Chicago Cubs: Is there a case to be made for adding Jaime Garcia?
The Chicago Cubs clearly want to add one more starting pitcher this offseason. While the hoopla around Yu Darvish has been the primary subject of the winter, there are other candidates that may be worth considering.
Spring training begins in just a few weeks, and there are still many unsigned players. Yu Darvish, Jake Arrieta, Eric Hosmer, Mike Moustakas, Lance Lynn and Alex Cobb are the primary names still on the market. But, when we’re talking about the Chicago Cubs, there are more options out there.
Theo Epstein has four quality pitchers in his starting rotation, and one more will likely be added. The Darvish ordeal is getting frustrating, especially if he is waiting on the Dodgers or Yankees possibly clearing payroll. Though the Cubs are still in the mix for him, it seems they may have to go in another direction.
Alex Cobb, Jake Arrieta and even Lance Lynn have come up as possible Cubs targets, yet there is another interesting name out there. Jaime Garcia.
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Evaluating Jaime Garcia’s resume
The veteran lefty should be very familiar to Cubs fans. He was a member of the Cardinals for a number of seasons before spending 2017 with three different teams. He was honestly one of the more underrated back-end rotation guys in baseball for a number of years. There are several areas of his career to break down.
From 2010-2012, he had a very solid run. In 80 starts he pitched to a 3.36 ERA, 3.22 FIP and 1.33 WHIP in 479 2/3 innings. He battled injury problems in 2013 and 2014 as he started only 16 games and pitched 99 innings. Garcia rebounded very nicely in 2015 as he started 20 games and recorded a 2.43 ERA, 3.00 FIP, 1.05 WHIP and 0.4 HR/9 in 129 2/3 innings.
The last two seasons have been a bit rough for him. In those years between the Cardinals, Braves, Twins and Yankees, he recorded a 4.55 ERA, 4.37 FIP and 1.39 WHIP in 328 2/3 innings. He was a 2.1 fWAR player in 2017. Note 2016-2017 was the first time since 2010-2011 when Garcia pitched 150-plus innings in back-to-back seasons.
Would he be a good fit with the Cubs?
This would be an interesting look for the Cubs. Garcia has a good track record overall when it comes to pitching. The biggest concern is the injury history obviously. Lets say he does come to the Cubs, he’d be their number five starter most likely, with Tyler Chatwood at four.
For what it is worth, the lefty Garcia being set up at the bottom could make a nice “left-right-left-right-left” rotation. Overall the benefits of bringing in a Garcia would be having an experienced five on the staff, and for cheap. It is hard to imagine him getting anything more than a two-year deal being 31 with the injury issues.
Next: Making the case for Rizzo as Cubs' leadoff man
Should the Cubs just give up on Darvish or Jake? No, they will not settle before they sign. However there may come a situation where they have to settle if Darvish goes elsewhere, and Garcia is at least worth considering. Do not be surprised if he is a sleeper in the Cubs plans.