Chicago closer Kevin Gregg may be on the Detroit Tigers’ radar as the July 31 trade deadline approaches. But what about starter Matt Garza, who, like Gregg, will be a free agent after this season?
ESPN’s Jim Bowden, formerly the GM for the Reds and Nationals, suggests a package deal that sends Garza and Gregg to the Tigers for Avisail Garcia, Rick Porcello and 2012 second-round pick Jake Thompson, as part of his “Five blockbuster trades I’d like to see“.
Although pitching is certainly not a pressing need in Detroit, the depth might just give them their best shot at a title. With a rotation of Justin Verlander, Max Scherzer, Doug Fister, Anibal Sanchez and Garza, the Tigers would have the best rotation in the league by far.
Garza is owed just $4.8 million for the rest of this year and is an impending free agent, so there is no long-term exposure. Gregg has been impressive closing for the Cubs, saving 15 of 17 games with a 1.78 ERA and 1.02 WHIP and would be an upgrade for the Tigers, whose biggest weakness is relief pitching. Above all else, the Tigers don’t have to give up top prospect Nick Castellanos.
I’m all for a good trade proposal, but this one doesn’t seem to make a lot of sense. Gregg would be a nice addition to the Tigers’ bullpen, but the cost here is extremely high. Add in the fact that Garza would be only the No. 4 or No. 5 starter in Detroit (depending on where you’d rank Doug Fister), and coughing up both Garcia and Thompson, in addition to Porcello, seems way outside of where Detroit’s comfort zone would be.
It is true that the Tigers probably would prioritize Castellanos over Garcia, if they were picking one player to keep. But they’d also like the return to be substantial if they unload one of those two OF prospects. A Garza-Gregg combo doesn’t really get it done.