CHICAGO, IL - JUNE 18: Starting pitcher Matt Garza #22 of the Chicago Cubs delivers the ball against the Chicago White Sox at U.S. Cellular Field on June 18, 2012 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
While Ken Rosenthal admits Chicago Cubs right-hander Matt Garza isn’t "in the class" of Milwaukee Brewers ace Zack Greinke or Philadelphia Phillies lefty Cole Hamels, he does believe the 28-year-old could be more valuable of a trade asset than either pitcher.
Cubs right-hander Matt Garza isn’t in the class of Greinke or Hamels as a top-of-the-rotation starter, but he might be a more valuable trade asset.
The difference for Rosenthal is that Greinke and Hamels are set to hit the free agent market following the 2012 season. Garza is under team control through 2013.
For this reason, Rosenthal says the Cubs can hold onto Garza until the off-season if they do not get the value they want for him this summer.
Rosenthal also says draft-pick compensation could come into play. The team acquiring Hamels and Greinke will not acquire draft-pick compensation for either since they would be dealt the summer before reaching free agency. Garza would qualify for compensation if he is traded before next summer.
Who would fetch the largest return; Garza, Greinke or Hamels?