One of the last big moves Jim Hendry made with the Cubs was the acquisition of pitcher Matt Garza on January 8th. Many thought at the time, the Cubs gave up too much as they gave up their best minor league pitcher and their top offensive player of the minors (in 2010). Now with one year in, since the trade was made, let’s see how the trade worked out for both teams.
Players the Cubs acquired:
SP Matt Garza: He was the best pitcher by far for the Cubs this year and may be considered the Cubs ace. To open the season, Garza was slated as the number 3 starter. Garza’s stat line does not show how he pitched in ’11 as he had no offensive support for a lot of the season. However, Garza finished the season at 500 with a 10-10 record and a 3.32 era. Garza did get the K’s as he was expected to do, by that he stuck out 197 batters and surrendered 63 walks in 198 innings. The one flaw Garza had and needs to be worked on is his defense, as he had 7 errors. That’s a lot for a pitcher.
OF Fernando Perez: Perez came to spring training to battle for an OF spot, but he failed to do so and started the season with the Iowa Cubs. Perez struggled since he came over and never really had a chance with the Cubs. Right when the trade was announced, most assume Perez and Sam Fuld were a swap. As both players were the same age and same kind of player. But Sam Fuld was the winner of the two. Fuld played with the Rays and showed his stellar defense. Perez was eventually DFA by the Cubs and was release. Perez is and never will be a starter. At this point, Perez is at best a pinch runner and a Joey Gathright type of player.
LHP Zack Rosscup: I didn’t hear anything about all year and I keep up with the minors all the time. With that said, I’m kinda surprise. He played for High A Daytona. Rosscup may be a little older for High A, as he’s 23 years old. That doesn’t mean he won’t shine and move up very fast. In Daytona, Rosscup started the season pitching good, as he had a 4-2 record with a 2.42 era. But, his season ended on a bad note as he finished on the DL.
Cubs’ players in review: As of right now, it looks like it was a 5-1. As Perez was a big fail in the trade and who knows how Rosscup’s career will be. But right now it does not look good. I have to say…both Perez and Rosscup might have been throw-ins in the trade. At least the Cubs got a good younger starting pitcher in the trade who will pitch for the Cubs for years to come.
Players the Rays acquired:
RHP Chris Archer: Archer was the Cubs best pitching prospect and won pitcher of the year in the minors for the Cubs. Archer started the season in Double A and struggled big time until his call-up to Triple A. In Double A, Archer posted a 8-7 record with a 4.42 era in 134 innings. He started all the games. The Rays then decided to call him up to Triple A and in 2 games (small sample) he went 1-0 with a 0.69era. We don’t know if he would of kept that up as it was just 2 games.
OF Brandon Guyer: Guyer shined in his last year with the Cubs and was the Cubs minor league hitter of the year. Guyer decided he does want to make the majors for whatever team it may be and had another solid year. Guyer batted .312 and had 14 hr and 61 runs driven in. Guyer did in fact get called up, but struggled. In 15 games, Guyer batted .195 with 2 hr and 3 rbi in 41 at-bats for the Rays. Or is he just another AAAA player?
C Robinson Chirinos: He was not said to be a big part of the deal, but he was still part of the big deal. Also, the Cubs have a lot of catching depth. Chirinos did help the Rays this year as he did get the call up. But it didn’t go anywhere as he wanted. In 20 games, he batted .218 with 1 hr and 7rbi in 55 at-bats. However, the call-up did not last long. In his time in the minors, Chirinos batted .259 with 1 hr and 24rbi in 282 at-bats.
SS Hak-Ju Lee: Lee was the best piece going to the Rays. He was one of the Cubs best prospects. But he was still too far away from majors and same can be said of him in the Rays organization. Lee started the 2011 season for High A; posting a .318 average with 4 hr, 23rbi in 454 at-bats. After that, Lee had a short stint with Double A, posting a .190 average with 1 hr and 7 rbi in 114 at-bats. Lee is more of a contact hitter and is expected to be a good defender. Also, he’s still young at 20.
OF Sam Fuld: Like I said above, this was more of a trade between Fuld and Martinez put into the Garza blockbuster. But Fuld’s side won by a long shot. Fuld is one hell or a defender and made his share of highlights on ESPN’s Baseball Tonight. Fuld was an all out player and a lot of Cub fans were sad when he left. Sam Fuld played 105 games in the majors during 2011, posting .240 average, 3hr and 27rbi in 308 at-bats. But like I said, he was more for his defense than anything else he brings.
Rays’ players in review: The Rays got young players in return with the exception of Fuld. A few of their players got major league expierence, even though it wasn’t all good for them. They will still wait to see how the players do with another year since acquiring the them. Well since the Rays are in the playoffs, there’s no need for them now and they can wait.
We still can’t say who won the trade with the young players on the Rays not getting a good chance yet. So I guess we’ll see what happens during the 2012 season. I’m not gunna lie, but when the trade was announced, I was not thrilled. However, I’m starting to be please with the trade and starting to love Matt Garza. If the Cubs want to win, he has to be on the mound every 5 days.
So, what do y’all think…how do you like the Garza trade a year in?