Jan
31

Garcia, Yanks agree to minor league deal

By

(AP Photo/Tony Dejak)

Update (10:32 p.m.): Freddy Garcia may get his wish after all. According to ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick, the right-hander has agreed to a Minor League deal with the Yankees. The 35-year-old will get an invite to Spring Training and a chance to win a job in the starting rotation, though he’ll have to compete with Bartolo Colon.

If he makes the team, Garcia will earn a $1.5M base salary plus another $3.6M in possible incentives. He’ll have to make 30 starts to max out the bonuses, something he hasn’t done since Jaret Wright made 27 starts for the Yanks. If he doesn’t make the team out of Spring Training, Garcia can opt out of his deal by March 29th.

Garcia, now three years removed from shoulder surgery, managed to throw 157 innings for the White Sox last year after three seasons of no more than 58 IP. He wasn’t all that good though, pitching to a 4.64 ERA (4.77 FIP, 4.59 xFIP) with 5.10 K/9 and 40.7% ground balls in 2010. Although he walked just 2.29 batters per nine innings unintentionally, Garcia managed to surrender one homer for just under every seven innings pitched. It’s been a long time since he was a 200 innings a year horse for the Mariners, but all the Yankees are asking him to do is be better than Sergio Mitre. That doesn’t seem hard, but you never know.

Always a sinker-slider-changeup guy, Garcia threw the pitches in almost equal parts last year, though his fastball averaged just 87.6 mph. He’ll also mix in the occasionally curveball and cutter, but they’re just show-me pitches. At this point of his career, Garcia can’t survive by trusting his stuff, he’s got to mix his pitches well and locate. His margin for error is small, and the Yankees know this.

I’ve been pretty critical of a potential Garcia signing this winter, though that’s because I expected a Major League contract. A minor league deal is no risk, but I wouldn’t exactly call it high reward.

Additional reporting and commentary by Mike Axisa.

Categories : Transactions
  • Monteroisdinero

    Garcia to Montero opening day!

    /in Scranton :-(

  • Chops

    Minor league deal…no risk high reward.

    I like it.

    • http://www.facebook.com/pages/Bring-Melvin-To-America/193013541601?ref=sgm Andy In Sunny Daytona

      High reward?

      • Danimal

        well at least low risk… :-P

      • Chops

        Relatively high when you put it in the context of this offseason…as in a decent 4th/5th starter.

      • RollingWave

        anything to keep us from Mitre all year long would be high reward

      • http://bomberbanter.com jamie

        yeah, I thin saying ‘high reward,’ is fair – his salary is tiny if he makes the club and if he pitches like last year (around 150 IP and a 4.60 ERA), he’s going to win 10 games or so.

    • anon

      This is a Yankee not Red Sox site.

      Low risk, No reward

      • Chops

        I don’t understand what that has to do with anything?

        • http://twitter.com/dpatrickg Dirty Pena

          Some people just need to complain.

        • AndrewYF

          Every move the Red Sox make, and every player they acquire, either through free agency or the draft, has a high ceiling.

          Through some kind of hocus-pocus, this means their team and farm system has historic amounts of depth, and it will not be possible for them to ever miss the playoffs.

          Don’t worry about 2006 and 2010, only historically unprecedented amounts of injuries that could never ever befall them ever again prevented them from winning 110 games.

          You think I’m exaggerating, but this is exactly what most Red Sox blogs and forums are like. It’s nauseating and hilariously awful at the same time. (Example: the common perception around avid Red Sox fans in the blogosphere is that, if you go by Kevin Goldstein’s rating system, the Red Sox have upwards of FORTY 3-star prospects. Not lying.)

          So next time you or I get annoyed with Mike or someone for being down on the Yankee system or down on some player, let’s just be thankful we’re not mindless automatons who think everything the Yankees touch is golden, and only vast amounts of impossible-to-predict misfortune could ever derail them from being the best-run organization in all of sports history, ever.

  • Matt

    2morrow is my bday. what a great present Freddy Garcia. God is cruel.

  • http://www.bronxbombersreport.com Craig

    Throw it at the wall.

  • Michael Mirabella

    Well, this certainly can’t hurt.

    • Monteroisdinero

      Unless you’re Joba’s ego.

      • The Big City of Dreams

        Joba is still on the team.

        • All Praise Be To Mo

          Yea, in the bullpen though… :-((

  • http://twitter.com/Paddock9652 Stratman9652

    If it had to be done this is deffinately the way to do it. I’d rather have lots of mediocre lottery tickets than one 2 dollar winner. Not a bad move.

  • pastadivingarod

    freddy Garcia? Bartolo Colon wtf where Pedro Martinez too? speaking of throwing it at the wall.

  • Brian

    okay I’m down with having options for the fifth spot
    but Banuelos, Mitchell, Brackman, Phelps, and Noesi need to start every five days
    how are they going to do so with Colon and Garcia chillin down there?

    • Avi

      Garcia and Colon likely choose to become free agents if they don’t make the team out of ST. Even if they don’t, being on the minor league team doesn’t obligate the Yanks to start them every 5 days.

    • IRememberCelerinoSanchez

      Plus, Banuelos will most likely be starting the season in AA, not AAA.

      • MannyGee

        I would expect all 3 B’s to start in Trenton, with Brackman to make the first bus to Scranton…

  • http://youcantpredictbaseball.wordpress.com/ bexarama

    Meh, minor league deal.

  • Danimal

    Great signing. On a minor league deal this is a great signing.

  • pastadivingarod

    why didn’t they try to make an offer for Zambrano? Joba, a few minor league b types might have got it done.

    • Pasqua

      I’m gonna guess that the whole “Zambrano is clinically insane” thing might have had something to do with it.

    • http://youcantpredictbaseball.wordpress.com/ bexarama

      Not entirely sure what this has to do with Freddy Garcia?

      • Sayid J.

        Because if they had Zambrano they probably wouldn’t feel the need to offer a bunch of guys minor league contracts.

        They probably aren’t interested in Zambrano because of his contract though.

        • MStezano

          zambrano is a headcase, an he’s owed tens of millions of dollars. not to mention his age and the fact that he was removed from the rotation for a time last season because he was struggling so mich. I’d take Garcia on a minor league deal over Z any day. at lease at this point in his career.

        • MannyGee

          you could potentially have Colon and Garcia for the combined salary that is less than 5 starts from Zambrano…

          And he’s nuttier than squiirrel shit, so there’s that…

      • pastadivingarod

        Worst Yankee offseason evah!

    • Chops

      If they didn’t sell Gorzelanny, I would have agreed. Now, the Cubs need him in their rotation.

    • Mister Delaware

      I don’t get it. Garcia on a minor league deal is bad but Zambrano minus Joba minus 8 figures per year is good? Yeah?

      • MStezano

        Thank you, sensible human being. Good to see some logic around here! Also, If Garcia could somehow repeat his 12-6 4.64 from last year, who wouldn’t take that over Mitre? Not saying it’s a sure thing he will put up those or anything. I’m pretty skeptical of what he may or may not be capable of doing. But you might as well take a chance. and why give up players to overpay for a veteran when we can just wait a year and many of our young prospects might be ready to fill in.

        Am I the only Yankees fan who doesn’t need to win every season? i’ll take the alcs for 10 years with a couple of world series sprinkled in over making the world series 1 year. Even if the kids aren’t alright (see what i did there?), i’d rather wait a year for banuelos, brackman and betances to see what they have to offer than hurt the team for a quick fix.

  • Pasqua

    I feel like the Colon and Garcia deals represent Cashman metaphorically punching himself in the face repeateadly while screaming at Andy Pettitte, “Now look at what you made me do!”

    • pastadivingarod

      more like Cashman paying a hooker to kick him in the nut sack.

  • Dave M

    Hopefully one of these guys can pitch a few innings until one of the young guys are ready.

  • pastadivingarod

    bullpen
    Mo Closer
    Sorano 8th inning set up
    Pedro Lefty specialist
    Logan second lefty
    Robertson fireman
    Joba long relief?
    Mitre Has pictures of girardi in hotel with hookers

    rotation
    CC
    Hughes
    AJ
    Nova
    ??? Garcia/ Colon/ Pettitte?

    Anyone else see huge holes in this?

    • Pasqua

      Wait, the Yanks have question marks in their rotation? Shiiiiit…

      • http://danielslifka.wordpress.com Jerome S.

        There might be five teams with a solid rotation right now. Two of them are definite playoff contenders. The importance of that spot is overblown.

        • Pasqua

          I was more poking fun at the comment than trying to make a point, though I think you’re right.

    • Ted Nelson

      “Anyone else see huge holes in this?”

      I see one hole. That hole was larger before the Garcia signing, so I’m not sure why you now point it out.

  • Reggie C.

    This smorgasbord of past-their-prime vets is laughable.

    Nova has nothing to worry about.

    • pastadivingarod

      If Nova shits the bed, and AJ can not get back to 2009 form.
      We are going to be 10 games behind Boston by the end of May.

      • http://youcantpredictbaseball.wordpress.com/ bexarama

        We’re dooooooooomed

        At the end of May, the 2007 Yankees were 14.5 games back and ended up making the playoffs, y’know

        • Brian

          what a fun baseball year that was
          we were unstoppable in the second half
          until Grady f*ckin Sizemore and those damn midges

        • Poopy Pants

          Yeah! They came back to win it all! Wait…what? The Sox did? Nevermind.

      • http://twitter.com/steveh_mandaura Steve H

        If Pedroia and Youk continue to battle injuries, if Crawford melts in the big market, if A-Gonz’ shoulder doesn’t completely recover, if Beckett continues to suck, if Buchholz regresses, if Papelbon continues his slide, if Ellsbury can’t stay healthy, if Salty can’t catch, if Scutaro slides and ever injured Lowrie can’t step in….

        If, if, if, if.

        • Tim

          If Pedroia and Youkilis come back from season ending injuries none the worse for wear, if Crawford transitions smoothly into the Big Market, if Gonzalez comes back from shoulder surgery with not decline in his offensive ability, if Beckett and Papelbon reverse their downward trends, if Buchholz continues to pitch above and beyond his peripherals, if Ellsbury can be the player he was for six weeks in 2007 rather than the one he’s been since then, if Salty can do something at the ML level that he hasn’t been able to do in 2+ years (catch)…

          If, if, if, if.

      • AndrewYF

        In 2010, Vazquez shit the bed, and AJ couldn’t get back to 2009 form.

        They did just fine.

        • Hal Steinbrenner

          how dare you…

        • Poopy Pants

          So…not winning a damn thing = ‘just fine’?

          • Ted Nelson

            So… Winning 95 games and making it to Game 6 of the ALCS = “not winning a damn thing?”

            95 games, the Wild Card, and the ALDS are all “things.”

      • LET SBGL BACK ON BRACKMAN’S DEBUT

        theres this thing called trades…
        and there’s another thing called positivity…

    • Pasqua

      I think Nova’s sleeping easy. It’s Mitre that needs to look over his shoulder.

      • http://twitter.com/steveh_mandaura Steve H

        I think if Garcia and/or Colon show anything in ST, I’d consider sending Nova back to the minors, rather that possibly lose one of the other guys. They could use the depth, and having Nova as the #6 just waiting for the call wouldn’t be a terrible thing. You know that they will need at least 7 starters this year with the injury history of their guys.

        • Pasqua

          I actually think if Pettitte comes back you’ll be absolutely right; Nova to the minors and a Colon/Garcia/Mitre competition for #5. If he doesn’t, I think they’ll give Nova the shot and make Mitre win a job. Just a hunch.

          • http://twitter.com/steveh_mandaura Steve H

            Yeah, good point. I don’t see them going with two of the Colon/Garcia/Mitre guys in the rotation, but if Andy comes back I definitely think it makes sense to keep the depth on hand, easiest way to do that is Nova to Scranton.

        • http://danielslifka.wordpress.com Jerome S.

          Nah I’m pretty sure that Nova could be better than Colon or Garcia, barring either something miraculous or catastrophic.

          • http://twitter.com/steveh_mandaura Steve H

            Garcia was better than Nova last year. Nova is far from a sure thing at this point. Even if Nova is a slight upgrade over Garcia/Colon, I’d rather send him to the minors than lose some of the depth they’d have.

        • pastadivingarod

          No room for Nova in SWB
          the inn is full. girardi said Nova would be long relief in the pen.

          • http://twitter.com/steveh_mandaura Steve H

            Ok, then put him in long relief. It’s still a better option than losing depth. Burnett is due for an injury, Hughes hasn’t exactly been Cal Ripken. If Andy comes back, he’s old and no sure thing for 30 starts. They’ll need the depth, I’d rather kick Nova out of the rotation temporarily than lose a Colon or Garcia, if they show in ST that they can get guys out.

          • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike Axisa

            There’s room for Nova in Triple-A.

            1. Brackman
            2. Noesi
            3. Phelps
            4. Mitchell
            5. ?

            Right now the ? is Igawa or Sisco or Colon or whoever. It could just as easily be Nova.

            • Brian

              Banuelos!

  • http://twitter.com/steveh_mandaura Steve H

    If the #5 spot can match Garcia’s 2010 (but about 180+ innings), I’d be happy.

    • mustang

      Yes, sir.

  • Gerald Williams

    This isn’t the worst thing ever. At the very least it will push some other guys. Freddy isn’t a terrible 5th starter option.

  • http://twitter.com/steveh_mandaura Steve H

    Freddy Garcia in 2010 was better than Vasquez. Considering how poor Vasquez and Burnett were last year and the team won plenty of games, Garcia, if healthy, is a useful piece.

    • mustang

      Agree.

  • Pinky

    So the Yankees have Mark Prior, Bartolo Colon, and now Freddy Garcia. Is Cashman aware that this isn’t 2003 anymore??

    • http://twitter.com/steveh_mandaura Steve H

      Don’t forget Andruw Jones.

      But all 4 signings make plenty of sense.

      • pastadivingarod

        We have a hell of a team for 2003
        Arod Jeter Posada Jones Colon Garcia CC Burnett Prior. Mo

        • http://twitter.com/steveh_mandaura Steve H

          Hell of a team for 2011 too.

    • Pasqua

      Yes, which is why Jones is a bench player and Colon / Garcia are not guaranteed a damn thing.

    • Poopy Pants

      Does anyone else think that Colon signed with the Yanks just so he can exact some sort of sick close-up revenge on A-Rod for that one big game?

  • mustang

    For a minor league deal it’s not bad at all.

  • pastadivingarod

    Its the Yankees why are we talking about money and good deals the point is to win it all every year.

    • http://twitter.com/steveh_mandaura Steve H

      So they should have not signed Garcia and do what instead?

      • pastadivingarod

        I would have tried to get Zambrano With Sorano signed Joba has no role with this team. I would have packaged him and a few b prospects for Zambrano and his big contract. Then I would have had MO talk to carlos about acting like a yankee.

        CC
        Hughes
        Aj
        Zambrano
        Nova / Pettitte
        would have been good enough to stay in the race.

        • http://twitter.com/steveh_mandaura Steve H

          Trading for Zambrano is not a good idea. At all. And what they have now is good enough to stay in the race. They stayed in the race last year with two horrible pitchers in the rotation.

        • http://youcantpredictbaseball.wordpress.com/ bexarama

          I’m not even sure why I’m replying to this, but.

          - the Cubs traded one of their spare starters when they sent Gorzelanny to the Nationals; they’re probably not looking to trade anyone. Then again, if they had any takers for Zambrano’s contract, they’d probably jump at that. Which brings me to…
          - why should we take on another big contract for a guy who’s a huge question mark, both in terms of performance and personality? I never really think personality matters as much as your performance on the field but a. Zambrano’s a known problem and b. he’s not that great enough to justify these many issues.
          - also, in terms of getting Mo to talk to him, Zambrano’s been with good clubhouse guys, including Derrek Lee. Didn’t help much.

          • pastadivingarod

            also I thought the Dodgers were ready to move Billingingsly.
            another solid 3-4 guy.

            • http://twitter.com/steveh_mandaura Steve H

              Who would you have given up to get Billingsley?

              • Mister Delaware

                And where is Billingsley a 3-4? San Fran, Philadelphia, maybe a couple others?

                • Mister Delaware

                  (Unless Billingingsly is a different guy with lesser stuff.)

            • http://youcantpredictbaseball.wordpress.com/ bexarama

              They’re not moving Billingsley, and he’s better than a 3-4.

          • nyyankfan7

            Don’t forget that Zambrano is a major headcase and last time I checked headcases and the AL East is about as good of a marriage as Ike and Tina Turner. Zambrano has also thrown less than 170 innings with 11 wins or less the last 2 years. Give me Freddy Garcia with 1/5th the salary. When Pettitte returns our rotation will be just fine. Our bullpen should be very good. We have three 8th inning guys in Joba, D-Rob and Raf, 2 good lefties and who cares about the long relief because if they’re pitching the game is usually over anyway.

            • Plank

              They’re all major headcases. Anyone who makes millions of dollars and is idolized my the masses is a complete lunatic. If you are a normal rational human and get heaps of praise and get anything you want for the majority of you life, you become insane. Zambrano is crazy, so was Gary Sheffield, so is Jeter.

              Mel Gibson, Tom Cruise, and Will Smith were probably all normal guys growing up, but they are completely insane at this point. You can’t make millions of dollars and get whatever you want whenever you want for decades and still maintain you sanity.

              I don’t understand why you would make a special exception for Zambrano, he’s just as crazy as the rest of them.

              • Esteban

                How did Will Smith get dragged into this?

              • nyyankfan7

                How could I make a special exception for a guy who has fought with his own teammates in the dugout on more than one occasion? Or the same guy who yells at himself and the home plate umpire on every pitch? My question is how could I not make a special exception.

                My question to you is how did Derek Jeter get lumped with Sheffield and Zambrano and how did Will Smith get lumped in with Tome Cruise and Mel Gibson?

                They’re not all headcases, look back to article about the writer who sat with Tex at the dinner the other night and was amazed how level headed he was. Just because you make a lot of money doesn’t mean you’re a headcase. I’ve met a few of these guys and some are pretty normal and fun to be around.

                • Plank

                  Maybe Jeter shouldn’t get put in the same category as rude people like Zambrano or Sheffield. He should be in the pantheon of sports all-time good guys like Kirby Puckett, OJ Simpson, Michael Jordan, and Pete Rose.

                  A person paying to sit with Mark Teixiera for 30 minutes has absolutely no idea what he is like. He may be a good guy, but the ability to schmooze is not related to being a good/bad person. With the beat writers, that is all they have to go on.

                  Obviously I was using hyperbole above, but saying one player is nuts and another is sane is just as crazy as saying they are all crazy.

  • http://danielslifka.wordpress.com Jerome S.

    Hey, as my uncle says, “it can’t hoyt!”

    Seriously though, if I got a thousand monkeys on a thousand typewriters for a thousand years…

    • Lonnie

      “It was the best of times, it was the blurst of times!”

  • mustang

    Bartolo Colon, Ivan Nova, Andrew Brackman, Sergio Mitre and Freddy Garcia for two spots or one if Andy comes back its not terrible, but of course we are spoiled Yankees fans.

    • Binger

      bingo.

    • mustang

      All they are asking from these guys is to carry the load to the trading deadline then they can look for better if needed.

    • mbonzo

      Honestly there is a good chance one of these guys has a good season and another has a meh season. Yankees just need some luck.

    • Reggie C.

      I can second this If Andy comes back ….

      Otherwise, to think a rotation featuring 2 of those guys + a the 80 million headcase, AJ, could fight for a playoff spot is delusional.

  • Michael Mirabella

    Well, looks like Scranton’s starting to have a better roster than the Pirates.

    • Danimal

      I <3 this comment

  • http://twitter.com/steveh_mandaura Steve H

    At this point of his career, Garcia can’t survive by trusting his stuff, he’s got to mix his pitches well and locate.

    Sounds like El Duque.

    • nyyankfan7

      They should sign El Duque……..

  • Reggie C.

    I can easily imagine each of Colon, Garcia, and Prior taking their respective acts to the road at the end of ST. Really, maybe one of these sticks around after ST, but i’d be mildly surprised if Mitre just didnt show enough to stick around.

    No risk, No reward SP signings is the sad, sad fact of this Yankees offseason.

    • Ted Nelson

      There’s little or no demand for these guys around MLB, which is why they are on minor league deals. Where are they going to go?

      -Prior has pitched one inning of AAA ball since 2006, his best move may be to stay in AAA and prove his arm is still attached to his body.

      -If Colon is coming back for money, maybe he goes to Japan or another pro league where he’ll get paid… If he’s coming back to play MLB, he might stay in Scranton to see if his shot comes or he might just pack it up and go home.

      -Garcia is the most desirable right now, so maybe he’d find a home in MLB.

      “No risk, No reward SP signings is the sad, sad fact of this Yankees offseason.”

      The happy, happy fact of the offseason was that they had one real hole to fill this offseason. All they needed was one lousy starter. They did everything they could to get the best one available, but missed. After that they’ve decided not to make any desperate high risk, no reward moves to get a starter and be patient instead.

      The Red Sox, in contrast, missed the playoffs by 6 games and lost 2 of their top 3 position players from 2010 through free agency. The Rays lost one of their 2 best players and most of their bullpen. These were teams that needed to make moves. The Yankees didn’t really need anything besides a starter. They can get that in Andy or mid-season. Meanwhile, they’ve still added a starting C, a strong 4th OF, a 2nd closer, and a few low risk options for the 5th spot in the rotation.

      • David

        Great post. Exactly right in that they really didn’t need to do much. What they would do is trade, but only for a starter who would significantly improve the team. It would be somebody like Billingsley, in exchange for top quality pieces that are excess to us.

  • bonestock94

    If nothing else the last two slots of the rotation will have variety.

  • Tom

    The signing of Colon, Garcia, and Prior are ALL NO RISK and HIGH Rewards. if any of the three can right the ship and give the yankees 150 innings and have a 4.00 to 4.25 era its like winning the lotto. Only ONE of them will be on the team.

    I really believe Andy P will be back or the Yanks would have made a bigger move. They know something they aren’t sharing just yet about Andy.

    • 28 this year

      its like penny, smoltz, and whoever the third guy was all over again. I am rooting for these guys to succeed though and I definitely am not making crazy predictions where everyone turns out to be an ace.

    • http://youcantpredictbaseball.wordpress.com/ bexarama

      I think calling them “high reward” is too much but yeah.

    • bonestock94

      I would say no risk, mediocre returns. Can’t have enough depth though.

    • IRememberCelerinoSanchez

      Prior is a reliever now. Considering he hasn’t thrown more than 150 innings since 2005, it’s unrealistic to think he could do it in 2011.

      • Ted Nelson

        Or more than 1 inning since 2006… lol

  • http://theyankeeu.com Matt Imbrogno

    Low risk, medium reward. Cool.

  • Jonathan

    I must be a masochist…I just waded into the MLBTR 50 IQ and under comments section on the Garcia deal. Never again…It’s all Yankees haters and Red Sox fans gloating like Garcia just signed a massive deal. I can’t imagine having such an inferiority complex that you have to try and rip on your rivals for a minor league signing. I’m trying to picture a world where people ripped on the royals for minor league signings…oh that’s right, nobody notices when the royals do anything besides trade Greinke.

    • bonestock94

      It’s probably kids dude. Not worth your effort.

      • Jonathan

        I basically compared Dice-K to Garcia and pointed out the fact that almost no one has a good 5th starter and if they do, they most likely wouldn’t be in the AL East. Absolute last time I go there.

        • mbonzo

          I’d rather have Garcia, they’re most likely gonna put up the same numbers and Garcia is on a minor league and much less expensive contract.

          • MannyGee

            umm yeah… again, you can potentially get the smae production from Garcia as Dice-K, but at 1/3 the price.

    • mbonzo

      I saw a Red Sox fan say after the Crawford deal that the Yankees need to sign Cliff Lee and trade Jesus Montero for Derek Lowe just to compete with the Yankees.

      • mbonzo

        compete with the Red Sox*

      • Jonathan

        The Red Sox pitching is just…not as good as everyone thinks. The names are, the performance isn’t. Papelbon is really going downhill and they don’t have any good lefties in the pen. Lester is a stud and Buchholz is good but won’t do what he did last year. Dice-K had one good year out of 4 because of insane BABIP and strand rate numbers and can’t stay healthy. And Beckett has been extremely inconsistent with health and performance and Lackey looked awful last year. I love how AJ and Beckett had almost the same fWAR last year but Beckett is an ace and AJ is an albatross.

        • mbonzo

          To be fair, Beckett has the ability to be an ace, AJ doesn’t. Beckett is inconsistent year to year while AJ is inconsistent start to start. I’d rather have Beckett.

          You’re right about Buchholz, I really doubt he could repeat what he did last year. Dice-K just sucks, and he’s the worst 5th starter in baseball simply because of his contract. Papelbon is really tanking, but they also have Bard who I think is very underrated. Their pitching is better than the Yankees, but they are far from a runaway favorite.

          • Jonathan

            I’m not saying I wouldn’t rather have Beckett. I’m just saying he’s closer to AJ than to what the MSM thinks of him. Their careers are strikingly similar.

            • Big Apple

              its actually shocking how close Beckett and Burnett’s career stats are…its like they are separated at birth.

              but, perception would make you think Beckett is so much better. that’s what a few great post season games will get you.

        • hogsmog

          Jesus I didn’t realize Beckett posted a 1.5(!) whip last season…

        • MannyGee

          Their pitching is overpaid and only adequate. Beckett has been meh at best ovr the past few seasons, Lackey is an overpaid innings eater, and Dice-K is the definition of wasted expectations.

          Bucholtz is good, and Lester scares the hell out of me, but outside of that… GIANT meh

    • mbonzo

      Wow, just checked out the comment sections. I really enjoyed the part where they argued about how many teams were in MLB. Can anyone answer this, 30,31, or 32 MLB teams?

  • bobmac

    Can’t believe they signed Garcia over Duchscherer.

    • http://www.secondavenuesagas.com Benjamin Kabak

      Can’t believe the Orioles gave Duchscherer guaranteed dollars.

      • The Big City of Dreams

        Can’t believe there is another snow storm coming toward the northeast

        • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike Axisa

          I can’t believe it’s not butter.

          • http://www.twitter.com/jordansmed JGS

            Spray!

    • http://youcantpredictbaseball.wordpress.com/ bexarama

      a. this thread’s funny.
      b. Between Garcia and Duchscherer, yeah I prefer Duch. But Duch probably got/wanted a major league deal and Garcia didn’t.

      • bonestock94

        It seems like those “projects” never work anyways. Probably better off playing against him.

        • mbonzo

          Duchscherer seemed like an easy and high upside project compared to what was out there. Obviously the Yankees saw something they didn’t like, it was probably the price. I can’t believe he got what he did.

      • http://www.secondavenuesagas.com Benjamin Kabak

        True story: The next time Justin Duchscherer throws 150 big league innings will be the first time.

        • mbonzo

          He did it in the minors. I know that major league innings are more stressful than minor league innings, but the fact that he was reliable before the Athletics screwed with moving him to the bullpen adds more to the myth.

          1999 – 153.1
          2000 – 142.2
          2001 – 167.2 + 14.2 major
          2002 – 63.0
          2003 – 155 + 16.1 major league

          BTW
          2002 was a lower back injury.
          2007-2008 was right hip injury and surgery/bicep strain
          2009 was mostly depression from recovery
          2010 was left hip injury and surgery

          Now that he’s basically got the lower body of the six million dollar man, he’s a lower injury risk then the majority of shoulder surgery gambles left. I’m not trying to sell you Duchscherer, but your jab that he’s never thrown 150 big league innings is oversimplified.

          • MStezano

            It’s one thing to pitch 150+ innings when you’re in your 20s in the minors, and when you’re 33 with 2 repaired hips and a bad case of the blues. Not that Garcia is any less risky, but at least he pitched 150+ innings in 2010, not in 2003. And there’s no guaranteed money. Orioles have nothing to lose, i suppose, but his deal is pretty risky.

  • Big Bertha

    LOL! When Cashman missed out on Lee for the 2nd time everyone was saying don’t worry Cash has got a brilliant plan B up his sleeve! Was this brilliant plan signing Bartolo Colon and Freddy Garcia to be out 4th and 5 starters with AJ Burnett as our 3rd best starting pitcher? LOL!

    Cashman likened Andy Pettitte’s decision to Brett Favre’s in 07. At least the Green Bay Packers had a solid backup plan and a competent GM. Now look at them, on the brink of the superbowl with one of the younger teams in the league and tons of cap space. Cashman can’t even field a decent rotation with unlimited cap space! The Steinbrenner brothers need to do what they should have done long ago, fire Brian Cashman.

    • bonestock94

      Nothing to see here folks

    • Sean C

      You have no idea how badly I don’t want to respond to this.

      • http://www.secondavenuesagas.com Benjamin Kabak

        Just say “oaktag” and be done with it!

        • jsbrendog (returns)

          awesome.

    • hogsmog

      Did someone forget to watch their Richard Simmons dvds?

  • MikeD

    Garcia was a better pitcher in ’10 than our fifth starter was in ’10. fWAR has him 1.5 wins better, so let’s not go crazy on the hating.

    Welcome to camp, Freddy. Sadly, until Andy decides to return, looks like we actually need you. Even if he does, we still might need you.

  • BavarianYankee

    again, nothing wrong with a minor league deal. See what’s left in his tank and if nothing’s there you got at least one more pitcher to burn in ST ;)

  • kosmo

    I like this signing .Garcia pitched good baseball in 18 of his 28 starts.6 innings plus with 3 runs or less.You can pitch in the bigs with an 88 mph fastball and still be successful.Maybe he´s in the process of reinventing himself.
    Good move on the Yankees part.
    Now if Pettitte stopped playing hard to get….

  • Another Bronx Dynasty

    The mess we are in now with finding a SP or two could have been resolved last summer. The Yankees were the #1 favorites to land in a trade w Seattle for Cliff Lee & have him added to our rotation. We were giving up Montero, but than haggled over Adams & another prospect for Lee. Everyone assumed that it was a 1/2 season rental by Texas, which took them to the WS. We would have probably won the WS & than signed him to a long term contract.

    One thing I have to say about Theo & the Red Sucks is they werent afraid to trade their #1 prospect Kelley (& another prospect) for A-Gon. They envisioned Kelley as front of the rotation ace stuff. Lets all hope all the hype we have been hearing about our minor league pitchers they can step up into a Hughes & not a Joba or Wang.

    • http://www.secondavenuesagas.com Benjamin Kabak

      No matter how many times officials from both teams say that once the Rangers offered up Smoak, the Yanks had no chance, people will still bury their heads in the sand and whine about Lee. Enough.

    • Ted Nelson

      “We would have probably won the WS & than signed him to a long term contract.”

      100% speculation. He had the chance to sign with both the Yankees and the reigning AL Champs… but he didn’t choose either.

      “One thing I have to say about Theo & the Red Sucks is they werent afraid to trade their #1 prospect Kelley (& another prospect) for A-Gon”

      For starters, Casey Kelly is generally considered around the #25 prospect in baseball at best, whereas Montero is a top 5 prospect by most accounts. You’re not comparing apples to apples.

      Is it always good to trade your top prospect for a short-term gain? If the Yankees traded for Lee and he walked this offseason you’d probably be here complaining about the trade. If Montero is a middle-of-the-order bat for the next decade and a half while Lee only has 3 or 4 more good years left, this is going to be a great non-trade long-term.

      “Lets all hope all the hype we have been hearing about our minor league pitchers they can step up into a Hughes & not a Joba or Wang.”

      Hughes has had one successful year as a starter, so I’m not sure why you’re so sure he’s better than Wang… Wang had 2 200 inning 19 win seasons. Hughes could tear up his shoulder tomorrow and be Wang part 2.

      You’re going to get varying returns. They don’t all have to become Hughes, Joba, or Wang in unison. Take, for example, Hughes, Joba, and Kennedy. Of those 3 high profile prospects the Yankees got a starter, a reliever, and a trade piece. At the same time other prospects simultaneously came into the bullpen, were traded, or burned out/got buried in the minors.

  • Ted Nelson

    I wouldn’t have been upset about a major league deal for the Garcia/Duchscherer/Millwood/Bonderman of the Yankees choosing, so getting one on a minor league deal is a solid move to me.

  • BPDELIA

    This revisionist history o Lee is starting to piss me off. First of all, we made an offer that was too much. I think trading MOntero for Lee who if he wanted to pitch here could have signed with us would have been a terrible move. When I heard about it last year I was pissed.

    Second if Lee then WALKED???!!!! Holy crap that would have been a freakin disaster.

    Third Freddy Garcia is fine. Yes Duch has a better upside. But he got a 5 milllion dollar guaranteed contract.

    If Pettite comes back this team IS BETTER THAN LAST YEARS TEAM.

    Let me repeat that THIS TEAM IS BETTER THAN LAST YEARS TEAM.

    We upgraded at catcher. WE upgraded at DH. We upgraded the bullpen BIG TIME by adding an elite ELITE reliever (regardless of how bad the contract is) and a top notch consistent workhorse LOOGY.

    We greatly GREATLY upgraded the 4th OF spot.

    Odds are good Arod and TEx have better years.

    Good chance Grandy has a better year.
    50% chance Jeter has a better year.

    We have MOntero still knocking on the door and have 3 legit top rotation prospects and about 5 legit potential 3-5 rotation slot pitchers down there.

    We have, in my opinion, upgraded the 5th starter spot from last year.

    They won 95 freakin games last year with an injured Andy, AJS worst year, and down years from THE TWO BEST HITTERS ON THE FREAKIN TEAM.

    Enough man. THis offseason has actually been pretty damn good in my opinion.

    • Big Apple

      agree….i am so happy that the yanks have not traded any of their top talent in the minors…looking forward to seeing how these guys work out. they can also be used in future trades.

      Lee not signing is a blessing that we will all come to realize in the coming years.

      If they signed him during the season, its pretty clear that he would’ve left after the year and the yanks would’ve moved one of the best prospects they’ve had in years.

      If they do sign Lee this off season there is a high liklihood that the second half of that contract is just horrid…yanks have enough of those.

  • BPDELIA

    Although if ANdy doesn’t come back I would be amenable to a ML deal for MIllwood.

    Out of the Garcia/ Colon tandem (let’s be honest here. . . it’ll be Garcia)
    al you are looking for is a guy to give us at least 95 innings of league average to a bit below pitching before he breaks down.

    If we get to teh All star break and Garcia has a 4.75 era he has earned all his money. At that point you will have a better grasp on what you have in Bettances and Banuelos, as well as have Brackman ready to hit the ML, plus we’ll see which of the Phelps, Noesi etc etc group is the most ready. And then there is the trade market.

    You’d think the yankees won 85 games last year with everyone having career seasons with the reactions going on.

  • Big Apple

    i’m fine with any of these deals…garcia, colon, prior, et al…

    the headline I don’t want to see is..

    “Yanks trade Montero for X pitcher”…unless its a top hurler..

    and the one headline I want to see is…

    “Pettite returns for one more year!”

  • toad

    You cannot evaluate these contracts on a one-by-one basis. You have to look at the whole strategy, and on that basis it makes sense.

    All you are looking for, really, is one guy who can perform. Sign a bunch of guys who are individually unlikely to do so, and there’s still a good chance you find one in the group who can. That’s the idea. But if you are unwilling to ever sign any of them because, taken in isolation, he’s a lousy bet, then you don’t have that chance.

    We are too invested in evaluating individual players in isolation. You have to look at the entire plan.

  • Hughesus Christo

    He wanted to be here… so he has that going for him

  • bakekrukow412

    How this one work out for ya? Ha!

    • http://www.secondavenuesagas.com Benjamin Kabak

      It worked out great. Garcia threw some quality innings for little money and get the Yanks through a year with a shaky rotation. Thanks for asking!