Veteran pitcher Jaime Garcia has decided to call it quits. He is retiring from baseball at the age of 32, according to reports of an announcement Garcia made personally in his home country of Mexico.
MLB Network’s Jon Morosi confirmed the news on Twitter.
Jaime García is expected to retire from @MLB, source confirms multiple reports. He won a World Series ring with the @Cardinals in 2011, when he joined Fernando Valenzuela as the only Mexican-born pitchers to start in the World Series. @MLBNetwork— Jon Morosi (@jonmorosi) January 9, 2019
Garcia’s professional baseball career began when he was drafted when at the age of seventeen by the Baltimore Orioles in the 30th round of the 2004 MLB amateur draft. However, he didn’t choose to sign with Baltimore, and was drafted again a year later, this time in the 22nd round by the St. Louis Cardinals. He signed his contract 39 days later.
Garcia made his debut a few years later, on July 11, 2008, three days after his 22nd birthday. He entered the game in relief of Kyle Lohse (who went seven shutout innings). Garcia pitched a scoreless two innings, allowing just one hit while walking one batter and striking out two. Despite starting just one game in 2008, Garcia soon transitioned into a starter, however he didn’t have a single MLB appearance in 2009 due to an injury. He returned to the majors in 2010, starting 28 games and picking up a solid 13-8 record, earning him a third-place finish in the competition for National League Rookie of the Year.
Garcia continued to be a strong starting pitcher in the majors; his next relief appearance didn’t come until 2016, when he came out of the bullpen twice. Months later, Garcia was traded to the Atlanta Braves in exchange for John Gant, as well as minor-leaguers Luke Dykstra and Chris Ellis. This was the first of many roster moves to come for Garcia, who was traded in July 2017 to the Minnesota Twins. Atlanta also sent Anthony Recker to Minnesota, while receiving Huascar Ynoa. In Garcia’s first and only start with the Twins, he went nearly seven innings, allowing three runs and earning the win. Days later, he was sent to the New York Yankees in exchange for Dietrich Enns and Zack Littell.
Garcia struggled with the Yankees, going 0-3 over eight games, picking up a 4.82 earned run average. Garcia became a free agent the following offseason, and agreed to a contract with the Toronto Blue Jays at the start of their 2018 spring training camp. Garcia bounced around the bullpen and starting rotation in 2018, picking up 13 starts and 12 relief appearances, earning a 5.93 ERA over 74.1 innings. The Jays released him in August and he inked a minor-league deal with the Chicago Cubs to return to the National League East. Throughout the small amount of time he spent in the majors with the Cubs, Garcia was primarily a bullpen arm, starting just one game while entering in relief in seven games. He allowed four runs on six hits in just 7.2 innings with the Cubs.
Despite 30 relief appearances, Garcia never recorded a save. However, throughout his 188 starts, he did pick up four complete games, with all of them being shutouts. He had a career 70-62 record with a 3.85 earned run average. He allowed 552 runs on 1,128 hits over 1,135 innings. He also walked 369 batters, and recorded 925 strikeouts.
Garcia’s career salary earnings fell just shy of $60 million; he finishes with a known total of $58,816,110 throughout his professional career.
Garcia had an impressive career and was a crucial part of several organizations on many different occasions, and is now retiring after ten seasons spent with five different clubs.