Garza says timing of Angels’ offer led him to Brewers
Why didn’t Matt Garza jump at that four-year, $52 million offer from the Los Angeles Angels in December?
Bad timing, he said Monday in Milwaukee Brewers camp.
“They offered, but it was more of a weird situation,” said Garza, who wound up getting $50 million in guaranteed money from Milwaukee. “I was on vacation with my wife and I didn’t want to be disturbed, and it was like, ‘Here it is, we’ll pull it in a certain amount of hours.’ I didn’t have a chance to respond, so I just said, ‘Whatever. It is what it is.’”
He added: “It wasn’t anything big. It was an offer and I said, ‘I’m on vacation. I’m not thinking about baseball, Dude. Me and my wife are enjoying ourselves.’”
Garza and wife Serina were in Turks and Caicos at the time, on an anniversary trip. The Angels subsequently pulled the offer, and it would be about six weeks before Garza signed with the Brewers.
“I had no worries,” he said. “God’s going to make things work out either way. It is what it is. I guess you didn’t want me that bad, I take it. I found a team that wants me and makes me feel at home. I was looking for a great fit and I believe I found it.”
He found it with a Brewers team willing to spend big — Garza’s contract is the largest for a free agent in club history — to bolster a starting rotation projected to include Kyle Lohse, Yovani Gallardo, Marco Estrada and Wily Peralta. Garza’s agent, Nez Balelo, has a good relationship with Brewers principal owner Mark Attanasio and general manager Doug Melvin from previous deals for players like Ryan Braun and Norichika Aoki, and worked out an agreement that includes deferred money, $1 million in incentives available in each of the four guaranteed seasons, plus a complex fifth year option that can vest if Garza stays healthy.
During negotiations, Attanasio met with Garza in person.
“A really great guy,” Garza said. “Down to earth. It was awesome just chatting it up with him. I was looking for a great fit — someplace who wanted me. It wasn’t just, ‘We want you to pawn you off for something else.’ That’s what really kind of stuck with me. Just saying,’ Here, we want you this bad. We’ll give you this.’ And I was like, ‘Cool.’ That’s what I was looking for.”
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