The Cincinnati Reds have signed right-handed pitcher Édgar García to a 1-year contract for the 2021 season. Bobby Nightengale of the Cincinnati Enquirer was the first to report the deal and notes that if he makes the big league roster he’ll get $600,000. The signing puts the Reds 40-man roster at 34 players after accounting for the addition of both Édgar García and catcher Deivy Grullón, who the team picked up on waivers from the Boston Red Sox earlier this afternoon.
The reason that Édgar García was available in free agency is because the Tampa Bay Rays non-tendered him earlier this month. The now 24-year-old has pitched in 41 games in the Major Leagues over the last two seasons, though most of them, 37, came with the Philadephia Phillies in the 2019 season.
The numbers for Édgar García haven’t been very good in his big league career. He’s thrown 42.1 innings, posted an ERA of 6.17, allowed 41 hits, walked 30 batters, and he’s given up 13 home runs. He has, however, struck out 46 batters – if you want to find a bright spot in his big league resume, that’s where you want to look.
In the minor leagues he’s had a lot more success. As a 22-year-old in Triple-A with Lehigh Valley while still in the Phillies organization, he posted a 2.48 ERA in 29.0 innings while allowing just 15 hits, walking just 8 batters (and two of those were intentional walks), and he struck out 38 of the 108 hitters that he faced. He’s started in the past, getting 15 starts for Clearwater in the 2017 season, but he has mostly been a reliever in his career and hasn’t started anywhere since that 2017 season.
His fastball works in the 92-95 MPH range and he’s touched 97. He’ll also mix in his slider about half of the time, with an occasional change up showing itself to a hitter. His slider is his bread-and-butter pitch. It’s a plus offering that works in the mid-to-upper 80’s.
Édgar García will be 24-years-old all of next season and he has one option remaining. With a strong slider and a solid fastball, there’s some stuff to like here. But he’s also going to have to find a way to cut back on the walks in the big leagues if he’s going to stick around as a part of the solution in the bullpen.