Friday, June 15, 2007

Matt Garza Expendable in Mark Teixeira Dealings

It's be a bit harsh to label hard-throwing Twins prospect Matt Garza uncoachable, but clearly his resistence to developing off-speed offerings has cost him not only a promotion to The Bigs but perhaps some friends in the Minnesota organization.

Garza -- who throws in the mid-90s -- has pitched reasonably well for the Triple A Rochester Red Wings, but has had moderate control problems, blaming them on the coaching staff' pestering him to improve his change-up and other off-speed pitches.

The 23-year-old Garza prefers to do things his way, an attitude that would make him a very expendable but still valuable in any potential dealings for a Twins upgrade at third base.

In one of the Twins versions of the myriad scenarios for the trade of slugging first baseman Mark Teixeira by the Texas Rangers, Teixeira is envisioned going to the Boston Red Sox, allowing Kevin Youkilis to move to third base, Mike Lowell and cash to be shipped to the Twins and a Garza and other top Twins prospects to go to Texas.

This is a tremendous upgrade at the corners for the Red Sox, while helping the team to get younger and acquire some value for Lowell in his last year of a $9 million contract. At the same time the Twins receive a major third base rental in the team's ongoing charge for a playoff spot.

On the surface the free-falling Rangers would appear to have the most to lose in the deal, as the team would kiss off "Big Tex," the guy they signed for a $10 million bonus and the one player who more than any other embodies the face and future of the franchise.

But then again, this is the same team that was foolish enough to trade away starting pitcher Chris Young and upcoming star first basemen Adrian Gonzalez and Travis Hafner -- just to name a few -- and now has virtually nothing to show for it.