Cubs GM Jed Hoyer doesn’t want to get into a war of words with Matt Garza, knowing that a last-place team can’t really talk trash.
Garza made the Wrigleyville rebuild sound like being trapped in prison after beating his old team last week at Miller Park, giving this advice to his buddy Jeff Samardzija: “Pitch your way out of there.” Feeling it with the Milwaukee Brewers, Garza said the vibe’s so much better there, going out expecting to win every day, instead of just hoping.
“Garza got his payday,” Hoyer said Friday at Wrigley Field. “He’s on a team that’s winning. I guess he feels like he’s in a position right now to make comments. It’s on us now to flip that script, to show that we’re a place that people want to be, to show that we’re a winning organization.”
The Brewers gave four years and $50 million guaranteed to Garza, who’s on his fifth team since 2007 and spent time on the disabled list during each of his three seasons on the North Side. Last summer, the Cubs cashed in 13 Garza starts and turned a rental player into four prospects from a deep Texas Rangers system.
“It doesn’t really bother me,” Hoyer said. “Being traded is a hard thing, emotionally, for people. Even in a situation like that where we had a good relationship with him, there’s probably a feeling of rejection, for lack of a better word. People say emotional things when asked about it, because there’s probably some resentment they’re harboring.”
The first-place Brewers are riding the wave, even with Garza going 1-3 with a 5.00 ERA through his first six starts. He left Wednesday’s 9-3 loss to the St. Louis Cardinals in the fourth inning with a bruised right thumb.
Hoyer sees headlines while he’s talking to the media and tries to manage the message, while Garza says whatever’s on his mind with no filter, summing up his Cubbie experience this way: “You go through three years of constantly hoping, you kind of run out of hope.”
“We have to deal with those comments,” Hoyer said. “Until we’re winning, until we prove that we’re an organization that he would want to play for, I don’t think we can really comment on it. It’s his opinion and he expressed it.”