With Spring Training coming to a close this week, the Los Angeles Dodgers are facing the prospect of beginning the season lacking in starting pitching. Hyun-Jin Ryu is out with a shoulder issue, and backup options Erik Bedard and Chad Gaudin are also dealing with injury.
While Bedard and Gaudin were primarily expected to serve as organizational depth, they also figured to be options as spot-starters. With both pitchers on the mend, the Dodgers reportedly have signed veteran Freddy Garcia to a Minor League deal, according to Ken Gurnick of MLB.com:
Dodgers sign RHP Freddy Garcia to Minor League deal.
— Ken Gurnick (@kengurnick) March 31, 2015
Garcia last pitched in the Majors during the 2013 season, appearing in a combined 17 games with the Baltimore Orioles and Atlanta Braves. That season, the veteran right-hander finished 4-7 with a 4.37 ERA in 80.1 innings pitched. Garcia also started Game 4 of the 2013 National League Division Series against the Dodgers.
The Braves granted Garcia his unconditional release last March rather than placing him on their Major-League roster, which would have triggered a $1.25 guaranteed million salary for the 2014 season. Prior to being cut by the Braves, Garcia was 1-1 with a 4.76 ERA in five Spring Training starts (17.0 innings).
Garcia broke into the Majors with the Seattle Mariners, finished second in Rookie of the Year voting and made two All-Star teams during his five and a half seasons in the Pacific Northwest.
Considering that the 38 year old signed a Minor League deal, he’s a long shot to make the Opening Day roster. However, he could just as easily be utilized in the Minors as the injuries figure to have a trickle down affect on the organizational depth.
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