Just days after re-signing T.J. McFarland, the St. Louis Cardinals are in talks to re-sign reliever Luis Garcia.
Garcia, 34, emerged as one of the Cardinals’ most dependable relievers in 2021. In what amounted to a breakout season, he posted a 3.24 ERA in 33.1 innings. Bringing him back would help solidify the late innings, with Garcia notching 12 holds in high-leverage situations last season, though it does not rule out the Cardinals from adding another reliever.
In fact, the Cardinals hope to add another impact reliever for the late innings even if they re-sign Garcia, Goold says.
But Garcia figures to be a cheap addition, along the lines of TJ McFarland, who re-signed with the Cardinals last week. But Garcia offers considerably more upside. He has struggled with command throughout his career, but with a sinking fastball that consistently averaged 98+ mph last season, he posted a 25.2 strikeout percentage and a career-low 5.9 walk rate.
If the Cardinals can get anywhere close to that level of production next season, Garcia would prove to be a steal. And it would allow them to add not just a bullpen arm, but a rotation arm, with the team actively seeking a No. 3 starting pitcher.
A Garcia addition would give the Cardinals flexibility to move Alex Reyes to the rotation — or at least a chance to earn a spot. While Reyes was an elite reliever to start the season, he faded in the second half, and is no longer certain to be an option in 2022 and going forward. But expect Garcia’s deal to get done sooner than later, continuing the Cardinals’ theme of locking up their own players before making any outside additions.