The Yankees have agreed to sign Freddy Garcia to a minor league contract, reports ESPN.com's Jerry Crasnick (Twitter link). The deal will pay Garcia $1.5MM if he makes the Major League roster, and the total value of the contract could be worth $5.1MM if Garcia reaches all his start-based incentive plateaus, up to 30 starts. Garcia is represented by Peter Greenberg.
Garcia, 35, expressed his preference to pitch for the Yankees earlier this week, saying it would be "an inspiration" to pitch in the pressurized environments of both New York and the AL East. The Mets, Orioles and White Sox all showed some degree of interest in Garcia this winter, though Garcia ruled out a return to Chicago earlier today.
The veteran right-hander posted a 4.64 ERA, 1.98 K/BB ratio and a 40.7% ground ball rate in 28 starts with the White Sox last season. Garcia threw 157 Major League innings in 2010 -- he pitched in just 129 innings combined over the prior three seasons due to nagging shoulder injuries.
Garcia joins the likes of Bartolo Colon, Ivan Nova, Andrew Brackman, Sergio Mitre and even Mark Prior in the battle for the final two starting spots in the Yankee rotation. This competition could be limited to just the number five spot, of course, should Andy Pettitte announce his return.