The Athletics announced Monday that they’ve claimed right-hander Michael Feliz off waivers from the Red Sox and cleared roster space by designating catcher Aramis Garcia for assignment. Boston had designated Feliz for assignment on Friday.
Feliz, 28, has split the season between the Pirates, Red Sox and Reds. He’s pitched fairly well for the former two, but his ERA on the year is an untenable 7.32 thanks to the 12 runs he allowed in 6 2/3 frames with Cincinnati. With the Red Sox, he held opponents to a pair of runs on four hits and a walk with five strikeouts through 5 1/3 innings. He’s also spent more than two months of the 2021 campaign on the injured list due to elbow troubles.
Feliz posted an impressive 30.5 percent strikeout rate and a 3.99 ERA in 56 1/3 innings with Pittsburgh back in 2019, but command problems and arm injuries have hindered him throughout his big league career. He’s missed time with shoulder and forearm injuries prior to this year’s elbow troubles. In 246 1/3 MLB innings between Houston, Pittsburgh, Cincinnati and Boston the hard-throwing Feliz owns a 5.33 ERA with a 30 percent strikeout rate and a 9.8 percent walk rate. He’s also accrued more than five years of Major League service tie, meaning he can’t be optioned to the minors without his consent.
Garcia, 28, came to the A’s alongside Elvis Andrus in the offseason trade that sent Khris Davis and catcher Jonah Heim to Texas. It was financially motivated swap for both parties, but the Rangers look to have gotten the better of the two backstops involved in the swap. Garcia has struggled to a .205/.239/.318 batting line this season — his first back from surgery to repair a torn labrum in his hip back in Feb. 2020.
Garcia has been a bit more productive in Triple-A, although his .268/.323/.393 showing there clocks in at about 23 percent below league-average production in that offensively charged setting, by measure of wRC+. Garcia will be out of minor league options in 2022, but teams around the league are in constant need of catching depth, so it’s possible another club will take a chance on him once he hits waivers in the wake of this DFA. He’s a career .268/.333/.448 hitter in parts of three Triple-A seasons and did post a .286/.308/.492 batting line in 65 plate appearances as a rookie with the Giants in 2018.