Friday.

Garza has always been a little overrated and $10.25 million is a bit much, but it's his final year of arbitration and he was going to get a raise.

I'm interested in what kind of value Garza has at this point in a trade. To keep things simple, let's start with CAIRO. It projects a 3.69 FIP over 150 innings, which is also 2.6 WAR. If the win value is, let's say, $6 million in 2013, that's $15.6 million in value. Garza's surplus trade value prior to the start of the season is $5.4 million.

We'll go ahead and write Garza in for 200 innings and bump the WAR to 3.5. That's $21 million in value and a surplus value of $10.8 million.

I think expecting 3.5 WAR from Garza is a bit of a stretch. Below are his WAR totals since 2008:

  • WARP: 1.6, 2.2, 0.6, 3.7, -0.4
  • fWAR: 2.9, 3.1, 1.6, 4.9, 1.2
  • rWAR: 3.1, 3.3, 1.3, 2.5, 1.0

But the projections are the projections so we're using them.

Garza's value will decrease as the season goes on. If he's traded at the deadline, he'd only be expected to provide about 1.2 WAR the rest of the way while being paid $3.42 million over the final two months. That would give him a surprlus value of $3.8 million.

Comparing those values to this post on Beyond the Box Score, the Cubs probably won't get much in return for Garza at the deadline. I imagine it will be difficult to trade him before he shows he is completely healthy and I'm not sure spring training is going to get that done.