Matt Garza

Of the free agent starting pitchers available, I think the Orioles are far more likely to sign a mid/back end of the rotation arm like a Bronson Arroyo or even a Gavin Floyd. However, former GM Jim Bowden suggested a different name in his “One deal for ever AL team” column: Matt Garza.

The Move: Sign Matt Garza to a four-year, $60 million deal.

Why: The Orioles have an elite defense and an offense that was fourth in the AL in scoring runs last season. Their biggest need is a top-of-the-rotation starter. While Chris Tillman has developed into a solid No. 2 starter, and both Kevin Gausman and Dylan Bundy — when healthy — have the potential of someday developing into No. 1 starters, that might be too late for a nucleus that’s ready to make its World Series run now.

Therefore, the Orioles should move fast and sign Garza, who might be the top starting pitcher on the free-agent market this offseason. Timing is everything in baseball, and if owner Peter Angelos really wants a World Series title this probably is the one move that gives him the best shot of getting one. With a thin farm system and little depth on the major league roster, there’s not a lot for Baltimore to trade.

At four years, $60 million I think Garza is a great fit in Baltimore.

Despite being 37 years old at the beginning of the 2014 season, Arroyo is looking for a three-year deal. If the O’s can get Garza, who turns 30 on November 26, for four years it makes much more sense.

Garza was inconsistent with the Rangers over his 13 starts in 2013, posting a 4-5 record with a 4.38 ERA, 1.316 WHIP and 3.36 K/BB. However, in three years with the Cubs, Garza pitched to a 3.45 ERA over 60 starts with a 1.213 WHIP and 3.09 K/BB.

Perhaps the most important asset that Garza brings is his experience pitching in the American League East. He’s 7-4 with a 3.83 ERA in 18 starts against the Red Sox, 2-4 with a 4.03 ERA in 12 starts against the Yankees and 6-6 with a 2.14 ERA in 13 starts against the Blue Jays.

The Orioles are an ace away from being a serious contender. I firmly believe that. But that ace isn’t out there. Garza might be their closest option.

About The Author

Zach Wilt is the Founding Editor of and host of the BSR Podcast. He's a loyal Orioles, Ravens and Capitals fan who is obsessed with baseball, loves traveling, In-N-Out Burger and Walt Disney World.


  1. As you stated, he’s biggest asset is that he knows the pressure cooker that is the AL East. Many a top flight pitcher has faltered while facing the Big Boys there. That’s why most of these candy-ass pitchers, only looking to pad their stats, run to the National League.

    • I’d be in on Garza if we could get him for a reasonable contract. Considering what Jason Vargas just got, I’m assuming that’s a pipe dream at this point.

  2. If Garza can actually be had for that price, that would be a terrific move for the Orioles. I highly doubt he could be had for that though. I’m driving the “Hardy And Dylan Bundy To Cardinals For Shelby Miller” bandwagon if anyone wants to jump aboard.

    • I’m on board. How about Hardy and Schoop though?

      • Cardinals might actually do that considering their situation at shortstop. I’m sure they’re looking for an excuse to upgrade over Pete Kozma.

      • Thomas Bodensick

        Hardy should get an extension, not be traded. Where will you find another Hardy replacement? Schoop is another over-rated prospect who won’t hit his weight. He already reminds me of that loser we tried at 3rd until we realized he had no bat. Oh, and by the way, we don’t need one starter…we need two. Other than Tilly we have a rotation that the Red Sox laugh at. Chen, Gonzalez, Feldman and Norris vs. Red Sox starters that no one in the playoffs could hit. Remember what Sox did to Feldman in that last series? They laugh at his so-called stuff.

        • We have an immediate replacement for Hardy at third base. Maybe you’ve heard of him, Manny Machado?

          Hardy is going to be 32 and will be a free agent after next season. Let me remind you that as recently as 2012, Hardy was a huge liability at the plate. And if you don’t want a rotation that Boston will laugh at, trading Hardy and an injured prospect for an ace who can be ours until 2019 is a pretty good way to do that. The Orioles can either buy their rotation in a market where Jason Vargas just got a 4 year/$32 million deal, or they can trade for young cheap pitchers so they can invest that money elsewhere.

    • Thomas Bodensick

      No on Hardy! Not very smart to trade a gold-glove short stop who hits more homers than any short stop in baseball. As for trading our young pitchers…you bet! Every Orioles draft pick pitcher has flopped. Bundy and Gausman already look like losers (remember Adam Lowen?) If our 1st round draft pick pitchers keep ending up in the bull pen that’s a wasted pick.

      • Not very smart to keep an aging shortstop instead of trading him for a very good young pitcher who just finished third in the NL ROTY voting and lost to a Cy Young finalist (Fernandez) and an outfielder who the media loves (Puig). Hardy will not replicate 2013- I’ll happily admit I was wrong if he does. But even if he does, why do you extend an aging shortstop, especially when you have a far more capable one at third base? That is what stupid teams do.

        • And your goina say the Orioles are smart??? And your goina call 32 year old Hardy, aging? The orange Kool Aid is making your lips orange Davey…

          • Yes, 32 years old is aging. His range is already starting to decline. And I never said the Orioles were smart. If they were, they’d be shopping Hardy for a young pitcher like Shelby Miller or Sonny Grey.

        • Thomas Bodensick

          Who told you 32 was old? Most big leaguers don’t get to the show before they’re 25, at least. Face the fact that we’re going to have a pitiful starting rotation and no playoff chance. Hardy the best fielding (gold glove) and best home run hitting short stop. He hits more homers than anyone else at his position. Manny’s not going to short…EVER!

          • Thomas Bodensick

            Oh, and let me add one thing. If you think his range has declined…how come he’s won another gold glove? MLB Network stated that Manny at 3rd and Hardy at short made up the best combo in baseball.

          • I know we will have a pitiful starting rotation and no playoff chance. So remind me why we should keep JJ Hardy when he’s going to be a free agent at the end of the season? And he was the best shortstop in the AL almost by default. No other ones were even half-decent last year.

  3. Thomas Bodensick… You get it Hoss! I agree with you on everything… Orioles have developed a bunch of players in their farm system… There was Beau Hale, Billy Rowell, Chris Snyder, Matt Hobgood, and that kid they got from New Zealand who played softball with his father and looked good smashing a beachball over the fences!

    I’m telling you it never fails… This time of the year the talk is of what top level free agent the Orioles will target only to see them sign Sharlon Schoop and Ronald Bermudez like they just did.

    Just like every year and it’s already happening, teams sign major league talent to help them and the Orioles sign minor league garbage!

    Just wait for that dramatic “Rule 5” guy the Orioles get! He’ll help them just like the last 3 did!

  4. Orioles are rolling again! As other major league teams sign free agents and make trades the Orioles do their usual dumpster diving! And all this why while the Maryland baseball fans and media talk about all the top players the Orioles are either looking at, might trade for or hope to acquire! Which is a freaking joke as it’s the same ol, same ol with the Orioles.

    Lets take a look at these great bums the Orioles acquired so far…

    Brock Huntzinger, Nick Additon, Chih-Hsien Chiang and Kyeong Kang.

    Huntzinger, pitched for the Red Sox’s Triple-A affiliate last season and spent seven years, THAT’S 7 YEARS, in Boston’s system since being drafted.

    Additon was with the Cardinals’ organization and was 9-7 with a 4.10 ERA in 24 games for Triple-A Memphis last season. He was drafted in the 47th round. THAT’S ROUND 47!

    Chiang, from Taiwan, was a Minor League free agent with Texas last winter, and had a .263/.298/.416 line with the Rangers’ Double-A team. THAT’S DOUBLE FREAKING A!

    Kang was with the Rays the past seven years, and posted a .264/.365/.479 line between Class A and Double-A last season. THOSE GREAT NUMBERS ARE WITH A CLASS A AND DOUBLE A TEAM!

    All great pickups for the Orioles!

    This team can be something special with a few key additions, maybe even going to the World Series but this ownership and management WILL NOT spend the money for the players that are needed. In fact, they are talking about trading Hardy and Wieters!

    Get off this train wreck now before you have to do a tuck and roll off the side of it because it’s going downhill without any brakes!

    Choo freaking choo!

    • “Dumpster Diving” for starting pitching is what the O’s are known for. As I wrote before, the Red Sox, Yankees, Tigers all know it’s pitching that makes a champion. Other than Tillman, none of the aforementioned teams would put any of our other starters in their rotation.

    • One more thing. I never really believed Angelos was going to deliver. I know it’ll be another 15 years before we get back to the playoffs. As for the World Series…not with Chen, Gonzo, Feldman and Norris.

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