We’re inching toward the trade deadline and the rumors surrounding Matt Garza being traded are heating up. With that in mind, let’s take a quick look back at the deal that brought Matt here to begin with now that it’s a year and a half in the books.
January 8, 2011: Matt Garza traded by the Tampa Bay Rays with Zach Rosscup (minors) and Fernando Perez to the Chicago Cubs for Hak-Ju Lee (minors), Chris Archer, Robinson Chirinos, Sam Fuld and Brandon Guyer.
Matt Garza – He’s been really good at times, but it’s hard to really evaluate how good he could have been last year considering how bad the team has been. Fielding has been an issue for him, but overall his 2011 season was a better than the 2o10 season with the Rays that got him dealt and his value should be about the same as we paid for him. The positive is that with the new wild card rules, there are a lot more teams that still feel they have a shot, so it’s definitely a seller’s market. – Total Wins Above Replacement (WAR) = 2.9
Zach Rosscup – He was a throw in player in the deal and looked decent in Daytona last year. He’s tossed a couple innings this year and, if I’m not mistaken, was released ealier in the year. – Total WAR = 0
Fernando Perez- There was talk that he would be the 5th outfielder coming out of spring training last year, but was beaten out by Reed Johnson. He was sent to Iowa, sucked there too and was released. The Mets signed him, sent him to AAA and he sucked even worse. It’s probably for the best that he’s out of baseball because he has a lot of talent in other areas, like writing. That should be his focus. – Total WAR = 0
Brandon Guyer – Coming off a monster year in the minors in 2010, Guyer was named the organization’s player of the year. He started the season with the Rays big club and was less than impressive. In 43 plate appearances he finished with a split line of .195 / .214 / .366. He’s seen a couple at bats this year, but that’s been more of the same. At the minor league level, his numbers continue to be acceptable so you begin to wonder if his future is that of a AAAA player or a 5th outfielder at best. – Total WAR = 0.1
Sam Fuld – Ah, the legend of Sam Fuld. I’ve never seen a player reap more benefits from a crazy catch than Fuld did after the catch and subsequent throw back to the infield for a double play late in the year as a September call up. A lot of people were pretty disappointed to see Fuld included in the deal as if we were losing an impact bat. He made a quick impact with the Rays, especially in the field, but gradually regressed to what he is…a bench player at best. – Total WAR = 1.9
Robinson Chirinos – The Rays felt like Chirinos could be their backup catcher at worst and perhaps a starting catcher at worst. Instead what they got was a guy who was in the minors as long as he was for a reason. He’s just not very good. He saw action last year but wasn’t anything to write home about. He’s not played this season, which leads me to believe he’s out of baseball. – Total WAR = 0.2
Chris Archer – This was the gem of the deal. This was the arm that was supposed to continue to add to the Rays stellar collection of young arms. Archer was recently called up to the Majors in June to make his debut. He’s made two starts to date and has been average. There is a still a lot of upside when it comes to his potential, so it’s tough to evaluate at this point. How he and Hak-Ju Lee perform will determine who wins this deal. The Rays are gambling that they can get more value from the two of them than they would have gotten from Garza and they may be right. – Total WAR = -0.1
Hak-Ju Lee – Starlin Castro and Lee were projected to be the middle infield of the future. In fact, Lee was supposed to be the one to push Castro to second base due to his fielding. Instead he’s playing in AA for Montgomery and playing OK. He’s not great, though he’s not projected to be a power guy. – Total WAR = 0
At this point, the scoreboard for the trade looks like this:
Cubs – 2.9 Wins above Replacement
Rays – 2.1 Wins above Replacement
How that plays out is anyone’s guess.