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Friday, January 7, 2011

Garza Deal Still Leaves Cubs Looking Up

Will Matt Garza make the Chicago Cubs contenders in 2011? 
Today the Chicago Cubs made a deal that would bring Matt Garza over to the friendly confines in exchange for four high prized prospects.

This tells me two things:

1. The Rays are desperate to rebuild

2. The Cubs know they are behind and needed an upgrade to compete in the N.L. Central

Either way, the deal is a stellar move by the Cubs, as Garza is an absolute beast on the mound. 

Garza was 15-10 with a 3.91 ERA and 150 strikeouts for the Tampa Bay Rays in 2010, impressive numbers that he did this while pitching in the offensive-minded A.L. East.  Garza also no-hit the Detroit Tigers in an impressive and dominating performance.

Garza has great stuff. 

While Garza will help the Cubs, he hardly will make a big enough difference to close the gap between the other N.L. Central teams.

Shop Giants 2010 World Series Champion Gear The Cincinnati Reds easily won the division last season behind N.L. Most Valuable Player Joey Votto and a young dynamic starting pitching staff.  The Reds haven't made any moves this off-season, but you figure they will be better simply by the maturation of their young, talented players. 

The St. Louis Cardinals have Albert Pujols, Matt Holliday, and now they have added Lance Berkman.  This gives them the scariest middle of the lineup in the division, but more impressively about this team is the pitching staff led by Chris Carpenter and Adam Wainwright.  The Cardinals will be in the mix of things in 2011.

The Milwaukee Brewers probably have made the biggest splash of the off-season by acquiring Zack Greinke and Shawn Marcum that will give them a starting pitching staff that rivals anybody.  Oh, by the way, Prince Fielder and Ryan Braun still play for the Brewers too.

And then there are the Cubs.  Even with Garza you figure they will have trouble competing against a division that suddenly, dare I say, looks among the toughest in baseball. 

Sure Starlin Castro is an exciting young player, but the North-siders still fall short when you compare them to the three other quality teams in the division. 

Matt Garza will help the Cubs no doubt, but the Baby Bears still look like a fourth place team on paper. 

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