Toronto Blue Jays sign Jaime Garcia to a one-year contract

NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 18: Jaime Garcia
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 18: Jaime Garcia /

The Toronto Blue Jays bring in left-handed pitcher Jaime Garcia in a move that brings stability to the starting rotation for this upcoming season.

With many questions of who would be the Toronto Blue Jays‘ fifth starter it appears that they have found their answer as they agree to a one-year deal with Jaime Garcia.

The left-handed pitcher will make $8-million this season and the Blue Jays have a club option that they can exercise for the 2019 season. Last season Garcia had spent time with the Atlanta Braves, Minnesota Twins and the New York Yankees.

In 27 starts the 31-year-old had a 5-10 record with a 4.41 ERA and 129 strikeouts in 157 innings. In the postseason, the Yankees only had Garcia pitch once for 2 2/3 shutout innings.

A week ago Srikant Kabse wrote about how Garcia would be the ideal target for the Blue Jays for a variety of reasons. The main selling point is that he induces a lot of groundballs which he did in 2017 with at 54.8 percent. If the Blue Jays defence in the infield holds up, Garcia will be a strong beneficiary of that.

Sportsnet’s Ben Nicholson-Smith points out that Garcia’s groundball percentage had him ranked fifth among starting pitcher and the big reason was his two-seam fastball that was one of the best in baseball.

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If he can continue to get batters to swing and miss at around the 11.2 per cent he had in 2017 and keep the walks down then it will be a big help for Garcia.

Where he will need to careful of is his hard contact percentage which was at 30.5 percent last season but if he can keep the ball on the ground for the most part, he won’t get victimized by the powerhouse hitters of the AL East.

His curveball usage has taken a serious dip from the 17.2 per cent when he first started in the league, part of it was him using his slider more along with his change up.

In comparison, Andrew Cashner signed a two-year deal with the Baltimore Orioles at a comparable salary. However, Paul Taylor pointed out that the Blue Jays were better off looking at other options over Cashner.

This looks to be another buy-low potential deal for the Blue Jays which has been something that has worked for this management group and only time will tell if this deal will work out for the Blue Jays.

What this move does is push Joe Biagini to get more time to develop as a starter in Buffalo or be a long man out of the bullpen which will make manager John Gibbons happy.

Next: Management taking right approach with the bullpen

What do you think about signing Garcia? Where should the priority for the Blue Jays be now?  Let us know in the comments below.