"Mutual Interest" in Fabulous Freddy Returning to NY

According to Andrew Marchand, there is mutual interest between Freddy Garcia and the Yankees for the 35-year-old righty to return to the team for the 2012 season.

Chris Leible, one of Garcia’s agents:

I think there is mutual interest. I think Freddy had a good year and enjoyed playing there.

That’s the most generic statement I’ve ever heard, but what can you do?

Although he kind of tailed off at the end of last season, Fab Fred did put together a pretty good year all things considered. He threw 146 2/3 innings and yielded a 3.62 ERA with a 122 ERA+ — his best since the 2004 season (also 122) and the third highest of his 13-year career.

He gave up a lot of hits (1.343 WHIP) but got out of a lot of jams for a career-high LOB% of 77.1%. His 4.12 FIP and 4.36 xFIP say that he was blessed with good defense, but I think if the team can get him on a one-year deal akin to 2011′s it’s a no-brainer to bring him back as a back-of-the-rotation guy.

Plus, his line in Game 2 didn’t do his performance any justice. He really settled after that first inning. The game (and the series) may have turned out much differently if not for the Jeter error in the sixth.

If he’s willing to take another one-year, $1.5 million-plus-incentives deal is a different story.

It may be a moot point because much of the rotation is already set with (in no particular order) CC, SuperNova, Philthy and AJ already under contract. If the team goes after a free agent there may be no room for The Chief. There have been talks of CJ Wilson, Mark Buehrle (who I’m hoping they get, but it’s not looking likely), Yu Darvish and others being linked to the team.

My preference of the names out there is Buehrle, but if they can’t sign him (which I think is more than likely) I’d like to see Garcia come back. I don’t think CJ Wilson would be a good fit and Yu Darvish could turn out to be another Kei Igawa. Then again what the hell do I know?

Cashman did say that with CC signed the team can be conservative in their approach to free agents, so we’ll just have to wait and see what happens.

I’ll just say this: I won’t be disappointed if Sweaty Freddy is in pinstripes again next season. He was a pleasant surprise that really helped push the team to the postseason.

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