The Tigers, Yankees, Red Sox, Marlins and Blue Jays have all been linked to Garza in various reports. Any deal for Garza would have to start with a premiere pitching prospect and all of the teams involved could provide one. The Yankees have Manny Banuelos and Dellin Betances in their system, the Jays boast Kyle Drabek, the Red Sox could include former LSU star Anthony Ranaudo and the Tigers of course have Jacob Turner.
Every team considering a trade for Garza will certainly have to mortgage part of its future for the services of a proven big league starter. Garza's stuff has never been questioned. While he was only a .500 pitcher with the Cubs last season, his 3.32 ERA was 14th best in the National League. Some question if his numbers were a result of pitching in the National League, or if the 27 year-old is maturing into an ace.
Garza's strikeouts per nine innings jumped from 6.6 in 2010 to 9.0 in 2011. His ground ball to fly ball ratio also improved from less than one in 2010 to 1 1/2 in 2011. Again, is this the product of pitching in the N.L. or the result of Garza taking the next step in his career?
Garza has plenty going for him. He has pitched in the rugged American League East with success, winning 34 games in three years with the Rays. If the Tigers acquired him, he would give the club a rotation that would boast three pitchers that would have a chance to strikeout 200 batters each. That would be impressive.
Any deal for Garza would cost more than just Jacob Turner though. The Tigers would have to weigh the cost of the other required pieces. Turner's ceiling is certainly high, but he hasn't yet proven what he can do in the major leagues. Can Turner be as good as Garza? Better? The Tigers passed on Gio Gonzalez because the A's wanted three premium prospects in return. If they were reluctant to give that much for Gonzalez, I doubt they would for Garza who is under club control for fewer years than Gonzalez would have been.
The Tigers like Garza a lot, and they should. He threw a no-hitter against them in 2010. If they do land the talented right hander, it gives the Tigers another power arm. You get the feeling that they sense a window. Justin Verlander and Miguel Cabrera are in their prime. Victor Martinez is one of the game's best hitters. Alex Avila is a rising star and the pitching staff is deep. The only question is, how much are they willing to pay?