Update: David O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution brings us some of the details on the contract:
Garcia signed a minor-league deal Friday and provides the Braves with another fifth-starter option in case of injury or a potential move of rookie standout Alex Wood to the bullpen at some point. Garcia gets a $1.25 million salary if he makes the major league roster out of spring training, or a prorated portion of that amount for any time in majors.
He also can earn up to an additional $1.75 million in incentives based on starts made, or up to $1 million for relief appearances. Garcia has made it clear he doesn’t want to return to Triple-A, and if he’s not on the major league roster on March 25, he can opt out of the contract and become a free agent, a person familiar with the deal said.
Late Friday morning, ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick announced that the Atlanta Braves and starting pitcher Freddy Garcia have agreed to a minor league deal:
Pitcher Freddy Garcia has agreed to a minor-league deal with the #braves, says a source.
— Jerry Crasnick (@jcrasnick) January 24, 2014
Garcia performed nicely for Atlanta when he was picked up last season, including a terrific start in the playoffs. For the Braves, he went 1-2 with a 1.65 ERA. On the full season, however, his stats looked much worse. With both the Orioles and the Braves (and with 80 innings), Garcia had a 4.37 ERA, 5.49 FIP and 4.00 xFIP. He struck out just 5.19 batters per nine innings, but he also didn’t walk a ton either, issuing just 1.90 free passes per nine.
There’s nothing to really dislike about this deal, as it comes cheap (minor league contract) and is clearly a depth play for Atlanta. He performed well for the team down the stretch, but we should expect something more similar to his career numbers next season if he gets any time with the big-league club again.
There have also been reports that this deal comes with an invite to spring training. We’ll keep you update as the news drops.