Mar 14, 2014; Lake Buena Vista, FL, USA; Atlanta Braves pitcher Freddy Garcia (34) in the dugout against the Tampa Bay Rays at Champion Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
Update: The team has announced the release via Twitter.
Headed into the final days of Spring Training, it has been well-chronicled that Atlanta Braves right-hander Freddy Garcia hasn’t pitched well thus far, but it was considered a long shot that the Braves would jettison the veteran by not making him a part of the Opening Day plans. According to a report, however, that is exactly what the team has elected to do.
Mark Bowman of MLB.com indicates that Garcia will be left off the Opening Day roster, and as a result of the terms of his contract, he will become a free agent. This is relatively shocking given the fact that he was projected to be in the early rotation given the lack of healthy pitching depth, but at the same time, he has been dreadful in Spring.
The 37-year-old right-hander did have his best start of the Spring on Sunday, allowing just 1 run over 5.1 innings, but even with that included, his ERA has been approaching 5.00 and there is little in way of upside. In his place, the Braves are left with very little in the way of “options” in the rotation (Julio Teheran, Alex Wood, David Hale), but because they owed him $1.5 million if he made the team, the time was now for this choice.
Stay tuned for updates as they arrive.