February 1, 2011

Yankees sign Freddy Garcia to minor-league deal + new 2011 rotation prediction

The Yankees added another rotation possibility to the mix last night, signing Freddy Garcia to a minor-league contract.

Garcia will make $1.5 million if he makes the team and could make an extra $3.6 million in performance bonuses.

The 35-year-old pitched 157 innings for the White Sox last season to the tune of a 4.64 ERA and 1.38 WHIP.

Garcia hasn’t been a strikeout pitcher since 2004, which was before his major arm surgery in 2007. And he isn’t nearly at his 2001 Cy Young-like level — just like Bartolo Colon is nowhere close to his 2005 status — but right now, I believe Garcia is a starter for the Yankees.

I know, I know, saying Garcia is a top 5 starter on the Yankees isn’t saying a lot with Ivan Nova and Sergio Mitre currently holding the last two spots, but I think Garcia is an upgrade.

As discussed on this blog, Nova is far more trusted by the fans than Mitre is, so Garcia clearly takes Mitre’s spot. If Garcia can stay healthy, he leaves me with this rotation prediction for 2011:

1. CC Sabathia
2. A.J. Burnett
3. Phil Hughes
4. Freddy Garcia
5. Ivan Nova

Anyone disagree?

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