UPDATE: Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that Garcia will indeed undergo thoracic outlet surgery. He’s done for the year.
1:25 p.m. ET: Jaime Garcia landed on the disabled list late last month with more shoulder issues and now Brian Stull of STLBaseballWeekly.com reports that he is facing a decision on whether to undergo thoracic outlet surgery.
Garcia, 27, was limited to just nine starts with the Cardinals last season due to surgery to repair a 30-40 percent tear in his labrum. He managed to return this May and posted a 4.12 ERA over seven starts prior to being placed on the disabled list with what was termed as a left shoulder inflammation. Thoracic outlet surgery, which usually involves having a rib removed to alleviate a nerve issue, would essentially end his season.
Garcia is owed $9.25 million next season while his contract includes club options for 2016 and 2017. With a 3.50 ERA over nearly 600 innings in the majors, he has been effective when healthy, but those days have been few and far between recently.
The Mariners are in the midst of reconstructing their roster, a process which most recently resulted in the trade of first baseman/DH Edwin Encarnación to the Yankees, per a report from ESPN’s Jeff Passan. While the teams have yet to publicly confirm the deal, the Mariners are expected to receive pitching prospect Juan Then and will likely eat a significant portion of Encarnación’s salary as well.
Encarnación is a sizable get for the Yankees, who could benefit from the veteran’s power and consistency in their ongoing drive toward the postseason. The 36-year-old infielder missed some time with a bout of lower back tightness, dental issues, and soreness in his left hand, but has still maintained a decent .241/.356/.531 batting line with an AL-best 21 home runs, an .888 OPS, and 1.7 fWAR through his first 289 plate appearances of the year. Per Mark Feinsand of MLB.com, Encarnación has another $11-12 million left on his contract in 2019, with a $20 million option for the 2020 season and a $5 million buyout.
Then, 19, was acquired by the Yankees in a three-person trade with the Mariners during the 2017 offseason. The right-hander currently ranks no. 27 in the Yankees’ system and made his last pro ball appearance for New York’s rookie-level affiliate in 2018, pitching to a 2.70 ERA, 2.0 BB/9, and 7.6 SO/9 across 50 innings. It’s not clear if any other players are involved in the trade, though USA Today’s Bob Nightengale notes that no other prospects are thought to be included in the package for Encarnación.