Dodgers should reunite with this former player before the trade deadline
By Adam Weinrib
The Los Angeles Dodgers collected a wide variety of high-variance, bounce-back arms this offseason, and what do you know? So far, we’ve seen a good deal of variance.
Though the Dodgers as a whole have been among the NL’s best teams, their record is still being weighed down by a horrific mid-April/early-May stretch where they were betrayed by everything, up to, and including, the bullpen.
Rookies were shoved into incorrect roles. Veterans succumbed to injury after battling back from different injuries. Only Kenley Jansen was a constant.
As Olivia Rodrigo once said, it was brutal out here.
We think most Dodgers fans would agree that the return of David Price to … whatever his nebulous hybrid role will be moving forward, as well as Joe Kelly’s comeback, have only papered over the team’s bullpen wounds. We’re still worried about the loss of Corey Knebel. We’re still watching the clock on Tommy Kahnle’s Tommy John rehab. We’re still checking Blake Treinen’s WHIP as it ticks upwards.
Like all contenders, the Dodgers should be firmly in the market for relief help at this year’s deadline. And, with very few teams across the league truly struggling, they might want to pinpoint an old friend with the Miami Marlins as their clearest target: Yimi Garcia.
The Dodgers should reunite with Yimi Garcia in trade.
When the Dodgers let the now-30-year-old reliever flee to the Marlins in free agency after the 2019 season, most seemed to know that his peripherals indicated high-leverage success would follow after he’d mostly been an afterthought in LA’s bullpen.
It took a while for his 2020 season to materialize (the, uh, league was canceled), but Garcia finished the shortened campaign with an 0.60 ERA, only allowing a single earned run all year (in a doubleheader win over Philadelphia, so no harm, no foul).
Thus far in 2021, his chase rate, curveball and fastball spin have all still been elite, though he’s struggled to limit hard contact to his previous levels (49th percentile hard-hit percentage and a bleak 19th percentile in average exit velocity). Despite a recent bump in the road (blown save against Toronto, who hasn’t), Garcia’s counting numbers are still quite excellent; he sports a 2.63 ERA and tidy 1.042 WHIP, which would rank second in the Dodgers ‘pen (or third if you count Phil Bickford’s recent cameo).
Though it’s been nearly two years since he’s worn Dodger Blue, there also appears to be a bit of history simmering between the two parties, based on this little interaction at the end of a recent Marlins win at Dodger Stadium.
Make of that what you will (Max Muncy said get this L out of our dugout!), but Garcia could help lengthen the bullpen and has vast experience working under pressure in LA.
He’ll be a hot commodity this summer, with most teams hovering somewhere between contention and disaster. The Marlins have always been wise about selling high, though, and will likely be down to collaborate and get the final half-year of Garcia’s deal onto a different roster.