Yankees Sign Freddy Garcia

By Mark Hock

The Yankees decided to stick with the devil they know, signing Freddy Garcia to a 1 year, $5 million deal. It’s a pretty fair deal for the Bronx Bombers, as Garcia has earned at least $5 million in value over the past three season.. In 2011 Garcia went 12-8, throwing 146 2/3 innings, with a 3.62 ERA (4.12 FIP) and 2.2 WAR.

With wild cards like Phil Hughes and AJ Burnett, it’s important that the Yankees rotation has some stability and consistency. Garcia should provide both of these, although it’s unlikely he throws more than 150 innings.

It’s tough to complain about a deal like this, as the Yankees are likely going to get a good value out of Garcia. The problem is, the Yankees don’t have a ton of upside here. Nova’s likely to take a step back, and nobody really knows what they’re going to get out of Hughes and Burnett. So it was important for the Yankees to look for a high upside pitcher. They need someone with plus stuff who can help Sabathia out if they make the playoffs, and Garcia isn’t the guy to do it.

It’s a long season, so having Garcia in the rotation as depth is a good thing. But if this move signifies that the Yankees are happy with their rotation, then we might look back at this as a missed opportunity.

So who should the Yankees be targeting? Someone like Edwin Jackson. He’s not likely to break the bank, and he’s been a surprisingly good pitcher the past few years. Between 2009 and 2011 Jackson has a 3.96 ERA, a 7.1 K/9 compared to a 3 BB/9, and has averaged 3.7 WAR per season. Very impressive numbers, and as a “B” type free agent he won’t even cost a draft pick.

He’s a perfect fit for the Yankees.Jacksonwill be entering his age 28 season, giving the Yankees a rare opportunity to acquire a key player in free agency with his prime years still ahead of him. He’s been durable, throwing 623 innings over the past 3 years. And unlike Garcia, he’s a mix of both upside and consistency, something the Yankees desperately need.

The Garcia deal is a solid signing, and a good example of how the Yankees can build quality pitching depth without breaking the bank.

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