I spent much of Wednesday throwing up. Thanks a lot, cajun catfish. I was well on my way to recovery when Jack text-messaged me this morning: "Garland!" I raced to the computer to check the wires: Different sites and sources were claiming different deals, but as soon as I saw Jason Hirsh's name thrown around, I nearly wanted to puke again.
Yes, Jon Garland is a good pitcher. I might go so far as to say "pretty good." He's not a dominant pitcher by any means, but he's proven that he's durable (at least 32 starts and 190 innings in 5 straight campaigns), consistent (between 3.50-4.89 ERA). He keeps the ball on the ground, but he gives up a fair shar of homers. He's been very good the past two years with control, but opposing batters hit .294 off him in 2006, a career low.
I suppose he'd be a good addition to our rotation, but not if he's going to cost us a lot in terms of players and money. And the long and hort of it is this: If we get Garland, we are not signing Pettitte. Somehow, I think this might have been a ploy by the Astros front office to shake things up with Pettitte. Richard Justice wrote something along those lines: That Purpura and McLane were tired of being pushed around by free-agents playing the waiting game.
Still, there's no WAY Garland is worth Jason Hirsh. I don't mind giving up Willy Taveras, although I will miss his superb defense in an otherwise subpar outfield. Buchholz reminds me a lot of Kirk Saarloos: They show flashes of genius (like when Barstool and I saw Buchholz's should've-been one-hitter against the Pirates). But everyone in baseball can hit slow fastballs, so they get absolutely hammered when they can't get the heater across. Oh yeah, and they both have really weird names.
Hirsh has got to be off-limits. I know they say there's no such thing as a pitching prospect, but the Astros system is not exactly stacked. Purpura's got to recognize the value in Hirsh, Patton and Pence. I could understand letting one of them go in a monster deal ... Tejada, anyone? But not for an average pitcher like Garland.