MILWAUKEE (WITI) -- With one signature in January, the expectations for this year's Brewers team shot up. Needless to say, there's some pressure on the man responsible for that signature.
Brewers pitcher Matt Garza is now on his fifth team since 2006, and his career record is an even .500 -- 67 wins and 67 losses. Just the same, he now possesses the richest free agent contract in franchise history and is seen as the off-season acquisition most responsible for vaulting the crew into consideration as a playoff team.
"The idea was to add to strength, so when Matt Garza was available -- he's a difference maker. That was something we decided we would break the budget for," Brewers owner Mark Attanasio said.
"I'd like to think (I'm that valuable). I go out there and toe it up every fifth day and give the team what I have, and I think with not me alone -- but with the additions of, you know, Braun coming back, Aramis healthy, and the three All Stars up the middle already, you know, we have a pretty good club and let people put us where they want to put us. We think it's where we want to put ourselves," Garza said.
"He's a competitor. I played with him in Chicago and he's a competitor. He's going to be out there every five days, and also -- he's got great stuff," Aramis Ramirez said.
"His personality is all over the place. He's vocal, he's laughing. What I like about him is he really works hard, so I think that's a great combination to have," Brewers Manager Ron Roenicke said.
"He's pretty cool -- a cool dude, but sometimes you have to tell him to slow it down," Yovani Gallardo said.
Tim Van Vooren: "There's a lot of you. Matt Garza is a big personality. Are you okay with that?"
"I'm fine with that. I've never hit anything. I'm just -- I am who I am. I've been around a lot, so I haven't changed anything. I love being at a ballpark and I love being on a field -- so why not enjoy it? It doesn't last a long time," Garza said.
Based on his new deal, Garza will be in Milwaukee for a long time though. His contract runs for four years and includes a vesting option for the 2018 season.
"I've never had the ultimate prize of winning the series. You know, I've been there, but winning is a different story, and I want to -- if Milwaukee is my home, I want to bring a championship here and be able to wear a ring around and say 'we're the best,'" Garza said.
If Garza can help make that happen, the organization's commitment to him will be a sound investment, indeed.