The New York Mets taking a page out of the Boston Red Sox book of signing “low-risk, high-reward” free agents, today signed pitcher Freddy Garcia to a minor league contract.
I like this signing by the Mets for a couple of reasons:
1. You can never have too much pitching. In this day and age most teams are forced to use 6 or 7 starters because of injuries. The more depth a team has headed into the season, usually the more successful they are. Garcia gives the Mets a little more depth than they had before.
2. As John Heyman pointed out in his blog today, the reason Garcia signed with the Mets is because he believed he had a better opportunity to pitch in the majors with them. With the Mets pitching as of today constructed the way it is, Garcia might find himself in the starting rotation by the end of Spring Training. Here is the Mets rotation as of today:
Now the Mets will probably sign either Oliver Perez or Ben Sheets. Even so, if Garcia proves to be healthy and proves he can still pitch like he did for the Tigers last year then there is a good chance he will can better than anything the Mets have now at the back end of their rotation.
3. Freddy Garcia showed at the end of last season he can still pitch. In 3 September starts with the Tigers, Garcia was 1-1 with a 4.20 era and in 15 innings gave up 11 hits, struck out 12 and had a whip of 1.133. Anytime you can give up less than a hit per inning and strike out almost a batter per inning, you can still pitch in the majors.
It will be interesting to see how the Mets round out their rotation but for now adding a “low-risk, high-reward” free agent like Garcia gives the Mets depth they didn’t have before.