The 3rd Man In

Brewers, Garza agree to a deal

It has been a quiet offseason for the Milwaukee Brewers, but today the silence has ended as the Brewers have signed right-hander Matt Garza to a four-year, $52 million deal according to FOXSports.com’s Ken Rosenthal.

The eight-year veteran was one of the top pitchers available on the free agent market this offseason, and with the top free agent pitcher, Masahiro Tanaka, agreeing to a contract yesterday, the other dominos are beginning to fall starting with Garza.

He does not have draft pick compensation attached to him like many of the other top pitchers on the free agent market because he was traded in season, so the Texas Rangers were unable to give him a $14.1 million qualifying offer. This makes Garza a great fit for the Brewers who lost their first round pick last season after signing Kyle Lohse.

Garza, 30, has enjoyed a decent amount of success in his career after being selected with the 25th overall pick in the 2005 amateur draft by the Minnesota Twins going an even 67-67 with a 3.84 ERA and 1,001 strikeouts in 194 games (1182.1 innings) with four different major league teams.

He has averaged 7.9 strikeouts and 2.3 walks per nine innings.

With Tampa Bay he posted a 2-1 record with a 3.48 ERA in five postseason starts for Tampa Bay.

Over the last three seasons Garza has also been solid at Miller Park. In four starts he has a 3.42 ERA while allowing only one homerun in 23.2 innings.

Garza is an extremely competitive pitcher on the mound, and is known for being a power pitcher. His top two pitchers are his fastball, which he throws in the mid-90s, and a slider, while also throwing a two-seam fastball, and an occasional curveball and changeup.

One risk the Brewers will be taking with this deal is the recent injury history Garza has had. Since 2009, he has made four appearances on the disabled list. Last season he missed the beginning of the season with a strained lat muscle behind his pitching shoulder, and the other three DL stints have been elbow related issues.

The addition of Garza improves the starting rotation for the Brewers, and he will slot into the starting five with Lohse, Yovani Gallardo, Wily Peralta and Marco Estrada.

The Milwaukee Brewers are taking a risk with Garza’s injury history, but he will be a great addition for the Brewers on a relatively affordable contract. Time will tell if the Brewers made the right decision, but on paper he will make the Brewers a more competitive ball club this coming season.

Update – 1/26/14: Contract is a four-year deal worth $50 million plus $1 million in incentives per season with a $13 million vesting option for a fifth year according to Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com.

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