Freddy Garcia signs minor league deal with Padres

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According to ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick, the Padres have signed veteran right-hander Freddy Garcia to a minor league contract. He’ll also get an invite to spring training, where he’ll compete for a spot in San Diego’s starting rotation.

Garcia, 36, posted a 5.20 ERA in 17 starts and 13 relief appearances with the Yankees last season. While he had his highest strikeout rate since 2007, he served up 18 home runs in just 107 1/3 innings.

There might not be room for Garcia in the Padres’ rotation once Andrew Cashner, Cory Luebke and Joe Wieland are all healthy, but San Diego could be a good fit for his fly ball tendencies, even with the new dimensions at PETCO Park.

Nationals promote 19-year-old prospect Juan Soto

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The Nationals recalled 19-year-old outfield prospect Juan Soto from Double-A Harrisburg on Sunday, per a team announcement. Soto is poised to become the youngest player in the league once he makes his official debut with the club, and the Nationals’ first teenager to enter the majors since Bryce Harper made his first appearance back in 2012.

Entering the 2018 season, Soto was ranked no. 2 in the Nationals’ system and 15th overall. He’s certainly lived up to the hype during his first two years of pro ball, blazing through Single-A, High-A and Double-A levels in 2018 alone. While he logged just eight games at the Double-A level prior to his promotion to the majors, he proved consistent across all three levels this spring and slashed a cumulative .362/.462/.757 with 14 home runs and a 1.218 OPS in 182 plate appearances.

It’s not entirely clear how soon or in what capacity the Nationals will utilize their youngest player, but Soto’s tear through the minors is sure to pave the road for a few opportunities on the big-league level. He’ll be available off the bench for Sunday’s series finale against the Dodgers.