01/23/09 6:24 PM EST
Mets sign Garcia to Minor League deal
Club also announces acquisition of outfielder Sullivan on Friday
By Anthony DiComo / MLB.com
Garcia, 32, and the Mets came to an agreement Thursday on a one-year Minor League contract, which will give him a chance to make the rotation out of Spring Training.
"I'm excited about the opportunity to pitch in New York," Garcia, a native Venezuelan, said in a statement. "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."
Barring another signing in the coming weeks, Garcia will join fellow free agent Tim Redding, along with rookies Jonathon Niese and Bobby Parnell, in a battle for the team's two vacant rotation spots. But the Mets are also still pursuing their own free agent, left-hander Oliver Perez, who would certainly command a guaranteed spot heading into camp. And their interest in Ben Sheets and Randy Wolf has not completely waned.
By signing Garcia, however, the Mets added a small bit of leverage in their negotiations for those players. And every little bit helps.
They also added a player who, for the better part of this decade, was one of the more durable and consistent pitchers in the league. Garcia pitched more than 200 innings in seven of his first eight big league seasons before injuries and an eventual right shoulder surgery derailed his career in 2007. He has won just two games over the past two seasons, putting a recent stain on his career 118-77 record and 4.07 ERA.
"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," Mets general manager Omar Minaya said in the same statement.
Sullivan, 29, has hit .279 with eight homers over his four-year career with the Rockies, largely as a platoon player. Better numbers came in the Minors last season for Sullivan, who hit .320 in 381 at-bats at Triple-A.
He will look to make the team as an outfield backup and left-handed pinch-hitter, though he'll face a fair bit of competition for those roles. Marlon Anderson and Jeremy Reed carry pricier contracts, are both outfielders and are both also left-handed.
Anthony DiComo is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.