A few days ago, Adam Rubin of ESPN New York reported that the Mets, who intend to sign a fifth starter candidate to a minor league deal prior to spring training, have had “at least some dialogue” with the representatives for free agent pitcher Freddy Garcia.
Garcia, 37, is getting by on smoke and mirrors at this point in his career. He was serviceable last year in 80.1 innings split with the Orioles and Braves, but his numbers in 2013 (fluky low BABIP combined with a likely unsustainable strand rate) mean he’s someone who will likely get knocked around a bit in 2014.
If the Mets sign Garcia with the intent of using him as insurance, that’s fine. If their plan is to make the fifth starter job Garcia’s to lose during spring training, they should pass.
With Mejia, Montero, and deGrom, there’s both youth and upside. Scouts, such as Keith Law, feel that Mejia has the stuff to be a top of the rotation starter. Most view Montero as a middle of the rotation guy who has a chance to be more, and deGrom is looked at as someone with some upside as well.
With the first four spots in the Mets’ rotation seemingly set with Jonathon Niese, Bartolo Colon, Zack Wheeler, and Dillon Gee, with Mejia, deGrom, and Montero set to compete for the fifth spot, and with Noah Syndergaard likely to make his major league debut in mid-June, signing someone like Garcia makes little sense.
What also needs to be taken into account, is that the Mets already have someone – Carlos Torres – who should be able to fill the “swingman” role that Garcia may be able to fill if signed.
If the Mets are determined to sign another starter to a minor league deal, it should be someone who has a bit of upside. Again, I’d rather they roll with what they have. If, however, they want to add another name to the mix, the smart move would be to bring in someone who may be able to offer a bit more than Garcia.