Padres release rotation candidate Freddy Garcia

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The Padres signed Freddy Garcia to a minor league contract in January and gave him a legitimate shot at a starting rotation spot this spring. It didn’t work out.

According to MLB.com’s Corey Brock, the Padres granted Garcia his release on Sunday morning. He is now a free agent and can sign with any team.

The 36-year-old right-hander posted a rough 8.71 ERA and 1.60 WHIP in 20 2/3 innings this spring in the Cactus League. Garcia had a 5.20 ERA and 1.37 WHIP in 107 1/3 innings with the Yankees in 2012.

San Diego’s Opening Day rotation will probably be Edinson Volquez, Clayton Richard, Jason Marquis, Eric Stults and Tyson Ross.

Andrew Cashner should be recovered from his offseason hunting injury by the end of April.

Bryce Harper is pandering hard to Philly fans

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Bryce Harper hadn’t even addressed his new hometown fans before his Phillies jersey started selling like hotcakes. Since then, he’s said all the expected things. Talking about joining the Phillies, he said, “From day one, it felt right … I always talk about family and being a family, being one unit, and I get that from this team. Every guy has your back and vice versa. I’m very excited to go into battle with these guys.”

Harper is continuing to pander hard to Phillies fans. Behold his latest Instagram post:

Has anyone ever really longed to see the Liberty Bell?

Harper also famously recreated that Chase Utley scene from It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia with actor Rob McElhenney on Twitter:

In Harper’s next post, he will talk about alternating bottles of You-eng-ling beers with glasses of “wooder.” He’ll add that every so often he will treat himself to a steak sandwich with cheese on it, then go home to watch all of the movies in the Rocky series.