Brewers’ right-hander Matt Garza is set to enter free agency following the 2017 season, MLB.com’s Adam McCalvy reports. Garza was previously thought to have a $5 million vesting option for the 2018 season, but it was voided after he pitched a certain number of games. Even had it been in place, however, it’s unlikely the Brewers would have chosen to exercise it based on Garza’s regression this year.
It’s been a rollercoaster of a season for the veteran righty, who’s seen more valleys than peaks after racking up almost 50 days on the disabled list with a right groin strain, chest contusion and lower leg strain. He went 6-9 in 19 starts and pitched to a rotation-worst 4.94 ERA, 3.5 BB/9 and 6.2 SO/9 over 114 2/3 innings.
Garza is not expected to return to Milwaukee after finishing out a four-year run with the club, during which he compiled a 26-39 record and 4.65 ERA over a total 528 1/3 innings. He lasted just 2 2/3 innings in his last start with the team, holding the Reds to five runs on six hits and two walks, but returned later in September to record a pair of scoreless relief appearances.
With or without the right-hander, the Brewers are still expected to be in the market for starting pitching this offseason. They’re currently running with a four-man rotation and aren’t expected to see right-hander Jimmy Nelson (shoulder surgery) until late in the 2018 season.