Duda alone would not get a deal done as it would take at least one more player – probably someone with even better prospect status, as Duda himself failed to rank in Kevin Goldstein’s top 11 list this past winter. For that reason, the Mets may have little to no interest in Garza as it is, but their depth makes them an interesting candidate for a trade. Even if nothing comes from it.
Wait, really? A deal for Matt Garza centered around Lucas Duda? Do it. Do it.
Look: I like Duda as much as anyone; it really seems like something clicked for him this year and he blossomed into a legit power-hitting prospect. But he’ll be 25 on Opening Day, he has only one year of Minor League excellence on his resume, and he’s not much of a defender.
Garza is 27, under team control through arbitration through 2013, and has pitched well and stayed healthy in baseball’s toughest division since 2008.
I imagine it would take a good deal more than Duda to net Garza in a trade. But the Process Report is a sabermetrically inclined Rays blog, not a bunch of delusional Mets fans proposing senseless deals on talk radio. And their main point here is a good one — the Mets have a lot of young depth at the corners and need pitching, the Rays have pitching to trade and need someone to replace Carlos Pena.
Since Garza would likely help the Mets both in 2011 and down the road, dealing for him would not represent the type of imprudent spending I advised against here. If the cost in prospects is reasonable, acquiring Garza would mean taking advantage of a rare opportunity to grab a reliable and cost-controlled starting pitcher, albeit one with a disgusting chin beard.