Why Matt Garza and the Texas Rangers Are Such a Perfect Fit

Chris Stephens@@chris_stephens6Correspondent IIJuly 18, 2013

CHICAGO, IL- JULY 13:   Starter Matt Garza #22 of the Chicago Cubs pitches in the first inning against the St. Louis Cardinals at Wrigley Field on July 13, 2013 in Chicago, Illinois.  (Photo by Brian Kersey/Getty Images)
Brian Kersey/Getty Images

Matt Garza is up for trade and the Texas Rangers want him.

According to Fox Sports' Ken Rosenthal and Jon Paul Morosi, the Chicago Cubs and Rangers are having extensive talks on Garza.

The Rangers and Cubs have had extensive talks on Garza and discussed the framework of a trade, but other teams remain involved in the talks, according to major-league sources.

One of those teams, sources say, is the Los Angeles Dodgers, who remain interested in Garza even after acquiring right-hander Ricky Nolasco from the Marlins.

It's no surprise the Rangers want Garza.

He's the best starting pitcher available on the market and he's performing like it. In 11 starts this year, Garza is 6-1 with a 3.17 ERA and 62 strikeouts.

Garza's hits per nine innings (7.7) is at its lowest in his career, as are his walks per nine innings (2.5).

Aside from Garza's stats and abilities, there are other reasons the Rangers are interested in his services.


Question Marks in Rotation

When you look at the Rangers, there are a lot of question marks outside of Yu Darvish and Derek Holland.

Matt Harrison is still out and just threw his first bullpen session Thursday, according to a tweet by Drew Davidson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram:

Then there's Colby Lewis, who is making his rehab starts, but he struggled in his first start where he gave up four runs in 2.2 innings.

According to Gerry Fraley of the Dallas Morning News, Lewis' velocity was down. "Lewis’ velocity improved but remained below what he would need against major league hitters. The fastball was a consistent 86 mph, with a top speed of 89."

Justin Grimm is another curious case. He's 7-7 on the year, but has a 6.37 ERA. It's gotten so bad in the last eight starts that Grimm's ERA has jumped 2.44 points. He's given up seven or more runs in three of those starts.

Then there's the inconsistency of Nick Tepesch. He'll surrender no earned runs in one start (June 1 vs. Kansas City), and then he will give up five or more runs in his next three starts.

For a team that's trying to make it to the playoffs, that's not good enough.


Previous Playoff Letdowns

The Rangers are built to contend from year to year.

However, there's always been something missing when it comes to the playoffs. Whether there are mental mistakes in the outfield or a two-run triple in the bottom of the ninth of Game 6 of the World Series, it seems as though things always go wrong for the Rangers at the wrong time.

While those mistakes happened with Yu Darvish and Neftali Feliz on the mound, it goes without saying that the Rangers could use another power arm.

Garza is a difference-maker on the mound and the Rangers would benefit from having him in the rotation.


Time Is Ticking

The Rangers need to make a move for Garza, even if that means giving up Martin Perez or another top pitching prospect.

Next year is no guarantee and if the Rangers want to go all-in for Garza, they'll become one of the favorites to represent the AL in the World Series.

Garza can be that kind of difference-maker. He has the ability to be the same kind of difference-maker CC Sabathia was for the Milwaukee Brewers down the stretch in 2008.

The Rangers just have to be willing to pull the trigger.


    Blue Jays Acquire Randal Grichuk

    MLB logo

    Blue Jays Acquire Randal Grichuk

    Tim Daniels
    via Bleacher Report

    Report: Morphine Found in Roy Halladay's System

    MLB logo

    Report: Morphine Found in Roy Halladay's System

    Alec Nathan
    via Bleacher Report

    Rangers Sign 3 to Minor Deals with Spring Invites

    Texas Rangers logo
    Texas Rangers

    Rangers Sign 3 to Minor Deals with Spring Invites

    NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth
    via NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth

    Harper to Cubs Next Winter Hardly a Sure Thing

    MLB logo

    Harper to Cubs Next Winter Hardly a Sure Thing

    Jon Heyman
    via FanRag Sports