Yankees: A look on the bright side of the Jaime Garcia trade
A quick search of the Twitter-sphere will detail the outrage many Yankees fans feel after general manager Brian Cashman swung a deal with the Twins for veteran left-handed starter Jaime Garcia.
The consensus among Yankees fans is that the Jaime Garcia trade isn’t what their beloved team in the Bronx needed. It’s my belief that had this trade been struck immediately following a deal with the A’s for Sonny Gray, the level of raging animosity wouldn’t be nearly as high.
According to the Associated Press, in no way, shape or form does acquiring the 31-year-old nine-year veteran southpaw halt the Yanks’ pursuit of Gray.
In a perfect world, Gray would slot in directly behind Masahiro Tanaka — whereas Garcia would become the No. 5 man — most likely sending rookie shooter Jordan Montgomery to the bullpen to act as a long reliever.
Adding fuel to the fire about this possibility was Montgomery’s poor performance on Sunday afternoon against the Rays when he failed to get out of the third inning.
After allowing six hits, four earned runs, two walks and five strikeouts in just 70 pitches, Monty was lifted for Luis Cessa. To open a roster spot for Garcia, Cessa was optioned to Triple-A Scranton following the contest.
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Montgomery, who fell to 7-5 with a 4.15 ERA on the season, has begun to hit the dreaded rookie wall — losing for the fifth time in his past six decisions. In the midst of a legitimate playoff push, the Yankees need more consistent outings from their starters, especially ones who have pitched on the biggest of stages as Garcia did in the 2011 World Series.
On the way to an eventual championship against the Rangers, Garcia pitched seven shutout innings in Game 2, while allowing two runs over three innings in Game 6.
According to FanRag, Yankees manager Joe Girardi is happy to have a pitcher with playoff experience.
"“We’re looking at the experience factor and that he’s had some years of success at the big league level,” Joe Girardi said Sunday morning of Garcia. “Also, it provides depth because we still have a long ways to go and you can never predict what’s going to happen, but it’s someone that’s pitched in some big games before and that’s why we decided to make the move.”“It’s a guy that’s pitched in some high-leverage situations,” he said. “He’s pitched in St. Louis where there’s been big expectations, so we’re excited that we got him.”"
The angriest of critics will point to Garcia’s cumulative numbers this season as to why he wasn’t worth giving up pitching prospects Zack Littell and Dietrich Enns. I’ll admit, I’m high on both and don’t love the idea of giving away good young arms for a rental piece, but if you’ve had the opportunity to watch Garcia in 2017, then you know he’s pitched much better than his 5-7 record and 4.29 ERA represent.
Garcia has actually worked six or more innings in 15 of his 19 starts this year, is 3-0 with a 3.05 ERA in his last three starts and has a 56.3 percent career ground ball rate, which is especially important when pitching at Yankee Stadium. In addition, the Twins will pay the remaining $4.2 million on Garcia’s contract.
Next: The return of another former relief pitcher?
So have faith Yankee Nation, let’s at least see what the guy looks like on Thursday night when he takes on Danny Salazar and the Indians in Cleveland.