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Free Agent Forecast: Matt Garza

11/26/2013 6:06 PM ET
By Doug Williams

While not considered the ace of a staff, Matt Garza could provide a solid middle-of-the-rotation option for the Yankees.(AP)
Click here to watch our Free Agent Forecast for Matt Garza.

BACKGROUND

At just 30 years old, Matt Garza has already pitched for four teams and is busy looking for a fifth. The California native is consistently solid, and sports a career 3.84 ERA. When healthy, he's good for 10-15 wins and can strikeout his fare share of hitters. Although he's not an ace by any means, he's a solid, middle-of-the-rotation guy and will have no trouble finding work this offseason for that reason. His best season came in 2011 on a bad Chicago Cubs team. He won only 10 games, but had a 3.32 ERA and had 197 strikeouts in 198 innings pitched.

YANKEES INTEREST

The Yankees' interest in Garza is almost 100% predicated on whether or not they can bring Tanaka over from Japan. For that reason, it's possible that Garza is swooped up by a team desperate for good starting pitching (like the Orioles or Mets) before the Yankees have a chance to call on him as a backup plan. If they do strikeout on Tanaka, though, and Garza is still on the market, he would make a lot of sense in the Bronx. He's proven he can win in the AL East with the Rays, and he would provide a sure thing in the rotation -- something the Yankees badly need.

PREDICTION

Garza is a lucky man, because there is always going to be a market for good starting pitching. As a result, he will likely get one of the largest contracts of any free agent starter this offseason. While Garza has a solid track record, he also doesn't have a draft pick attached to him because of his midseason trade in 2013, making the 30-year-old a valuable commodity. I expect Garza to get a five-year, $65 million contract from a team like the Orioles -- but not the Yankees.

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