Cubs acquire RHP Matt Garza from Tampa Bay



cubs CHICAGO – The Chicago Cubs today acquired right-handed pitcher Matt Garza, outfielder Fernando Perez and left-handed pitcher Zachary Rosscup from the Tampa Bay Rays for right-handed pitcher Chris Archer, catcher Robinson Chirinos, infielder Hak-Ju Lee and outfielders Sam Fuld and Brandon Guyer.

„It’s not every day a premier and proven big-game pitcher entering his prime becomes available, and we couldn’t be more thrilled to add Matt Garza to our pitching staff,” said Cubs General Manager Jim Hendry. „It is impossible to acquire a pitcher of Matt’s caliber and not give up some quality talent, and Tampa Bay certainly is acquiring solid prospects in this deal. But Matt brings a tremendous arm to help solidify a formidable pitching rotation not only for 2011 but for many years to come.

„Fernando Perez is a plus defensive outfielder with above-average speed on the bases who should transition well to the National League.”

Garza, who turned 27 last November, joined the Rays prior to the 2008 campaign and has combined to go 34-31 with one save and a 3.86 ERA (254 ER/592.1 IP) in 95 big league appearances, all but one as a starter, the last three seasons. The righthander has made at least 30 starts each of the last three seasons and thrown more than 200 innings each of the last two campaigns. Garza went 18-13 with a 3.18 ERA (108 ER/305.2 IP) in 48 appearances (47 starts) within his own division, the American League East, the last three seasons.

The 6-foot-4, 215-pound righthander was a member of the 2008 and 2010 Tampa Bay post-season clubs, posting a 2-1 record with a 3.48 ERA (12 ER/31.0 IP) in his five playoff starts. He was named the 2008 American League Championship Series Most Valuable Player after leading the Rays to the World Series by going 2-0 with a 1.38 ERA (2 ER/13.0 IP) in two starts, including 7.0 innings of two-hit, one-run ball in the decisive Game 7. Garza received a no-decision in his 2010 ALDS Game 3 start at Texas despite limiting the Rangers to one run in 6.0 innings in an eventual 6-3 Tampa Bay victory.

Garza entered the Tampa Bay record books when he tossed the first no-hitter in franchise history, July 26, 2010 vs. the Tigers. Garza faced the minimum 27 batters, issuing only a second-inning walk to Brennan Boesch before erasing the free pass with an inning-ending double play. Garza retired his final 22 batters faced.

Overall last season, Garza went 15-10 with three complete games, one save and a 3.91 ERA (89 ER/204.2 IP) in 33 appearances (32 starts) with Tampa Bay. He limited opponents to a .248 batting average, including a .241 mark to left-handed hitters and a .255 mark to right-handed hitters. He went 4-1 with a 2.63 ERA (12 ER/41.0 IP) and a .218 batting average against in six starts in day games.

Garza spent his first full season in the majors in 2008, going 11-9 with a 3.70 ERA (76 ER/184.2 IP) in 30 starts. He went 8-12 despite a 3.95 ERA (89 ER/203.0 IP) in 32 starts in 2009 when he led Tampa Bay with 19 quality starts, received the lowest run support of any American League pitcher (3.68) and allowed three earned runs or less in 23 of his 32 outings.

An original first-round selection (25th overall) in the 2005 Draft, Garza is 42-44 with six complete games, one save and a 3.97 ERA (320 ER/725.1 IP) in 121 major league outings, 118 as a starting pitcher, with Minnesota (2006-07) and Tampa Bay (2008-10). The Selma, Calif., native attended Fresno State University

Perez, 27, has spent part of two seasons in the majors with the Rays (2008-09), seeing action at all three outfield positions – 13 games in left field, 23 games in center field and three games in right field. He was limited to only 35 games in 2009 due to left wrist surgery. The right-handed batter and thrower (he at one time was a switch-hitter) is a career .234 hitter (22-for-94) with 22 runs, three homers and 10 RBI in 41 big league games.

Originally selected by the Rays in the seventh round of the 2004 Draft out of Columbia University, the 6-foot-1, 195-pound Perez spent the 2010 campaign with Triple-A Durham, batting .223 (86-for-385) with 24 stolen bases, 11 doubles, four home runs and 32 RBI in 116 games. He batted .272 (28-for-103) after the All Star Break.

In all or part of seven minor league seasons, the Elizabeth, N.J. native has recorded 223 stolen bases and is a career .279 hitter (747-for-2,674).

Zachary Rosscup, 22, was selected by the Rays in the 28th round of the 2009 Draft and combined to go 3-1 with a 2.64 ERA (13 ER/44.1 IP) in 12 appearances (eight starts) between Tampa Bay’s rookie level Gulf Coast League club and short-season Single-A Hudson Valley. He limited opponents to a .196 batting average. The 6-foot-2, 205-pounder has posted a 6-5 record with a 2.66 ERA (25 ER/84.2 IP) in 22 appearances (17 starts) during his two-year professional career. Rosscup is a native of Clackamas, OR and attended Chemeketa Community College in Oregon.

Archer, 22, went 15-3 with a 2.34 ERA (37 ER/142.1 IP) in 28 games (27 starts) between Single-A Daytona and Double-A Tennessee last season. He was acquired by the Cubs as part of the Mark DeRosa trade to Cleveland on December 31, 2008.

Chirinos, 26, batted .326 (104-for-319) with 18 home runs and 74 RBI in 92 games between Tennessee and Triple-A Iowa last season. He originally signed with the Cubs as a non-drafted free agent on July 2, 2000.

Fuld, 29, has batted .252 (33-for-131) with seven doubles, one triple and one home run in 98 big league games during part of three seasons with the Cubs (2007, 2009-10). He was originally selected by Chicago in the 10th round of the 2004 Draft.

Guyer, who turns 25 this month, batted .344 (127-for-369) with 13 home runs and 58 RBI in 102 games with Tennessee last season. He was originally selected by the Cubs in the 5th round of the 2007 Draft.

Lee, 20, batted .282 (137-for-485) with one home run and 40 RBI in 122 games for Single-A Peoria last season. He originally signed with the Cubs as a non-drafted free agent on March 29, 2008.