Freddy Garcia Rumors
The Orioles announced that they have traded Freddy Garcia to the Braves in exchange for cash considerations. The veteran will report to Triple-A Gwinnett, according to a press release from the Braves.
Garcia, 36, was optioned from the majors to the club's Triple-A affiliate back in late June. After giving the idea some thought, Garcia opted to stay in the Baltimore organization rather than try his luck elsewhere.
In total, the right-hander posted a 5.77 ERA with 4.4 K/9 and 2.0 BB/9 in ten starts and one relief appearances for Baltimore this year. Across 13 starts at Triple-A Norfolk, Garcia had a much stronger 2.84 ERA with 6.7 K/9 and 1.6 BB/9.
THURSDAY: Garcia has accepted his assignment to Triple-A, according to Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun (on Twitter). The Orioles have confirmed the move, announcing that Garcia has opted out of his prior deal and re-signed a new minor league contract. He is no longer on the 40-man roster.
MONDAY, 2:40pm: The Orioles announced (via Twitter) that they have optioned Garcia to Triple-A Norfolk. Ghiroli tweets that Garcia has the right to decline the option and become a free agent. For the time being, however, Garcia remains on the 40-man roster.
2:20pm: Freddy Garcia told Brittany Ghiroli of MLB.com that he will be placed on waivers by the Orioles. He has no plans to retire and could become a free agent or accept an assignment to Triple-A Norfolk (Twitter links). Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun reports (via Twitter) that Garcia has technically been designated for assignment and not strictly waived just yet. Roch Kubatko of MASNsports.com adds that Kevin Gausman has been recalled and is listed as a reliever on the team's lineup card (Twitter link).
The 36-year-old Garcia totaled 53 innings for the Orioles this season, posting a 5.77 ERA with 4.4 K/9, 2.0 BB/9 and a 40 percent ground-ball rate. The veteran hurler has become increasingly homer-prone since a solid 2011 campaign with the Yankees, as he's yielded an alarming 34 homers in his past 160 1/3 big league innings. Were his lofty homer-to-flyball ratio to stabilize around the league average, xFIP projects a 4.54 ERA for the 15-year veteran.
Earlier today the Orioles were reported as one of the teams that is in hot pursuit of Ricky Nolasco, and it was also announced that infielder Yamaico Navarro cleared waivers and was outrighted to Triple-A. Here's more on the O's...
- Top prospect Dylan Bundy will undergo Tommy John surgery after meeting with Dr. James Andrews earlier today, according to Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun (on Twitter). Bundy ranked as the No. 2 prospect in the game prior to this season, according to Baseball America and MLB.com.
- MLB.com's Brittany Ghiroli reports (via Twitter) that Bundy will now have a fourth option year as a result of the injury. As Baseball America's Matt Eddy explained back in March: "Players who have a season wiped out by injury do not receive credit for a 'professional season' so long as they spend 30 or fewer days on the active roster."
- Connolly also tweets that Freddy Garcia has yet to decide if he will accept an assignment to Triple-A Norfolk. The 36-year-old has until Thursday to make a decision. Baltimore attempted to option Garcia to Triple-A rather than designating him for assignment earlier this week.
Right-hander Freddy Garcia has informed the Orioles that he will remain with the organization through May 14, according to Eduardo A. Encina of the Baltimore Sun (on Twitter). The 36-year-old right-hander had a clause in his minor league contract that would have allowed him to opt out following his most recent start.
Garcia has been sharp through five starts for Triple-A Norfolk this season, pitching to a 2.67 ERA with 21 strikeouts against two walks through 33 2/3 innings. He has 344 Major League starts to his credit, totaling a 4.15 ERA, 6.5 K/9 and 2.8 BB/9. Garcia was a candidate to make a spot start for the Orioles last week, but that opportunity was given to Josh Stinson, who struggled mightily against the Blue Jays.
Prior to the season, Buck Showalter said the team planned to give Garcia five or six minor league starts before deciding how to use him. Presumably, if Garcia were to opt out of his deal on the new date, he'd draw interest from other teams given his experience and strong 2013 results.
Here are a few notes from around the American League:
- The Royals are a legitimate threat to snag a wild card, says ESPN.com's Jim Bowden (Insider sub. req'd), because of the team's offseason focus on pitching. GM Dayton Moore had a seven-year plan to turn around the club through a gradual rebuilding process. While the club has developed what Bowden calls "World Series-winning position players at the major league level," however, the pitching never kept pace. Faced with a limited window to keep the young talent together, Bowden credits Moore for making bold moves to bring in Jeremy Guthrie, Ervin Santana, James Shields, and Wade Davis to bolster the pitching corps.
- The Orioles may be nearing a decision point on Freddy Garcia, as the veteran pitcher will be able to opt out of his contract after his next minor league start, notes MASNSports.com's Roch Kubatko. The 36-year-old has been solid thus far over four starts in Triple-A, where he sports a 2.81 ERA over 25 2/3 innings and has fanned sixteen against just two walks. Baltimore just sent down the struggling Jake Arrieta. His rotation spot went at least temporarily to Josh Stinson, who was bombed by the Blue Jays on Wednesday.
- The backup catching market could heat up as injuries mount. One day after the Yankees lost Francisco Cervelli for a significant period of time to a fractured hand, Orioles' backup Taylor Teagarden suffered a dislocated thumb. Both figure to be replaced with internal options for the immediate future. But their substitutes -- Austin Romine for New York and Luis Exposito for Baltimore -- have, respectively, just twenty and twenty-two largely unsuccessful major league plate appearances.
It's "possible," though not likely, that the Nationals could sign shortstop Ian Desmond to a contract extension before the season begins Monday, writes Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post. Desmond is eligible for free agency after 2015, and the Nationals would likely look to acquire the rights to some of Desmond's free agency years if he were to sign with them, Kilgore suggests. Desmond hit .292/.335/.511 in a breakout year for the Nationals in 2012. He avoided arbitration by agreeing to a $3.8MM contract for 2013. Here's more from the East Coast.
- Orioles manager Buck Showalter likes the depth that new acquisition Freddy Garcia provides, Eduardo A. Encina and Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun report. "He is inventory. He can help us if we have a need," says Showalter. "He can pitch as a starter and out of the bullpen. I like it." Encina and Connolly write that Garcia will start five or six games for Triple-A Norfolk before the Orioles reevaluate how they plan to use him.
- Outfielder and rule 5 pick Ender Inciarte has won a job with the Phillies, meaning Philadelphia won't be offering him back to the Diamondbacks, Tim McManus of the Philadelphia Inquirer reports. Inciarte will be required to stick on the Phillies' 25-man roster throughout the season. Inciarte spent 2012 at Class A South Bend and Class A+ Visalia. Phillies GM Ruben Amaro Jr. says Inciarte "may be a little overmatched offensively," but can provide help on defense.
Garcia, 36, pitched 107 1/3 innings for the Yankees in 2012, posting a 5.20 ERA with 7.5 K/9 and 2.9 BB/9. Garcia is represented by the Legacy Agency.
The Twins announced yesterday that they will hand the reins in center field over to top prospect Aaron Hicks. The 2008 first-rounder ranked 72nd on Baseball America's Top 100 list and 98th on MLB.com's Top 100. Here's some more on the Twinkies as we draw closer to the end of Spring Training...
- General manager Terry Ryan told MLB.com's Rhett Bollinger that Hicks won the Opening Day job because he doesn't believe in holding players back for service time reasons: "'Can you imagine if we sent somebody out who did what the kid did?' Ryan said. 'And I had to look at [Josh] Willingham, [Justin] Morneau, [Glen] Perkins, [Joe] Mauer and those guys who are trying to win, and I'm going to stop that guy? I just don't believe in that.'"
- Other teams are interested in catcher Drew Butera, who the Twins optioned to Triple-A yesterday, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports (on Twitter). However the Twins prefer to keep Butera, who they signed to a $700K contract in order to avoid arbitration this winter. The 29-year-old is just a .183/.232/.265 career hitter but is regarded as a terrific defensive catcher.
- The Twins contacted Chris Young this offseason and had interest in him at one point according to Andy Martino of the New York Daily News, but an official tells Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post that the team no longer considers him a fit (Twitter link). Young is set to opt out of his contract with the Nationals.
- The Twins were approached by representatives for both Yuniesky Betancourt and Freddy Garcia, according to Darren Wolfson of 1500 ESPN, but the team passed on both players (Twitter links).
- Outfielder Wilkin Ramirez, who signed a minor league deal with the Twins, has all but guaranteed himself a spot on the Opening Day roster, tweets MLB.com's Rhett Bollinger. A corresponding 40-man roster move will need to be made in the coming days.
The 36-year-old Garcia pitched to a 5.20 ERA, 7.5 K/9 and 2.9 BB/9 in 107 1/3 innings for the Yankees last season. However, from 2010-11 he was able to post a 4.15 ERA over the course of 303 2/3 innings for the White Sox and Yankees -- a pair of very hitter-friendly environments.
Freddy Garcia hasn't pitched well for the Padres during Spring Training and is open to being moved to the bullpen rather than the starting rotation, the veteran righty tells Bill Center of the San Diego Union-Tribune. What Garcia won't accept, however, is a minor league assignment. “The bullpen, why not?” Garcia said. “But I’ll go home at the end of
spring training rather than go to Triple-A. I want to pitch. But I’m not
going to Triple-A.” Garcia signed a minor league deal with the Padres in January. He is scheduled to start on Saturday, an outing that Center thinks "might be an audition for another team seeking pitching."
Here are some more items about the Friars from Center's recent chat with fans...
- The Padres explored trading for Rick Porcello last winter and asked the Tigers if they had any interest in Jesus Guzman as part of the deal. San Diego reportedly turned down a recent offer of Porcello for Huston Street or Luke Gregerson, though Tigers GM Dave Dombrowski has denied offering Porcello to anyone.
- General manager Josh Byrnes said yesterday that he isn't currently involved in any talks for Porcello.
- Center doesn't see the value in acquiring Porcello since Detroit's asking price is too high for a pitcher who Center feels isn't necessarily better than the Padres' young arms.
- Padres ownership has given Byrnes the go-ahead to make moves and signed off on "a major offseason deal" that Byrnes was interested in but didn't end up coming together.
- Center believes the club's management team wouldn't be in danger of losing their jobs in the case of a 90-loss season "but this is baseball. Things change with the wind."