Yankees trade for Jaime Garcia was a huge waste
The Yankees 2017 season was a smashing success. However, the one negative that I can’t seem to shake was the trade for veteran lefty starter Jaime Garcia.
I know, I should be over Jaime Garcia’s miserable three months spent as a member of the Yankees. Especially now that Garcia has signed a one-year, $10 million deal with the AL East rival Blue Jays.
Garcia’s contract contains a club option for 2019 with a $2 million buyout. Not terrible for a player that was, for the most part, deemed useless by then-manager Joe Girardi.
Regardless, if you’re of the mindset that the Jays aren’t much of a threat, they still play the Yanks tough, typically in the grand hotel known as Rogers Centre.
At the time, general manager Brian Cashman was looking to back himself up, just in case, the Sonny Gray trade didn’t come to fruition. Obviously, it did, which forced the Yankees to keep Jordan Montgomery in Triple-A once Garcia came over from the Twins.
I tried my best to talk up Garcia — that the move was worthwhile.
That his 5-7 record and 4.29 ERA in 18 starts was better than it looked on paper because, aside from his one outing in Minnesota, Garcia pitched for an offensively inept Braves team.
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Even though I cringed at the notion of having to give up TWO solid minor league pitchers in Dietrich Enns and Zack Littell, I listened to “baseball people” who said both young shooters would likely be kept off the Yanks’ 40-man roster, thereby being exposed in the Rule 5 Draft.
Then it came time for the 31-year-old 2011 World Series winner to take the mound for Bombers.
And boy oh boy was Garcia dreadful. In eight starts, he went 0-3 with a 4.82 ERA and 1.634 WHIP — allowed 9.9 H/9 and a 37:20 K:BB ratio.
Sure, he somehow managed to pitch 2.2 scoreless innings against the Indians in the ALDS, but that was the last we’d see of Garcia in pinstripes.
What bothers me most is the cost to acquire a pitcher everyone knew was a short-term rental.
As it turns out, Zack Littell, who I gushed about during the 2017 minor league season continued his stellar run at Double-A Chatanooga.
Over 41.2 innings pitched, the 22-year-old Littell went 5-0 with a 2.81 ERA and 1.224 WHIP. He’d end the season as the Twins’ No. 16 top-rated prospect, in an otherwise deep farm system.
As for Enns, 26, he quickly reached the major league level for the Twinkies but was shellacked for a 6.75 ERA in just four innings. Enns did, however, regain some semblance of composure back at Triple-A Rochester, compiling a 2.31 ERA in 11 innings out of the ‘pen.
One day I’ll get over the loss of Littell — maybe.
Next: Yanks should consider Tim Lincecum
The Blue Jays continue to acquire former Yanks left and right. First, there was the trade for Yangervis Solarte from the Padres. Then the free agent signing of Curtis Granderson. And now the acquisition of Garcia.
The one positive to take out all this is that the Yankees now get to tee-off against Garcia, which is way better than having him pitch for the cause.