A Spanish-language source (via Pirates Prospects, sub. req’d) states that the Pirates are the most likely landing spot for free agent lefty starter Jaime Garcia. The 31-year-old Garcia was a rotation mainstay at times for St. Louis from 2010 through 2015, although he missed much of 2013 and 2014 with injuries. He had his best season in 2015, although he was limited by injury to 20 starts. He posted a 2.43 ERA and 1.05 WHIP. Garcia had a mediocre, albeit healthy, 2016 with the Cards and another mediocre season this year, divided amongst the Braves, Twins and Yankees. Garcia’s velocity, K rate and repertoire have remained largely unchanged, although he’s walked more hitters the last two years than he did previously.
If accurate, this report doesn’t make a great deal of sense. The one and only area where the Pirates don’t need any help is the rotation, unless it comes in the form of a top-of-the-rotation starter. That wouldn’t be Garcia, although he may be a little better than his ERA the last two seasons suggests. His ERA and xFIP were 4.67 and 3.77, respectively, in 2016, and 4.41 and 4.18 in 2017. That still doesn’t make him appreciably better, though, than Trevor Williams or Chad Kuhl, and he’s a good deal older. And, of course, whatever money the Pirates commit to Garcia would be money they couldn’t spend improving their severely inadequate offense. A Garcia signing could well be yet another in a series of moves that have tied up scant resources without improving the team.