Sep 17, 2013; Washington, DC, USA; Atlanta Braves starting pitcher Freddy Garcia (50) throws during the third inning against the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

The 'Third Freddy' to Return: Braves Re-sign Freddy Garcia

October 7, 2013; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Atlanta Braves starting pitcher Freddy Garcia (50) pitches the second inning against the Los Angeles Dodgers in game four of the National League divisional series playoff baseball game at Dodger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports


He was there when the rotation needed  a few extra innings late in 2013, and he’ll be back at the ready again for 2014:  free agent starter Freddy García has signed a minor league deal with Atlanta – a deal that includes a Spring invite.  This was reported first by Jerry Crasnick via tweet, later confirmed by several others.

A 37-year-old veteran of 15 major league seasons, The Chief, a Venezuelan native, started only three games for Atlanta last year – but it was in the very last game of the year that gave the team hope as he scattered 8 hits and two earned runs over six innings.  Overall he threw 27 innings with a 1.58 ERA in the regular season.  The Braves apparently liked what they saw and will see what he can offer… but only through the end of Spring Training (as we’ll see below).

Over his career, Garcia owns a 4.15 ERA in the majors, striking out roughly 6-and-a-half batters per nine innings and walking a bit fewer than half that rate.  His lifetime record is 156-108 and he’s played for 7 teams at that level (Mariners, White Sox, Phillies, Tigers, Yankees, Orioles, Braves), plus 1 other at AAA (Mets).

Terms of the deal are sketchy, but outlined here by Jon Heyman:



but then again, he might not be with the team for very long:



The Braves’ 40-man roster currently stands at 39 names – and Garcia will not be added right away.  But it’s clear that he wants another shot in the majors… and he’ll have a chance to earn it.  That March 25th provision does not allow them to freely stash him at AAA:  in fact, if the Braves decide not to use him, he’ll be able to take that “out” clause and shop himself around to other clubs who might have had an injury at that point.  So while my initial thought was “insurance policy”, the Braves will only have a limited amount of time to exercise that policy, for there’s otherwise a pretty fair chance that Garcia could be elsewhere by opening day.

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  • Chris Headrick

    Remember that old song by the Police, “Lightning In A Bottle” ;-) What’s the “message”? ;-) The “message” is I hope we get LIAB again from Mr. Garcia, at least should he get another call-up. He served the Braves quite well in his few opportunities, even as a starter.

    Hopefully all will see the play on words, and not rag me for supposedly forgetting the actual title of the song :P

    • carpengui

      It’s too early for the Pale Ale!

    • Matthew Jones

      My guess is that if Beachy ends up in the bullpen (i.e.: Braves do what they did with Medlen), Garcia makes the team as the 5th starter out of Spring Training. By the middle of the year, they either trade him for a minor league prospect to a pitching hungry team, or else release him and let either Beachy or Floyd take that spot. Not a bad signing, but I certainly don’t see him here long term. And frankly, I see him as a hindrance to other young starters (David Hale, anyone?) of making the club out of Spring.

      • carpengui

        Within the past 2 days, I saw that Beachy would be available fully for Spring – healthy with no restrictions. I think if anybody from that group ends up in the pen, it’s Wood… and yeah, with Hale likely back to AAA.

        It’s all about the innings numbers – and there’s precious few on the staff that will make it to 200. So I gotta think they’re just continuing to add piece/parts together to form a 1000-inning puzzle among the whole group. Teheran, Minor, and Medlen are good to go for 200 apiece. The others? Might top out around 150 or so (whether you’re talking about Beachy, Wood, Hale, Garcia, or Floyd) Overall, it’s sufficient, though, and allows for … issues… along the way.

    • Sealift67

      I liked what I saw in Fredi. Was not just smoke and mirrors. Lot of savvy
      and a lot pitching angles. Whether he still has something in the tank
      to help out during an injury or middle relief who knows.

  • rick staley

    Finally, Wren wakes up and realizes that the toughest game to pitch in vs. the Dodgers was the one FG faced Kershaw in that ended up in disaster for all Tomahawks. He dueled with Clayton the $300 million $$$ Dodger Blue lefty and was impressive! So far, the best move Wren has made this off season…imho.

    He gave up 2 solo HR’s to Carl Crawford and a couple of line drives, but tightened up the rest of the way to produce 6 IP..2 BB..6 K’s..and was in line for the win until Carpenter had a Mark Wohlers brainfart in trying something other than a fastball up in the zone that got launched like any Livian Hernandez offering !