Another day, another round of cuts. Today's cuts in San Diego's camp were notable because the team let a veteran right-handed starter go. The Padres announced today that they had released Freddy Garcia. Corey Brock of MLB.com reminds us that if Garcia had made the club's Opening Day roster, he would have been paid an additional $1.25 million in incentives.
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Beyond the monetary concerns, Garcia was flat-out bad this spring. In 20 2/3 innings-pitched this spring, Garcia posted an 8.71 ERA. He was not able to find the command that had made him a solid pitcher in his younger days. Garcia will now become a free agent, available to anyone willing to give him another shot.
Brock says the Padres will likely go with Tyson Ross or Andrew Cashner as Garcia's replacement in the rotation. Of course, Cashner is injured and trying to return from surgery on his hand. Ross has been impressive this spring, though. He was not originally thought to be a candidate for the rotation, but he quickly proved himself. This spring, Ross has gone 3-2 in six games with a 2.57 ERA.
As for Garcia, the 36-year will be starting from square one. Any contract offers he receives will likely be of the minor league variety. If he accepts, Garcia will still have to prove himself a capable pitcher before any club promotes him to the big league roster.
Garcia is a two-time All-Star and has been a candidate for the Cy Young award a couple times in his career. However, after the 2005 season, Garcia has been largely ineffective. Now, as he tries to pitch in a 15th Major League season, Garcia has to overcome doubts about his ability to get batters out. In his career, Garcia is 152-101 with a 4.15 ERA.