The Pirates announced this evening that the club had declined its club option for the 2024 season on left-hander Jarlin Garcia. While Garcia’s option was worth just $3.25MM, the 30-year-old lefty did not pitch in 2023 after being shut down during Spring Training thanks to a nerve issue in his biceps, making the decision to decline the option fairly unsurprising.
Garcia made his big debut with the Marlins back in 2017. Though he struggled to a 4.81 ERA and 5.41 FIP across 119 1/3 innings of work his first two seasons in the majors, Garcia enjoyed a breakout season for Miami back in 2019 with a 3.02 ERA (144 ERA+) and 3.77 FIP across 50 2/3 innings of work. Despite that strong season, the Marlins exposed him to waivers during the 2019-20 offseason the Garcia was claimed by San Francisco.
Garcia continued to improve upon joining the Giants, recording a sensational 0.49 ERA in 18 1/3 innings of work during the shortened 2020 campaign before following that up with a 2.62 ERA and 3.77 FIP over 68 2/3 innings of work in 2021. Unfortunately, Garcia’s results took a turn for the worse in 2022, with a 3.74 ERA and 4.27 FIP across 65 innings of work. While that was still quality production for a middle reliever, the Giants opted to non-tender Garcia last offseason, leading him to sign with the Pirates. Ultimately, he’ll depart Pittsburgh without throwing a pitch for the big league club and return to the open market.
While Garcia has certainly found success as a quality left-handed option out of the bullpen throughout his career, it’s hard to imagine a club guaranteeing Garcia a particularly significant sum for what will be his age-31 campaign in 2024 after he missed the entire 2023 campaign season due to injury. That’s especially true given Garcia’s low strikeout totals throughout his career. While Garcia has managed to get results by keeping the ball on the ground at a 41.8% clip throughout his career, he sports a career strikeout rate of just 19.6%, including a 20.7% rate when he last took the mound during a 2022 season.
In addition to the news regarding Garcia, more details have become available regarding the club’s decision to waive left-hander Angel Perdomo earlier this week. Jason Mackey of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette relays that the 29-year-old righty underwent Tommy John surgery last month. After first breaking into the big leagues with the Brewers back in 2020, Perdomo resurfaced with the Pirates this season and impressed out of the club’s bullpen, with a 3.72 ERA and 3.01 FIP in 30 appearances before his season came to an end in August due to elbow discomfort. That discomfort clearly ended up being more serious than initially though, given Perdomo underwent surgery two months later that figures to see him miss at least the majority of the 2024 campaign.