Trade Tree: Matt Garza

Today’s mound opponent, Matt Garza, has been a key component of two major trades in his seven-year big league career. His stint in Minnesota was covered in last week’s Johan Santana Trade Tree, but Garza is starting for the Cubs today so let’s look at what the Cubs gave up for him.

Garza’s a good pitcher and it took a lot of talent for the Cubs to get him. Chris Archer and Hak-Ju Lee were top prospects then and still have plenty of shine left. In addition to that, Ray’s fans were also treated to The Legendary Sam Fuld era.

In summary, the Rays received Garza for Delmon Young, who has not panned out despite all of his talent, had Garza for his age 24-26 season, then as he got expensive spun him for a boatload of talent. The lesson? Beware deals with this Tampa Bay front office. They always seem to come out at least an extra 2% ahead.

Garza tries to help the Cubs avoid a sweep by the Pirates today at 1:35. Erik Bedard goes for the Bucs.


Trade Tree: Johan Santana

I started throwing this together after Philip Humber‘s perfect game a few weeks ago and since the Pirates faced Johan Santana last night it seemed like a good time to bring it out. If people like it I can keep doing Trade Trees for players and teams other than the Pirates.

The 2007 Twins were at a crossroads, one several teams had known before and others would see again. Their ace pitcher, the best pitcher in baseball at the time, was going to be a free agent after the next season. They had been unable to agree with him on a contract extension. It was time to talk trade. The Yankees offered Melky Cabrera, Phil Hughes and other prospects. The Red Sox offered Jacoby Ellsbury, Jed Lowrie, and Justin Masterson. The Mets were able to get the deal done with this offer:

A sturdy pack of prospects, but nothing too exciting. What have the Twins done with those players though? That’s an interesting tale to be sure:

Branden Harris ties Johan’s trade tree to that of Chuck Knoblauch, meaning a good chunk of the last two decades of Twins history is listed here. All told, The Twins started with four players (three draft picks and one Rule 5 pick) and turned them into twenty-two players, four of which are still in their organization. In between they had six outstanding season of Johan, seven good years from Knoblauch, and several seasons of supporting work from the other 24 players listed. It’s a mixed bag of results in all of the individual deals, but you can say that about any team’s transactions. These deals helped the Twins to nine winning seasons and six playoff appearances.

Series Preview: The Mets

Current record: 19-22, 3rd place in NL Central, 3.0 games back

Up Next: New York Mets, 22-19, 4th place in NL East, 5.5 games back

Season Series: 0-0, First time playing.

Notes: The Mets come to the ‘Burgh for the only time this season. New York features a decent offense and below average pitching staff. If the Pirates can get to the Mets’ bullpen early they stand a good chance to win some games.

Familiar Faces: Ronny Cedeno, Jason Bay (DL), Miguel Batista (DL).

Probable Pitchers
Monday: LH Johan Santana (1-2, 43.2 IP, 46 K, 2.89 ERA, 1.17 WHIP)
vs. LH Erik Bedard (2-5, 41.0 IP, 44 K, 3.07 ERA, 1.34 WHIP)

Santana has been very effective this year, but has not been able to go deep into games. Bedard’s numbers have been slowly creeping up after his stellar start.

Tuesday: RH R.A. Dickey (5-1, 50.1 IP, 40 K, 3.75 ERA, 1.23 WHIP)
vs. RH James McDonald (3-2, 50.1 IP, 50 K, 2.68 ERA, 1.01 WHIP)

Hopefully the knuckler won’t be knuckling, or the Pirates’ free-swing ways could doom them here. J-Mac took a no-no into the sixth inning in his last start.

Wednesday: LH Jon Niese (2-2, 42.2 IP, 39 K, 4.85 ERA, 1.38 WHIP)
vs. RH Charlie Morton (2-4, 39.1 IP, 24 K, 4.35 ERA, 1.47 WHIP)

I have nothing to say about Jon Niese. Totally non-descript pitcher. I guess he’s lefthanded though. That’s something.

No lineups yet.