As reported by everyone, the Blue Jays have inked Jaime Garcia to a one-year deal worth $8 million. There’s also an option for next year with a $2 million buyout. So $10 million guaranteed. There’s your fifth starter.
#BlueJays announce that they have signed LHP Jaime Garcia to a one-year deal worth $8 million.— Gregor Chisholm (@gregorMLB) February 15, 2018
Jaime Garcia also receives $2 million in potential incentives that caps off with 180 innings pithced, paying him $500k for every 10 innings beginning with 150 innings. #Jays— Bob Nightengale (@BNightengale) February 15, 2018
Jaime Garcia actually gets $10M guaranteed on Jays deal. $8M base in 2018, $10M option or $2M buyout for 2019. $2M in incentives each year. Maxes at $22M over 2 years.— Chris Cotillo (@ChrisCotillo) February 15, 2018
Garcia is most known for his days as a St. Louis Cardinal. The lefty played parts of eight seasons in St. Louis putting together a 3.57 ERA over 896 innings. The Cards dealt him to Atlanta last winter, then he was dealt to Minnesota, made one start, and was dealt to the Yankees.
His 2017 was pretty meh. Garcia posted a 4.41 ERA overall between the three teams over 157 innings. He struck out 7.4 batters per nine, walked 3.7, and had a WHIP of 1.408. Garcia dealt with shoulder injuries that derailed his 2013 and 2014 season. In 2015, though, Garcia was very good, posting a 2.43 ERA is a season shortened by injury. He got hurt that season running the bases against the Marlins and hasn’t really been the same ever since.
This is a nice, low-risk addition for the Jays to make. The Orioles gave Andrew Cashner, a similar back-of-the-rotation arm, two years, and the Jays only have to pony up one to Garcia, which is a major plus. He’s a pitch-to-contact, ground ball style arm which works well with Toronto’s infield defence. That seems to be a big trend with the front office this off-season, adding pitchers who rely on their defence to be successful.
It’ll be interesting to see what the team decides to do with Joe Biagini. He could slide back into the bullpen where he was excellent in his rookie season in 2016 or he could start the year in Buffalo as a starter and give the team more starting depth. I personally figure he’s better as a reliever, but there’s obviously value in working him out in Buffalo’s rotation.
Regardless, the Jays now have five Major League starting pitchers. This is a good thing.