The 31-year-old is 5-7 with a 4.29 ERA in 19 starts, permitting 116 hits in 119 2/3 innings, while striking out 92 against 44 walks this year. He spent his first eight seasons with the Cardinals and is 67-52 with a 3.65 ERA lifetime.
“I think we’re looking at the experience factor and that [Garcia has] had some success at the big league level,” Girardi said. “Also, it provides depth, because you still have a long ways to go and you can never predict what’s going to happen. But it’s someone who’s pitched in big games before, and that’s why we decided to make the move.”
Garcia is eligible for free agency after this season, and the Twins have agreed to assume the remainder of his salary, which is approximately $4 million. His acquisition patches the back end of the rotation in the wake of Michael Pineda‘s season-ending injury, where Luis Cessa and Caleb Smith (who was optioned Sunday) have been making starts of late.
“[Garcia is] a crafty left-hander,” said Todd Frazier, who faced him in the National League. “He hides his ball well from a left-handed standpoint. Against lefties, for sure it’s a tough at-bat. His fastball gets by you a little bit; it’s not overpowering, but it’s one of those that’s heavy. He’s got a really good changeup too, as well.”
The Yankees remain deep in talks with Oakland about Gray — their top target this month. Sources have told MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand that talks between the teams are progressing, with the Yankees emerging as the favorites to land Gray, a 27-year-old former All-Star.
General manager Brian Cashman has made it clear he has no interest in dealing top prospects Gleyber Torres or Clint Frazier, but the A’s are very interested in 19-year-old outfielder Estevan Florial (the Yankees’ No. 5 prospect, per MLBPipeline.com), who would likely be the main piece of a potential deal.
Though pitching coach Larry Rothschild said on Sunday that a six-man rotation is not currently under consideration, the Yankees remain mindful of the growing inning totals for both Jordan Montgomery and Luis Severino, while declining to say that there are any innings limits in place.
Including one five-inning start in the Minors, Montgomery has thrown 113 innings after hurling 152 last year, when he fired an additional 12 2/3 postseason frames during Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre’s playoff push.
“We’re going to be careful with everybody,” Rothschild said. “We’ll watch him and be mindful of the fact of what he’s done in the past and where he is and where we’re headed. I’m not going to sit here and tell you, ‘He’s got three more starts’ or anything like that. We will monitor him and see where it is and have that discussion and see what we need to do.”
Rothschild said he thinks “it’s a little different” case with Severino, who has thrown 127 2/3 innings and is approaching a career high of 151 1/3, set last year. Girardi and Rothschild both said that they do not believe a six-man rotation is the solution.
“You get to a time of year, you want your best pitchers pitching,” Rothschild said.