Angels Add Another Starter

In an offseason filled with minor deals, the White Sox and Angels worked out a rare big leaguer for big leaguer deal, as the Angels acquired righthander Jon Garland for shortstop Orlando Cabrera and cash considerations.
The Big
Garland, who will be 28 next year, was the Cubs first round pick in 1997, but he’s been a White Sock ever since they stole him for righthander Matt Karchner in 1998. He’s been a fixture in Chicago’s rotation since 2001. His best season was 2005 when he went 18-10, 3.50 and finished sixth in the American League Cy Young balloting. While he hasn’t matched those numbers since, he’s continued to be extremely reliable. Garland has made at least 32 starts in each of the past six seasons, posted a better than league-average ERA in each of the past three years and finished in double digits in wins for six straight years. Garland went 10-13, 4.23 in 208 innings last season, and is 92-81, 4.41 in 1,439 career innings. He has one year left on his three-year, $29 million deal, but he’s a Southern California native who likely would be amenable to a longer deal to stay close to home.

Garland joins an Angels rotation that is quickly becoming one of the deepest in baseball. He joins John Lackey, Kelvin Escobar, Jared Weaver, Joe Saunders and Ervin Santana in a rotation that now has either the depth to survive injuries or the surplus to float a pitcher or two onto the trade market.

After seven seasons with the Expos (and a short stint with the Red Sox in 2004), Cabrera signed a four-year, $32 million contract with the Angels in 2005. Like Garland he has one year left on his current deal. Cabrera had a solid season in 2007, hitting .301/.345/.397 with 35 doubles and 20 steals, bringing his career totals to .273/.321/.403 with 97 homers and 165 steals in 1,411 games. The 33-year-old shortstop brings added value with fine defensive play, and he won his second Gold Glove this year.

Even after trading away Cabrera the Angels have several options at shortstop with Erick Aybar, Maicer Izturis and Brandon Wood. To pick up a middle-of-the-rotation starter like Garland is an impressive haul. The White Sox pick up Cabrera just a week and a half after signing incumbent Juan Uribe to a one-year deal. The Cabrera trade means that Uribe will either be moving to second base or will become a trade chip for a future deal.

Trade Central 2007