Monday, June 16, 2008

Free-Agent Watch: Yankees Should Roll the Dice on Garcia

The Rumor Mill: RHP Freddy GarciaWith Chien-Ming Wang out at least six weeks, there are two popular solutions to the Yankees rotation woes:

  1. Promote from within. Possible candidates to replace Wang in the rotation include Daniel McCutchen, Alan Horne, Jeffrey Marquez, Kei Igawa and Dan Giese. If Geise is the option, that could pave the way for the promotion of reliever David Robertson.
  2. Hit up the trade market. C.C. Sabathia is the most commonly discussed possibility.
An option I hear much more sparingly – like by the NY Times – is for the Yankees to pursue midseason free agent Freddy Garcia. According to Tyler Kepner, New York is among a handful of teams eyeing to the former All-Star right-hander’s progress.

I’m well-aware that Garcia is not an immediate fix. The 33-year-old has only recently started throwing off the mound. Plans are for him to audition for teams in Miami next month.

But I am saying the Freddy Garcia would make an excellent low-risk, high-reward signing. And a Garcia signing wouldn’t preclude the organization from pursuing the options above in a pinch.

I think it’s important to note that I don’t think I’m breaking any ground here. I’m sure the Yankees have and will continue to explore this option. I’m not delusional; the Yankees front office has one or two intelligent employees who are likely better talent evaluators than your humble blogger.

At his best, Garcia is an All-Star caliber pitcher. He throws a low-90s fastball and a hard slider. He also throws a two-seamer, a curve, a changeup and occasionally uses a splitter.
The Rumor Mill: RHP Freddy Garcia

Freddy Garcia - Career Highlights

Two time All-Star (2001 and 2002)

Led league in ERA (3.05, 2001)

Led league in innings pitched (238.2, 2001)

Won a world championship with the Chicago White Sox in the 2005 season.

Any team that signs Garcia would be rolling the dice. Last year, Garcia pitched in 11 games for the Phillies last season, posting a 1-5 record with a 5.90 ERA, pitching only 58 innings. Until he sees some game action, there is no telling how his arm responded to surgery.

The Red Sox took a similar approach with Bartolo Colon this season. The move has paid major dividends already. The rotund right hander has won four of his five starts and has an ERA of 3.41.

Brian Cashman is no stranger to the prospect at gambling on an injured pitcher with promise. In 2002, the Yankees inked Jon Lieber to a two year contract. Coming off Tommy John surgery, Lieber missed the entire 2003 season. The organization’s investment was rewarded in 2004 as Lieber won 14 games and became the team’s most consistent pitcher down the stretch.

Take a flyer. Roll the dice. Sign Freddy Garcia.


Anonymous said...

yes! i have been saying this for months. wang's injury seals the deal. sign him.

Anonymous said...

garica wont be ready in time.