The Orioles are hoping to get a little of that 2011 magic back with Freddy Garcia, as they have signed him to a Minor League deal according to Scott Miller.
Garcia posted an 8.71 ERA in 20.2 innings spanning six starts for the Padres in spring training before they cut him four days ago. He finished with a 5.20 ERA in 107.1 innings with the Yankees last year. He showed considerable improvement in a small sample after moving to the bullpen. His ERA was 5.93 as a starter, but 2.42 as a reliever.
The O’s rotation is projected to include Opening Day starter Jason Hammel, as well as Wei-Yin Chen, Miguel Gonzalez, Jake Arrieta, and Chris Tillman. Ostensibly, Garcia would be used as Triple-A rotation filler and back-up in the event of an injury. Dan Connolly puts it in this perspective:
Cubs owner Tom Ricketts met the media in Mesa, Arizona today and said a couple of things that were fun.
First, he addressed the controversy that arose earlier this month when emails of his father’s — family patriarch Joe Ricketts — were leaked, showing him forwarding and approvingly commenting on racist jokes. Ricketts apologized for those serving as a “distraction” for the Cubs which, OK. He also said “Those aren’t the values our family was raised with… I never heard my father say anything remotely racist.” If you choose to believe that a 77-year-old conservative guy who loves racist emails — who once spearheaded an anti-Obama ad campaign that required a “literate African-American” as its spokesman — hasn’t said racist stuff a-plenty, that’s between you and your credulity.
More relevant to the 2019 Cubs is this:
The Cubs aren’t in the same position as some other contenders in that (a) they don’t have a cheap payroll; and (b) are not obvious candidates for the big free agents like Harper or Machado, but I still find that comment pretty rich for an owner of one of baseball’s marquee franchises in a non-salary cap league. If nothing else, it’s an admission by Ricketts that he, like the other owners, consider the Luxury Tax to be a defacto salary cap.