Matt Garza: On vacation at the wrong time? …

Matt GarzaShortly after the Winter Meetings, the Angels offered Matt Garza a four-year, $52 million contract, but — true to owner Arte Moreno‘s negotiating style — the offer was only good for short amount of time. Early the following week, it was off the table. And about six weeks after that, Garza signed a very similar deal — four years, $50 million — with the Brewers.

Why didn’t he take the original offer?

He was on vacation, and didn’t want to be bothered by contractual negotiations, the 30-year-old right-hander told’s Adam McCalvy.

“They offered, but it was more of a weird situation,” Garza said Monday. “I was on vacation with my wife and I didn’t want to be disturbed, and it was like, ‘Here it is, we’ll pull it in a certain amount of hours.’ I didn’t have a chance to respond, so I just said, ‘Whatever. It is what it is.’

“It wasn’t anything big. It was an offer and I said, ‘I’m on vacation. I’m not thinking about baseball, dude. Me and my wife are enjoying ourselves.'”

There were very few pitchers on the open market that the Angels actually went after, but Garza was one of them, because he could legitimately slot in behind Jered Weaver and C.J. Wilson, allowing someone like Tyler Skaggs to get some seasoning in the Minor Leagues, and because he wasn’t going to cost them a Draft pick.

Ever after pulling the offer, the Angels kept tabs with Garza throughout the offseason, hoping to get him on a smaller deal that was probably in the three-year, $35- to $40-million range — then pretty much sat out the rest of free agency when he went to Milwaukee.

“When he’s good, he can be a [No. 2 starter],” Moreno said last week, while confirming the $52 million offer. “He can help you. And it would’ve really given us that layer of depth.”

I’m sure Garza is telling the truth about being on vacation when all of this was going down, but sorry — I’m not buying the fact that he couldn’t be bothered with contract negotiations when he was with his wife. All things being equal, I think he would’ve liked to pitch for the Angels. But at that time, he was probably just holding out to see if he can get more money — and I definitely don’t blame him for that.

“I had no worries,” Garza said. “God’s going to make things work out either way. It is what it is. I guess you didn’t want me that bad, I take it. I found a team that wants me and makes me feel at home. I was looking for a great fit, and I believe I found it.”



I believe Garza. I just think that Arte is too much of a harda** when dealing with these players. We all forget that these are just a bunch of young boys playing a schoolyard game who have been thrust into the spotlight. We treat them like they are seasoned businessmen, but they aren’t. Maybe his agent should have pushed harder, or, maybe his agent realizes what Arte doesn’t, that these guys have fragile egos. I put the blame on Arte on this one, not on Matt.

PS. Tom I am glad you are a contributor on here. I like your candor and honesty.

arte is a bully. Always has been. He got sent to a reform school when he was a teenager, as he was a thug. If you ask any ex-employee, especially the young women, one would be shocked. Just look what he is doing to the City of Anaheim. He is squeezing them for all they are worth. Why? Because he can.

I don’t have a problem squeezing the City, they are a bunch of power hungry bullies themselves, that is a fair fight. I just think he should have a little more compassion for the players.

Awww did someone get passed over for a promotion or laid off and is all bitter now? Poor baby.

First of all – there is no “blame”. He was offered $52 million with an expiration time and he chose not to take it – period. His decision. Don’t blame Moreno.- Garza’s agent should have moved on it – that’s why he earns his percentage. Obviously Garza didn’t want to sign here – his decision.

I am shocked at the comments. All parties involved are grown men and they have all made sacrifices and worked their As$es off to become successful. And they all have egos too. So Arte wants to offer something without it being shopped around for a better offer so he puts an expiration date. Garza doesn’t want to be bothered? This is doubtful since he is looking out for his wife and family there is no way he blows off this offer. He makes an adult decision to let it ride and hopes he gets something better, its a risk but I’m sure he talked with his agent first.
The City of Anaheim is not a patsy and certainly those politicians have healthy egos, so I would never view the city as being bullied by Arte. By the way, ask yourself these questions. Do you respect the success and value that Steinbrenner built while running the Yankees? Did you like him or respect him? Do you think he was a bully? But do you admire what he accomplished?

Two points to consider. Steinbrenner’s teams won several championships, but Arte’s team hasn’t won any and over the past two seasons they haven’t even made it to the playoffs, and it appears that trend will continue this year. So using your own example of Steinbrenner’s success, I would have to say I don’t respect how Arte Moreno’s management style has effected the Angels.

I wouldn’t over rate Steinbrenner’s tenure as the Yankees boss. Yes, he had great success, he has to be given credit for that, but his leadership and management style also ran the team down to the point where the Yankees failed to go to the World Series between 1981 and 1996.

Good for Garza…I think that’s admirable. As a player, you only have so much time for family.

I would say unrealistic beuasce Stanton is still young enough and under team control that Marlins can still use him as the centerpiece in whichever way they are rebuilding. Upton and Bauer are not tied together in any trade the D-Backs might want to pursue beuasce the D-Backs can get more in value if they trade each individually. A 3 team trade is the likely trade route for Upton if the Cubs want to go down that road, but at what cost do the Cubs want to do an Upton deal? Don’t get me wrong, Upton is a great talent, but Upton can be a headcase which could not be that big a deal since the Cubs had Milton Bradley only a few seasons ago. (seems like light years ago doesn’t it?) I still believe that 2014 is the more realistic year, but 2013 can be the year that the main pieces are in place or will be in place. The other Upton should be given consideration along with Sanchez.

I agree with Scott. No one’s to blame. Both parties did exactly the right thing. Making a $52 million offer is truly a big deal. I don’t care what anybody says. (You, reading this – ever offer somebody 52 million dollars to come work for you for a few years?) Moreno’s limited-time offer to Garza makes good business sense. After the Tanaka hype subsided and the merry-go-round failed to spin up big money, every starting pitcher in “the queue” was forced to simultaneously scramble for offers AND hold out for more money/years. In that kind of bargaining climate, if a team leaves a free-agent contract offer on the table indefinitely, players and agents will use the terms of such an offer as bargaining leverage in the open market for as long as possible. To keep from being used that way, owners need to hook the fish or move on; hook the fish or move on. Garza ducked the hook, Moreno moved on – excellently played by both men. If Garza had genuinely liked the idea of playing with the Angels, he would have instructed his agent to keep that deal alive in his absence, or pounce like a cat…anything to keep from missing that opportunity. My guess is that Garza has discovered that he prefers pitching in the National League. The Brewers deal, despite being $2 million less than the Anaheim offer (yes, Anaheim), is still a fantastic score for Garza. It allows him to upgrade within the NL Central, a weak division, where he can hope to improve his 67-67 career record while strategizing for the potential of an even bigger payday in 2018, when he will likely be a 100-game winner. Moreno, too, has gained exactly what he needed: he learned that Garza was more interested in maneuvering for position than in climbing aboard the Angels’ reconstruction project, and he didn’t waste 2 months of valuable off-season time chasing a proverbial wild goose.

Why not both? Az does have young pitching depth too. They want a vrteean for the rotation, hence Garza. Upton makes the most money of the OFs they have, so they save salary. And they need a ML ready SS for 2013, which I’m proposing could be Escobar. I could see more coming back the Cubs way, like young pitching, but with the injury and only 1 year of control left, Garza is simply not worth what he was at this time last year. I honestly wouldn’t be shocked if what I proposed was not enough, rather than too much. But I would certainly welcome getting something else back in return. And while not ideal, having Soriano in LF, DeJesus in CF, and Upton in RF for 2013 would be acceptable. At this point, dumping Soriano just for the sake of dumping him doesn’t make sense. His leadership and mentoring skills, along with his improved defense, are more than acceptable for 2013, if a worthwhile deal doesn’t materialize.

Being an Angel, this is incredibly frustrating. The Angels are obviously desperate for pitching and the culture with the Angels is and has been for a while, here’s the deal, sign it or its off the table. Patience may have payed off here, especially with Mulder going down this week. I think this was another in a series of stubbornness from the front office and inflexibility. I guess we’ll see what happens…


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