Note: Over the next few days, we'll take a look at some external and internal possibilities for the starting pitching rotation to replace Derek Holland, as the lefty is expected to miss the first half of the season.
Today's pitcher: Matt Garza
We'll start with the arm out there that the Rangers know best. Garza, 30, was acquired by the Rangers at the trade deadline last year for pitchers C.J. Edwards, Justin Grimm and Neil Ramirez and third baseman Mike Olt.
Garza was supposed to give the rotation a boost and help the club down the stretch. But in 13 starts, he sported a 4-5 record and a 4.38 ERA. He had a 1.316 WHIP, much higher than it was the first half of the season in Chicago. Garza wasn't the same pitcher that was 6-1 with a 3.17 ERA in 11 starts (he missed the first part of the season with a muscle strain in his left side) with the Cubs.
Garza missed the second half of the 2012 season with a stress reaction in his elbow. But the fact that he made his starts and stayed healthy from May on last season likely means club's won't allow health issues to keep them from signing him.
Despite the rough starts in Texas last year, Garza has averaged a 3.76 ERA in his past six seasons. And in five playoff starts, Garza has a 3.48 ERA and a 2-0 mark, though his last win came in 2008.
The biggest hurdle is that Garza wants a long-term deal, and based on his performance last year and the fact that, at this point, the Rangers are planning on Holland coming back at midseason, Texas will likely want a one-year deal with incentives if they consider Garza.
But he's one of the arms still on the market that projects as a mid-rotation guy and would allow the Rangers to utilize internal candidates like Robbie Ross, Michael Kirkman, Nick Tepesch and Colby Lewis as more depth options. We'll take a look at those guys in this series soon as well.
What do you think about Garza? Any interest?