A day after Japanese starter Masahiro Tanaka signed with the Yankees, it was reported that free agent Matt Garza would be signing a four-year contract worth around $52 million with the Milwaukee Brewers (Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports had the original scoop). Shortly thereafter, Brewers personnel came forward pretty aggressively to deny that any deal had been reached. While that technically might have been true – that the two sides had not yet ironed out all the details of the would-be contract – the early reports were pretty close to dead on.
Earlier today, Brewers owner Mark Attanasio and general manager Doug Melvin opened up and announced that the team had agreed on a four-year contract. The deal will pay Garza $50 million in guaranteed money with another possible $4 million in incentives and a vesting option for a fifth year at $13 million. He will receive $12.5 million in base salary each of the first four years.
As anticipated, it appears that dominoes are beginning to fall into place now that Tanaka – this offseason’s biggest free agent pitcher – has found a landing spot. With Garza’s signing, there remains just three primary free agent starters on the market: Ubaldo Jiminez, Ervin Santana and Bronson Arroyo. Garza’s deal will help solidify their respective values, so each of their negotiations should begin to crystallize in the coming weeks.
I’m planning on recording a new podcast tomorrow after work. I will discuss the predicted value of all three in light of the Garza deal, and I am going to try and predict a landing spot for each of those guys, assuming they do not sign between now and tomorrow night.