Freddy Garcia and the Yankees have agreed to a one-year, $5 million contract, according to Jon Heyman of SI.com.
Garcia proved to be a tremendous bargain for New York this year, winning a rotation spot in the spring training after signing for a minor-league deal and throwing 147 innings with a 3.62 ERA that was his best since 2001.
As part of that contract Garcia earned $1.5 million in guaranteed money and another $3 million or so in incentives, so he’ll get a light raise and significantly more upfront cash at age 35.
Barring a trade the Yankees’ rotation looks set with Garcia joining CC Sabathia, Ivan Nova, A.J. Burnett, and Phil Hughes
The Tampa Bay Rays have signed lefty swingman Ryan Merritt to a minor league contract. Nah, it’s not a big signing but we’ll take anything today.
Merritt, who has spent his entire career in the Indians organization, spent the entire 2018 season at Triple-A Columbus. It wasn’t a bad year for him — he posted a 3.79 ERA and a 52/2 K/BB ratio in 13 starts and two relief appearances covering 71.1 innings — but the Tribe just couldn’t find a role for him at the big league level. He has shown in the past, however, that he can hack it in the bigs, having posted a 1.71 ERA in 31.2 innings with the Indians between 2016-2017.
His thing is that he simply doesn’t strike guys out at anything approaching a typical clip for a big leaguer: 3.7 per nine innings in his small sample of major league outings and 6.3 Ks per nine innings in the minors. Which, while it may not prevent him from having success at the big league level, is likely a reason for the limited number of chances he’s been given.
The Rays are probably the best place he could go, frankly. They’ve shown themselves willing to utilize guys in unique ways and are more likely than most teams to find places to spot a lefty control specialist who has shown he can both start and come out of the pen.