According to his agent, the 31-year-old outfielder will decide today on a minor league deal with either club. He's been with the Orix Blue Wave of Japan the past two seasons.
Charitably speaking, Garcia last helped a Major League club in 2003. Best know for his high-profile service with the Yankees, the Mexican-born outfielder played himself out of majors in mid-2004 and has been in Japan ever since. He's actually done admirably well for himself there, hitting .281 with 34 homers in 664 ABs, according to the Denver Post. This winter, he’s lacing up with the Tomateros de Culican of the Mexican Pacific League and hit .294/.378/.587 with 10 homers during the regular season. He’s reportedly whipped himself into shape and has been scouted by the Rockies, but it also appears the Phillies are biting on his comeback attempt.
Meanwhile, the Rockies signed utility man Alexis Gomez today as a lefty bat off the bench, which could swing Garcia toward the Phillies. The Rockies are also talking with Sal Fasano. Thus the Phils and Rox are reaching similar lows in their offseason dealings. One can only assume these negotiations are happening in dark alleys, train yards and under overpasses.
In 10 seasons, Garcia is a .241/.279/.424 hitter with 66 homers and 212 RBIs. His last year in the majors, he had a .265 OBP. Defensively, he’s considered serviceable at all three positions. He was involved in some sort of brawl in 2003 and received probation.
If Garcia receives Pat Gillick’s suitcase full of cash, it would be for a minor league deal. Todd Hollandsworth, the subject of yesterday’s post, is seeking a guaranteed major league deal. Like Hollandsworth, the issue isn’t the signing of cheap bodies; it’s how much these cheap bodies actually help.