Are the Detroit Tigers really in the hunt for Chicago Cubs pitcher Matt Garza?
Just before the new year, FoxSports.com’s Jon Paul Morosi reported that the Tigers had joined the cluster of teams interested in trading for Garza. But could Detroit match or surpass whatever the Yankees, Red Sox and Blue Jays might be able to offer in a deal?
According to CSN Chicago’s David Kaplan, the Tigers are apparently making some progress with the Cubs in trade talks for Garza. Detroit would give up “a package of prospects” in return. But the question is which prospects?
The name that comes immediately to mind is top pitching prospect Jacob Turner. But would the Tigers really give up their best minor league pitcher when Garza has two arbitration eligible seasons remaining before free agency? The Oakland Athletics could ask for Turner and Nick Castellanos in a a deal for Gio Gonzalez because Gonzalez is under club control for another four seasons.
Yet the Yankees have reportedly cooled on a Garza deal because of what the Cubs are asking for in return. So it appears that the Tigers would indeed have to part with one or two of their best prospects in a trade.
Another name that Kaplan mentioned in his report is Casey Crosby, who was considered one of the Tigers’ best minor league pitchers until he struggled with arm problems over the past couple of years. Crosby might hold extra appeal to the organization, since he’s from the Chicago area. But it’s difficult to imagine that being much of a factor with the Cubs’ new front office of GM Jed Hoyer and team president Theo Epstein.
So would the Tigers trade Turner and Crosby (and likely one or two other prospects) for Garza? We’re talking about a pitcher who was 10-10 with the Cubs last season, but compiled a 3.32 ERA and 197 strikeouts in 198 innings. Plus, he’s pitched most of his career in the American League, so there shouldn’t be any question as to whether he was facing inferior competition.
There’s something to be said for “going for it” while the Tigers are among the playoff contenders in the AL. Such a deal would definitely qualify.