The Pittsburgh Pirates have agreed to terms with left-handed reliever Jarlin Garcia. This also marks the first left-handed addition this off-season.
The Pittsburgh Pirates have agreed to terms with southpaw Jarlin Garcia. Bullpen depth, especially left-handed depth, was something the Pirates despratley needed. After letting go of Manny Banuelos, the Pirates were left with zero LHPs on the 40-man roster. However, Garcia adds a solid southpaw to the bullpen mix. The first to break the news was Mark Feinsand:
Garcia is coming off a relatively solid season with the San Francisco Giants. In 65 innings, Garcia had a 3.74 ERA, 4.27 FIP, and 1.20 WHIP. Garcia has never been a strikeout pitcher and had just a 20.7% K-rate last year (his career average is a sub-par 19.7% rate). However, his 6.7% walk rate ties his career best. His elite walk rate was also the 8th lowest among lefty relievers in 2022 (min. 50 innings) Garcia’s biggest weakness in 2022 was the long ball. He had a 1.38 HR/9 rate.
Garcia has consistently been a solid bullpen arm. Dating back to 2019, he’s posted an ERA+ of at least 108 (meaning at the very worst in four seasons, he’s still been 8% above average at preventing earned runs from crossing the dish). Garcia also will look to bounce back from a rough second half in which he had a 5.63 ERA, 4.74 FIP, and 1.31 WHIP. Before the all-star break, Garcia had a 1.91 ERA, 3.81 FIP, and 1.09 WHIP. There’s also evidence to suggest that Garcia’s post-all-star performance was a product of bad luck as he had a quality 3.37 SIERA and 3.93 xFIP.
As Feinsand stated, the deal is expected to come with a team option for 2024. While 2023 will be his age-30 campaign, he’s consistently been a decent left-handed bullpen option for the Miami Marlins and San Francisco Giants. Overall, this is a nice add to the bullpen. Not only has Garcia been a good pitcher for the last few seasons, but he comes with control beyond the 2023 campaign.