Veteran right-hander Freddy Garcia will call it a career after today’s Caribbean Series final, MLB.com’s Jesse Sanchez reports. Garcia will start for Venezuela’s Tigres de Aragua against Mexico’s Venados de Mazatlan in the deciding game of the annual competition that pits championship teams from the top Venezuelan, Mexican, Cuban, Puerto Rican and Dominican leagues against each other in a round-robin tournament.
Garcia, who turned 39 in October, is retiring after a 21-year professional career that included 15 years in Major League Baseball. He signed an amateur contract with the Astros in 1993 as a 17-year-old but was part of a very notable trade before making it to Houston — Garcia, Carlos Guillen and John Halama were sent to the Mariners in July 1998 in the deal that brought Randy Johnson to the Astros.
The righty made his MLB debut the next season and quickly found success, finishing second in AL Rookie of the Year voting and ninth in Cy Young Award voting for a season that saw him post a 4.07 ERA over 201 1/3 innings. It was the first of seven seasons of 200+ innings that Garcia would post in his career, establishing a reputation for durability until injuries contributed to his shift into more of a swingman and long relief role later in his career.
Garcia was a two-time All-Star in Seattle, though he may best be remembered for his stint with the White Sox that included a big role in their 2005 World Series title. He threw seven shutout innings in Game Four to help Chicago complete its sweep of the Astros and clinch the franchise’s first championship since 1917. Garcia had a 3.26 ERA over 11 career postseason starts, including a quality outing for the Braves in what ended up being their elimination game in a 2013 NLDS matchup against the Dodgers. That start was Garcia’s last appearance in a Major League uniform.
Over 2264 innings, Garcia posted a career 4.15 ERA, 6.4 K/9 and 2.24 K/BB rate. He pitched for seven teams (Mariners, White Sox, Yankees, Phillies, Braves, Tigers and Orioles) at the big league level and also with the Mets and Dodgers in the minors, as well as stints in Venezuela, Mexico and Taiwan.
According to Baseball Reference, Garcia made $53.5MM over his career. We at MLB Trade Rumors tip our caps to Garcia on a fine career and we wish him all the best in his post-playing career.