Freddy García

Freddy Antonio García (born October 6, 1976), is a former Venezuelan professional baseball pitcher. He is best known for his many seasons with seven Major League Baseball (MLB) franchises, including the Seattle Mariners, Chicago White Sox, and New York Yankees. Garcia has also pitched in the Chinese Professional Baseball League (CPBL), Mexican League, and Venezuelan Professional Baseball League.

Freddy García
Garcia with the Baltimore Orioles
Born: (1976-10-06) October 6, 1976
Caracas, Venezuela
Batted: Right
Threw: Right
MLB debut
April 7, 1999, for the Seattle Mariners
Last MLB appearance
September 24, 2013, for the Atlanta Braves
MLB statistics
Win–loss record156–108
Earned run average4.15
Career highlights and awards

García's best year was in 2001 in which he led the American League in innings pitched and ERA. He made the All-Star team in 2001 and 2002. In 2005, he was a member of the World Series winning Chicago White Sox and started the series-winning Game 4.

Professional career

Seattle Mariners

Originally signed by the Houston Astros as a non-draft amateur free agent in 1993, García was acquired by Seattle in 1998, along with Carlos Guillén and John Halama in the trade that sent Randy Johnson to the Astros.[1]

During García's rookie season, he pitched 201 innings, compiling a 17–8 record with 170 strikeouts and a 4.07 ERA in 33 starts. After going 9–5 in his second season, he went on to compile a 45–42 win–loss record over the course of the next three and a half seasons with Seattle. His strongest season was in 2001, when he earned 18 of the Mariners' American League record-setting 116 wins and led the AL with 238+23 innings pitched and a 3.05 earned run average. He finished third in AL Cy Young Award voting that year.

On June 27, 2004, García and Ben Davis were traded to the Chicago White Sox in exchange for Michael Morse, Miguel Olivo, and Jeremy Reed.[2] As a Mariner, García posted a 76–50 record with a 3.89 ERA and 819 strikeouts.

García with the Chicago White Sox in 2005

Chicago White Sox

García was the starting pitcher in Game 4 of the 2005 World Series for the Chicago White Sox, pitching seven scoreless innings against the Houston Astros. The White Sox won the game and the World Series, completing a four-game sweep.

García experienced a bit of controversy at the beginning of the 2006 season when he tested positive for marijuana during the World Baseball Classic.[3]

In 2006, he surpassed 1,000 strikeouts for his career. In eight post-season games, he was 5–2 with a 3.56 ERA in 48 innings. Also during 2006, on April 29, García recorded his 103rd career win in a game against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, surpassing former White Sox left-hander Wilson Álvarez as the Venezuelan native with the most career wins in Major League history. He finished the season 17–9 with a 4.53 ERA.[1] He was given the nickname "Big Game" while a member of the White Sox.

Philadelphia Phillies

In December 2006, García was traded to the Philadelphia Phillies for prospects Gavin Floyd and Gio González.[1][4]

García experienced a shoulder injury that limited his performance for the first several months of the season. He was placed on the disabled list (DL) in June, and had shoulder surgery in August.[5] García made 11 starts before being placed on the DL and earned one win.[6]

Detroit Tigers

In August 2008, García signed a minor league contract with the Detroit Tigers. In his first 2 minor league starts with the Tigers he pitched 5 innings, gave up no runs, and struck out 5. In his Tigers debut in late September, García, with a limited pitch count, threw 5 scoreless innings to get the win.

New York Mets

In January 2009, García agreed to a minor league deal with the New York Mets.[7][8] He was released on April 28, 2009, after two bad starts for the Buffalo Bisons.[9][10]

Second stint with the Chicago White Sox

On June 8, 2009, the Chicago White Sox signed García to a minor league contract.[11] García started on August 18 against the Kansas City Royals for the first time with the White Sox since 2006.

In his first game back with the White Sox, García went 4.1 IP allowing 5 ER in a losing effort. García finished the 2009 season with a 3–4 record and a 4.34 ERA.

On October 5, 2009, the Chicago White Sox exercised their 2010 option on García, adding that the 34-year-old made a $1 million base salary, plus a possible $2 million in incentives.[12]

New York Yankees

García pitching for the New York Yankees in 2011

On January 31, 2011, García agreed to a minor league contract with the New York Yankees worth $1.5 million.[13] On March 25, 2011, the Yankees announced that García would be added to the major league starting rotation.[14] He finished the 2011 season with a solid 12–8 record and a 3.62 ERA,[15] however, he was consistently hammered by teams with .500 or better records, most notably the Boston Red Sox. García was on the mound in relief as the Sox won their second game of the season on April 10, as well as 2 other losses on May 15 and June 7. However, García did manage to defeat the Red Sox on September 24.

García also lost his only playoff start in Game 2 as the Yankees were defeated by the Detroit Tigers in the American League Division Series in five games. Despite this, the Yankees offered him a one-year deal worth $4 million with incentives for the 2012 season. The deal became official on December 9.[15][16]

In 2012, García was expected to challenge for a starting spot with Phil Hughes, A. J. Burnett, Andy Pettitte and Michael Pineda. However, Burnett was traded in the offseason, and Pineda was diagnosed with a shoulder injury, thereby allowing García into the rotation.[17]

García began the 2012 season with bad footing as he threw 5 wild pitches in his first start against the Baltimore Orioles. He was demoted to the bullpen after going 0–2 in April with a 12.51 ERA, averaging only 3.1 innings per start. David Phelps was moved into the starting rotation.[18]

García immediately improved once in the bullpen. In his two-month relief stint, he posted a 1.56 ERA in 17.1 innings.[19] His sinker's speed also improved, from an average of 87.1 mph in April[20] to 88.6 in May/June.[21]

A fibula injury to Andy Pettitte in late June brought García back into the rotation. Overall, Garcia finished the 2012 season with a 7–6 record and a 5.20 ERA in 30 games appeared (17 started).

Baltimore Orioles

On January 28, 2013, García signed a minor league deal with the San Diego Padres.[22] He was released by the Padres on March 24.[23] He was promptly signed to a minor league contract by the Baltimore Orioles,[24] and assigned to the Triple-A Norfolk Tides. He was called up on May 4 to make his Orioles debut on the road at Anaheim. He was designated for assignment on June 24, 2013. Three days later, García signed another minor league contract and returned to Norfolk.[25]

Atlanta Braves

On August 23, 2013, Garcia was acquired by the Atlanta Braves for cash considerations.[26] Garcia pitched effectively for the Braves, going 1–2 with a 1.65 ERA in September (1–1, 1.83 ERA in 3 starts). He earned a start in game four of the NLDS. Although the Braves lost to the Los Angeles Dodgers, Garcia pitched well, giving up 2 runs over 6 innings and was in line for the win when he left the game.[27]

He returned to the Braves on a minor league contract signed January 24, 2014.[28] He was released on March 24.[29]

EDA Rhinos

On April 18, 2014, García signed with the EDA Rhinos of the Chinese Professional Baseball League (CPBL).[30] The seven-month deal included incentives that increased its worth up to $392,000,[31] and was the most lucrative in CPBL history until Lin Chih-sheng signed a 3-year deal for $1.36 million in January 2016.[32][33] In his first game for the Rhinos on May 10, 2014, García pitched six innings of shutout ball on four hits in a no-decision before being pulled after 77 pitches. The Rhinos won the game 5–0 against the Chinatrust Brother Elephants in front of a sellout crowd of more than 12,000.[34]

Final season

Garcia opened the season with the Olmecas de Tabasco of the Mexican Baseball League, before signing a minor league contract with the Los Angeles Dodgers on March 30, 2015.[35] He was assigned to the AAA Oklahoma City Dodgers.[36] He appeared in four games and made one start for Oklahoma City, allowing seven runs in 7.1 innings and was released on April 21.[37] He rejoined the Olmecas de Tabasco in June,[38] then was traded to the Sultanes de Monterrey. In September Garcia was assigned to the Tigres de Aragua. He spent the rest of 2015 with Aragua, where he won a league championship,[39] and started the first and final games of the 2016 Caribbean Series.[40][41] He retired after the series concluded.[42][43]

Sultanes de Monterrey

On April 8, 2016, Garcia came out of retirement and signed with the Sultanes de Monterrey of the Mexican Baseball League.[44][45] He was released on May 3, 2016.

Leones de Yucatán

On March 5, 2018, García signed with the Leones de Yucatán of the Mexican Baseball League.[46] He was released on April 23, 2018.

Garcia was eligible to be elected in the Hall of Fame in 2019, but received less than 5% of the vote, and became ineligible for the 2020 ballot.

Pitching style

García threw a fastball that topped out in the 90s in his prime and a hard slider. He also threw a two-seam fastball, a curveball, a split-finger fastball and occasionally used a changeup.[47]

García was once a power pitcher,[48] but as he got older, García lost velocity on his pitches and compensated by developing a broad repertoire of up to six or seven pitches. In the 2013 season, García threw the following pitches, in order of their use:[49]

García has also adjusted his approach to the strike zone, being especially careful not to leave pitches in the middle of the plate: "He doesn't really have the electric stuff, so he's going to stay on the corners and stay out of the zone."[50]

See also

  • List of Major League Baseball players from Venezuela


  1. "White Sox trade García to Phillies for Floyd". ESPN. Associated Press. December 18, 2006. Retrieved January 23, 2009.
  2. "ChiSox add another arm to repertoire". June 28, 2004. Retrieved July 30, 2014.
  3. Sanchez, Jesse (April 30, 2006). "Report: García violates IBAF drug policy; Venezuela paper claims positive test for marijuana at Classic". Archived from the original on May 8, 2009. Retrieved January 23, 2009.
  4. Mandel, Ken (December 6, 2006). "Phils acquire Garcia from White Sox". Archived from the original on June 27, 2017. Retrieved April 1, 2015.
  5. "Shoulder surgery ends 2007 season for Phillies' Garcia". Associated Press. August 30, 2007. Retrieved April 1, 2015.
  6. Mandel, Ken (June 14, 2007). "Garcia will not have surgery on shoulder". Retrieved April 1, 2015.
  7. Rubin, Adam (January 23, 2009). "García lands with Mets". New York Daily News. Retrieved January 23, 2009.
  8. DiComo, Anthony (January 23, 2009). "Mets sign Garcia to Minor League deal". Retrieved January 23, 2009.
  9. Costa, Brian (April 28, 2009). "New York Mets release pitcher Freddy Garcia". Star Ledger. Retrieved April 1, 2015.
  10. "Pena, Figueroa, Nickeas Join Bisons". April 28, 2009. Retrieved April 1, 2015.
  11. Freddy García returns
  12. "ChiSox pick up García's option". CNN. October 5, 2009.
  13. Yanks, Freddy García agree ESPN
  14. Nova, García in rotation; Colon to bullpen
  15. Hoch, Bryan (December 9, 2011). "García's one-year deal with Bombers official". Retrieved December 10, 2011.
  16. "New York Yankees Officially Sign Freddy García to One Year Deal". Archived from the original on March 4, 2016. Retrieved December 21, 2019.
  17. Prunty, Brendan (April 28, 2012). "Freddy Garcia roughed up again, as Yankees rotation takes another hit in loss to Tigers, 7–5". Star Ledger. Retrieved February 2, 2016.
  18. DeJohn, Kenny (April 29, 2012). "New York Yankees: Freddy García to Bullpen, David Phelps to Join Rotation". Bleacher Report. Retrieved August 16, 2012.
  19. "Freddy García 2012 Pitching Gamelogs". Retrieved August 16, 2012.
  20. "Freddy García, New York Yankees – PITCHf/x Pitcher Profile". Texas Retrieved August 16, 2012.
  21. "Freddy García, New York Yankees – PITCHf/x Pitcher Profile". Retrieved August 16, 2012.
  22. "Padres sign Garcia, Stauffer to Minors deals | News". January 29, 2013. Retrieved September 13, 2013.
  23. Adams, Steve (March 24, 2013). "Padres Release Freddy Garcia: MLB Rumors". Retrieved September 13, 2013.
  24. "Orioles, Freddy Garcia agree to deal". March 29, 2013. Retrieved September 13, 2013.
  25. "Freddy Garcia stays with Orioles". Associated Press. June 27, 2013.
  26. Kubatko, Roch (August 23, 2013). "School of Roch: Garcia traded to Braves, A's lineup". Retrieved September 13, 2013.
  27. O'Brien, David (January 24, 2014). "Braves re-sign Freddy Garcia to minor-league deal". Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Retrieved March 14, 2014.
  28. "Garcia returning to Braves on Minor League deal". January 24, 2014. Retrieved October 12, 2014.
  29. "Braves release Freddy Garcia". Associated Press. March 24, 2014. Retrieved March 24, 2014.
  30. Yeh, Joseph (April 19, 2014). "Freddy Garcia signs with EDA Rhino, arriving next week". The China Post. Retrieved April 19, 2014. A local professional baseball team yesterday announced that it has sealed a deal with former Major League Baseball (MLB) All-Star pitcher Freddy Garcia. The high profile ex-big league hurler with 150-plus wins is scheduled to arrive in Taiwan on April 25 to join the Kaohsiung-based EDA Rhinos (義大犀牛), the team said yesterday.
  31. "Garcia ready to pitch in for Taiwan's Rhinos". Associated Press. April 29, 2014. Retrieved April 29, 2014.
  32. Yeh, Joseph (January 5, 2016). "Lin Chih-sheng joins Chinatrust Brothers". China Post. Retrieved January 5, 2016.
  33. Lee, Yu-cheng; Wu, Lilian (January 4, 2016). "Lin Chih-sheng becomes highest paid baseball player in Taiwan". Central News Agency. Retrieved January 5, 2016.
  34. Huang, Paul (May 11, 2014). "Garcia helps Rhinos share games". Taipei Times. Retrieved July 30, 2014.
  35. "Garcia agrees with Dodgers, who plan to release McGowan". Associated Press. March 31, 2015. Retrieved April 1, 2015.
  36. Hoornstra, J.P. (April 7, 2015). "Revealed: Opening Day roster for Triple-A Oklahoma City". LA Daily News. Retrieved April 7, 2015.
  37. Unruh, Jacob (April 23, 2015). "Dodgers release Freddy Garcia among flurry of moves". The Oklahoman. Retrieved June 4, 2015.
  38. Heyman, Jon (June 12, 2015). "Inside Baseball: Mets, Twins among early buyers and more MLB news". CBS Sports. Retrieved February 2, 2016.
  39. Serrano, Ignacio (February 1, 2016). "Venezuela manager Eddie Perez aims to make mentor Bobby Cox proud". ESPN Desportes. Retrieved February 2, 2016.
  40. "Venezuela wins behind Freddy Garcia's strong outing". February 1, 2016. Retrieved February 2, 2016.
  41. "Mexico wins third Caribbean Series title in 4 years on Jorge Vazquez HR". Associated Press. February 7, 2016. Retrieved February 8, 2016.
  42. Sanchez, Jesse (February 1, 2016). "Venezuela, Mexico win Caribbean Series openers". Retrieved February 2, 2016.
  43. Sanchez, Jesse (February 7, 2016). "Garcia to bid farewell in Caribbean finale". Retrieved February 8, 2016.
  44. "Freddy García está de vuelta con Sultanes" (in Spanish). April 7, 2016. Retrieved June 30, 2017.
  45. "Venezolano Freddy García se une a Sultanes en Liga Mexicana" (in Spanish). ESPN Deportes. April 8, 2016. Retrieved June 30, 2016.
  46. "El ex ligamayorista Freddy García llega a Leones" (in Spanish). March 5, 2018. Retrieved March 5, 2018.
  47. Career Stats
  48. Howard, Johnette (April 17, 2011). "Freddy Garcia comes to Yanks' rescue". Retrieved July 30, 2014.
  49. "Brooks Baseball · Home of the PitchFX Tool – Player Card: Freddy Garcia". Brooks Baseball. Retrieved October 12, 2014.
  50. Brian, Lewis (July 15, 2012). "Yankees' Garcia shaky, but gets job done vs. Angels". New York Post. Retrieved August 16, 2012.
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