Freddy Garcia Adds Depth And Experience To The Back Of The Rotation

As the New York Yankees continue to wait on Andy Pettitte (aka the Brett Favre of baseball) to announce whether or not he will pitch in 2011, they added another veteran pitcher to their growing list of possible back of the rotation starters.

Freddy Garcia will join reclamation project Bartolo Colon, as well as Ivan Nova, Sergio Mitre and Andrew Brackman as they all will compete in spring training for the fourth and fifth spots in the Yankees’ thin rotation.

It could be limited to just the fifth spot if Pettitte does indeed return.

But because of the above-named pitchers, I would have to say Garcia is the best of them. My reasoning is because he has an established track record as a starting pitcher and he proved last year that he can still get the job done.

Garcia, who will be 36 in June, has been around the game for a while now and has had a quietly solid career.

He burst on to the scene in 1999 with the Seattle Mariners, going 17-8 and finished second to Carlos Beltran for the AL Rookie of the Year Award.

After a down year in 2000, he put together his best year in 2001, going 18-6 with a 3.05 ERA, finishing third in the AL Cy Young Award, helping the Mariners to an AL-record 116 wins.

Garcia had two more double digit-win seasons in Seattle, then he was traded to Chicago during the 2004 season.

In 2005 he helped the White Sox to their first World Series title since 1917. After 2006, he signed with the Phillies for $10 million, but due to a shoulder injury he only earned one win in nine starts, which came to be known as “the $10 million win.”

After recovering from shoulder surgery, Garcia signed with the Detroit Tigers late in 2008, but only made three big league starts.

In 2009 he returned to the White Sox and went 3-4 in nine games, and last season he finally bounced back and was 12-6 with a 4.64 ERA in 157 innings pitched.

For his career, Garcia owns a 133-87 record with a 4.13 ERA in over 1,900 innings pitched. His postseason numbers are pretty solid as well, in nine games started he is 6-2 with a 3.11 ERA.

He isn’t going to blow anybody away with his velocity and he’s not going to strikeout a bunch of guys (he only had 89 K’s last year), but he’s going to pitch to contact and get a lot of ground ball outs and he’s not going to walk too many either.

Last year he turned in a serviceable performance, and if he can win 10 to 14 games in 2011 as a back of the rotation starter, I would be satisfied and so would the Yankees.

So I think it was definitely worth it to take a chance on Garcia, especially since the Yankees got him on a minor league deal that pays him $1.5 million if he makes the team, which could be worth $5.1 million if he reaches all of his incentives.

A low-risk, high-reward signing.

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12 Responses to Freddy Garcia Adds Depth And Experience To The Back Of The Rotation

  1. Bill says:

    why would you compare Andy Pettitte to Brett Favre? Andy has not once actually gone into retirement, nor does anyone have a hatred towards him as a player or a person for ANY of his actions. that statements really pisses me off.

    • Lucas Weick says:

      Sorry if that offends you bill, but I never said I hated Pettitte for any of his actions, I simply was using the Favre reference to illustrate how long it is taking him to decide. You are correct, he has never retired, but this still feels a lot like a Favre offseason. One week we hear he is leaning towards retirement, the next week we hear he is training and is likely to come back, sounds a lot like Favre to me.

      The fact of the matter is, he needs to hurry up and decide, he’s had all offseason, and now with pitchers and catchers reporting soon, he is still wabbling back and forth.

  2. Mike S. says:

    Prior is attempting a comeback AS A RELIEVER. I don’t how how many times I’ve told people this on various sites and posted the same on Twitter. The fact that he is attempting his comeback as a reliever was reported some 6 to 7 weeks ago and it is out of Prior’s own mouth.

    Basically, I’d be shocked if Prior gives more than 2 IP a game no matter where he is placed.

    Prior is NOT a candidate for a starting job.

  3. First, we really need to stop with the ridiculous Brett Favre comparisons. Let’s establish the difference: Brett Favre held press conferences to announce his retirement, only to back-track and return; Andy Pettitte told the Yankees that he’s leaning towards retirement, but has made no official announcements of anything and has given no indication–as Brett Favre did–that his heart was no longer in playing.

    And, as good as Garcia’s creds are, my own belief is that he and Colon are really competing with Mitre. I think no matter what happens, Nova is the 5th starter. If Andy comes back, Colon is out and it will be up to Garcia whether he wants to take a relief role. If not, he’ll take his March opt-out clause and go elsewhere. He’s still serviceable; it’s likely that another team can use him at the back-end of their rotation.

    • Mike S. says:

      Garcia didn’t sign for a relief role, nor will the Yankees use him in one. He makes the team as a starter or gets released. One or the other.

      • Mike is correct, a source told Chad Jennings that neither player is even being considered for a relief role. If they aren't starters they aren't Yankees.

        • Thanx for the correction. Since it was reported that Garcia could choose to use his opt-out if he didn't get a starting role, I thought maybe he could be used in relief, but I didn't see reports anywhere saying that if he didn't start he wouldn't be brought up.

  4. Franco Kotos says:

    at least Sidney Ponson wasn’t in play…

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