It is reported that Freddy Garcia is headed back to the Braves on a minor league deal (Jerry Crasnick of ESPN). The 37-year-old Garcia is a client of the Legacy Agency.
Garcia struggled in 53 innings with the Orioles last season, posting a 5.77 ERA with a 26-to-12 K:BB ratio before being acquired by the Braves in late August.
Upon his transition to Atlanta, Garcia turned back the clock and fired off 27 1/3 innings of 1.65 ERA ball with much improved rate stats of 6.6 K/9 and 1.6 BB/9. The turnaround was so stark that Garcia landed a surprising postseason start for the Braves in which he held a potent Dodgers lineup to a pair of runs on eight hits and two walks with six punchouts in six innings.
Garcia is a veteran of 15 Major League seasons and owns a career 4.15 ERA with 6.4 K/9, 2.8 BB/9 and a 41.9 percent ground-ball rate. He's seen time with the Mariners, White Sox, Yankees, Braves, Phillies, Orioles and Tigers in his big league career. The two-time All-Star finished second in Rookie of the Year voting back in 1999 and third in the American League Cy Young voting two years later in 2001 when he went 18-6 with a 3.05 ERA in a league-leading 238 2/3 innings.
Jon Heyman of CBS Sports has indicated that Garcia would receive a $1.25MM base salary upon making the club out of Spring Training. His contract contains big incentives for games started but lesser incentives for relief work, Heyman adds.
If Garcia re-signs with Atlanta, the Braves will again have manager Fredi Gonzalez, first baseman Freddie Freeman, and pitcher Freddy Garcia.