NY Sports Day

Mets Ink Garcia to Minor League Deal

Freddy Garcia hopes to regain form at Citi Field

Freddy Garcia hopes to regain form at Citi Field

Although he won’t solve the Mets search for a No. 2 starters, Freddy Garcia may help the club in 2009.

Inking the righthander to a minor league deal, the Mets hope the former All-Star has recovered from labrum surgery that he had on his right shoulder in Aug. 2007. The injury and recover limited the Garcia to only 16 games in the past two seasons.

“He’s a big game pitcher who has had great success in the postseason and we feel has a good opportunity to contribute to our success this year,” said Mets general manager Omar Minaya.

If Garcia makes a comeback, the Mets may have something here. The 32 year-old went 17-9 with a 4.53 ERA in 33 starts for the Chicago White Sox in 2006. And in Chicago’s World Series year, he compiled a 14-8 record with a 3.87 ERA. The righthander went 3-0 in that postseason and hurled 7.0 shutout innings in Game Four to earn the victory and complete the four-game sweep over the Houston Astros.  Overall, Garcia is 6-2 in nine postseason starts.

“I’m excited about the opportunity to pitch in New York,” said Garcia, who was 1-1 with a 4.20 ERA in four games with the Tigers after signing last August.  “Nothing would make me happier than to pitch in the same rotation with my friend and fellow countryman, Johan Santana, and help win a championship with the Mets.”

A two-time All-Star (2001, 2002), Garcia has won 10 or more games seven times in his career, including six straight years from 2001-2006.  He went 17-8 with Seattle in 1999, 18-6 with an American League leading 3.05 ERA in 2001, and was 16-10 with the Mariners in 2002.

From 2001-2006, he was one of four pitchers in the majors to win at least 10 games, start 30 or more games and pitch 200 or more innings.

Overall, Garcia is 118-77 with the Mariners, White Sox, Phillies, and Tigers.

He is expected to challenge newly signed Tim Redding and rookie Jon Niese for the No. 5 slot in the rotation.


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