The Nationals claimed left-hander Robert Garcia off waivers from the Marlins this afternoon, per a team announcement. There had been no previous public indication that Garcia, who the Marlins selected to the roster in early July, had been placed on waivers, but the move opens up a spot on the club’s 40-man roster. There’s no need for a corresponding move on the part of the Nationals, as a spot 0n their 40-man was opened by yesterday’s Jeimer Candelario trade.
Garcia, 27, made his major league debut with the Marlins earlier this year, though he recorded just one out in his only appearance while surrendering a hit and a walk. While Garcia has virtually no major league experience, he’s pitched well during his time in the minors with a 2.85 ERA in 41 1/3 innings of work with a 35.4% strikeout rate at the Triple-A level. That kind of strikeout ability could certainly prove valuable to a Nationals club that currently relies on Jose Ferrer and Joe La Sora, both of whom sport ERAs north of five, as their left-handed bullpen options.
As for the Marlins, the club will now have additional 40-man roster flexibility as they head into the final hours before the trade deadline. While Garcia certainly appears to be a useful, optionable relief arm, Miami has a well-stocked bullpen that has A.J. Puk, Tanner Scott, and Steven Okert as options from the left side and recently added late-inning arms in David Robertson and Jorge Lopez to the mix.