The Padres signed Freddy Garcia on Monday to a one year minor league deal with a chance to make the team out of spring training. This is far and away the most significant signing the Padres have made this off season. And it’s Freddy Garcia. *vomits*
Here are a couple things about Freddy Garcia that are worth knowing in no particular order:
He used to be good! No seriously, he did. Remember that 2001 Mariners team that won a million games? He was the ace. He had an 18-6 record, an ERA in the mid-2′s, and his fWAR was 5.5, which is pretty outstanding for a pitcher.
He’s pitched for six different teams (the White Sox twice, the Mets minor league team) in his 13 years in the Major Leagues. The Padres will be his seventh.
His fWAR last year with the Yankees was 0.7. Not even worth a full win over a replacement player at the Major League level. So he’s pretty shitty. But, as comparison, Clayton Richard’s combined fWAR over the last two years is 0.7. The Padres are shitty. So to clarify, Garcia is no longer a good pitcher, but is still having good enough seasons to be the second best pitcher on the Padres. Yep. That’s where the Friars are at right now.
Here are some of the insufferable baseball terms that are going to be recklessly thrown around by announcers while Garcia pitches this year. “Grinder”, “Bulldog”, “Innings eater”, “Veteran presence”, “Proven winner”. These are all terms that make me want to take swings on my own face with a fungo bat. Can we call a spade a spade? Sweaty Freddy is a fringe major league player — it’s why the Padres gave him a “minor league” contract. But don’t be misled by the terminology, there’s still almost $3 million in real money available to Garcia ($1.3 on the contract, $1.2 worth of incentives).
The Padres off season, to this point, could be explained in about two sentences. Tack on a third. For a team that was suddenly zipping their pockets and not interested in adding any pitching until Spring Training, Garcia is an interesting add. I suppose I should be happy they’re not sticking to the “well lets just wait until Spring Training when other teams figure out what they don’t want and then we’ll sign those guys because we’re tight wad dumpster divers”. At the same time, I see the career arc of Garcia and it is certainly trending down — way down.
He knows the fences got moved in right?