Tag: freddy garcia

Mets Sign Freddy Garcia

In an effort to bolster their starting rotation, the Mets have signed free-agent veteran pitcher Freddy Garcia to a one year, incentive-laden, minor-league contract and invited him to spring training.

Garcia had been rumored to join the Mets organization since last winter, and had been championed at this blog on several occasions. There is some concern about his shoulder “tightening” early in the winter league season, but he’s supposedly OK. Further, the Mets gave Garcia a minor-league deal, and thus aren’t on the hook for major bucks if he turns up lame.

I’ve always liked Garcia’s competitiveness. If he can regain at least 75% of his former skill set and remain healthy, he’ll be a fine addition to the back of the rotation.

A good acquisition, assuming that the Mets are still on the lookout for more starting pitching. Hopefully, this doesn’t remove them from the Ben Sheets sweepstakes.

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Mets Consider Ben Sheets, Andy Pettitte

According to David Lennon of Newsday, the Mets are considering Ben Sheets and Andy Pettitte to fill out their starting rotation.

Per Lennon:

For his part, Minaya has played it cool, suggesting that he has other options if Perez falls through. Two of the most intriguing names still available are Ben Sheets and Andy Pettitte, with the Mets only recently showing interest in the former Brewers ace. A person familiar with the situation said yesterday that Sheets is now being discussed, but it’s unclear what the parameters of such a deal would be.

In other words, Sheets and Pettite are fallback options in the event Oliver Perez can’t be signed. Why? Why not sign Sheets or Pettitte IN ADDITION TO continuing negotiations with Perez? Why do the Mets seem focused on having “just enough” when every other playoff-bound team is stockpiling starting pitchers? (The Cubs, for example, just added LHP Garrett Olson to their stable of arms.)

First off, I’m not putting any stock into the Andy Pettitte talk. Sure, I’d love to see him in a Mets uniform, but it smells to me to be a negotiation ploy on Pettitte’s part — not unlike Jorge Posada’s insincere overtures of a year ago. With talk of the Yankees dropping their $10M offer, Pettitte is desperate for leverage, and the possibility of becoming a Met is too much for the Bronx faithful to bear. Fleeing for a faraway location such as Houston or LA is not as devastating as seeing Pettitte in a Mets cap on the back page of the tabloids every fifth day — the Yankees would overpay for no reason other than to appease their fan base.

That the Mets are considering Sheets is great news, as he has big-game skills (whether he can execute in big games, unfortunately, is another story). But, Sheets is certainly not the type of pitcher that the Mets can rely on to make 30+ starts and provide 190-200 innings. He’s an ideal gamble to fill out the back end — much the way the Red Sox are counting on Brad Penny. If they sign Sheets, the Mets are still short one pitcher for the front end. There are too many existing question marks — the health of Johan Santana and John Maine, the readiness of Jon Niese or Bobby Parnell — to bring in another question mark to fill a hole.

Again, I love the idea of Sheets — so long as the Mets don’t stop there. Bring in Sheets, AND Perez, AND Freddy Garcia or Pedro Martinez too. To make the postseason, a team needs both quantity and quality comprising the starting rotation pool.

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White Sox Sign Bartolo Colon

According to Ken Rosenthal, the Chicago White Sox have signed Bartolo Colon to a one-year contract.

Nice pickup by the ChiSox, who simply needed an extra guy to vie for a back-end rotation spot. They add Colon to the competition for the #5 slot and as insurance behind Jose Contreras, who is coming off an injury.

Personally, I would have liked to have seen the Mets bring in Colon, despite his physical similarity to Shamu. Despite his weight issues — which no doubt have contributed to his health issues — when he’s on the mound, he’s a tough competitor and knows how to win. In fact I would be happy if the Mets brought in four or five guys of Colon’s caliber to compete for the last two spots in the starting rotation. The more the merrier, and to me it’s better to take chances on pitchers who have succeeded in the past (Colon, Pedro Martinez, Freddy Garcia, etc.) than guys who have never been more than mediocre (i.e., Tim Redding). But hey, what do I know?

One good thing for the Mets about this signing: it likely means that Freddy Garcia is off Chicago’s radar. The question, of course, is whether the Mets will roll the dice on Garcia, or let yet another starting pitcher with postseason experience elude their grasp.

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Freddy Garcia Injures Shoulder

Free-agent righthander Freddy Garcia, who had been pitching well in Venezuela, left his most recent start with shoulder discomfort.

No word yet on whether he is in fact injured, but the news can’t be good for his bargaining position this winter.

My best guess is that his agent will report that Garcia “felt some stiffness” and “was removed as a cautionary measure” and “his shoulder is 100%”.

Regardless, Garcia likely just lost a shot at a big-league deal, and may have to settle for a minor-league, incentive-laden contract, with an invite to someone’s spring training.

That said, I’d like to see the Mets extend him such an offer.

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