When general manager Brian Cashman picked up Garcia last year for $1.5 million, they never envisioned that he would make the club out of spring training and perform beyond their expectations. Garcia in 2011 went 12-8, with a 3.62 ERA and 146.2 innings pitched.
Freddy started his career in Seattle as a fireballer who would give you over 200 innings a year and post at least 12 wins or more in a season. Garcia, now 35 years old, had some injuries which have turned him into the classic "junk pitcher". Freddy relies now on his veteran guile instead of the fastball of his youth.
Over 13 major league seasons Garcia has pitched for five major league clubs which include the Mariners, White Sox (twice), Phillies, Tigers and now once again the Yankees. The signing of Garcia gives New York five experienced starters for their rotation, however the Bombers will continue to explore the free agent market, a possible trade or someone from within the organization.
This gives Cashman an insurance policy when the decision comes down to the starting rotation. As of now the Yankees have CC Sabathia, AJ Burnett, Phil Hughes, Ivan Nova and Garcia. Hector Noesi, who worked out to the bullpen for the Bombers last season, will have a chance in spring training to compete for a spot. Noesi is currently pitching in the Dominican Republic as a starter and is doing quite well sporting a 3-1 record and 2.31 ERA.
The most appealing free agent for the Yankees to look at is lefty Mark Buerhle, who like Sabathia, eats up a ton of innings and is very consistent. The likes of a CJ Wilson are becoming more and more unlikely as the off season progresses. In the trade front there have been rumors bantered about regarding Gio Gonzalez of Oakland and Jair Jurrjens of Atlanta.
It will be very interesting to see how this all plays out regarding the rotation as we get closer to spring training.
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