Yankees pursue Gray from A’s, acquire Garcia from Twins
NEW YORK — Jaime Garcia is joining the Yankees from the Minnesota Twins. Will Sonny Gray be the next addition to New York’s rotation before Monday’s trade deadline?
“That would be pretty nice, too,” Todd Frazier said before Sunday’s 5-3 loss to Tampa Bay, which stopped New York’s sixgame winning streak. “I remember facing him. He’s pretty nasty.”
New York sent minor league pitchers Zack Littell and Dietrich Enns to the Twins for Garcia, a 31-year-old left-hander who went 4-7 with a 4.30 ERA in 18 starts for Atlanta. He was dealt to Minnesota last Monday and won his only start for the Twins, giving up three runs and eight hits in 6 2/3 innings at Oakland on Friday.
Garcia took a redeye flight Saturday night from California to Atlanta to get some of his belongings. He is to make his Yankees debut on Thursday at Cleveland.
“It’s what we need. It’s an awesome add for this team. I’ve heard only good things about him as a clubhouse guy and I’m excited,” Aaron Judge
Gray is 4-2 with a 1.37 ERA in his last six starts. He makes $3,575,000, is not eligible for free agency until after the 2019 season and would slot into the middle of a rotation that includes Luis Severino, Masahiro Tanaka and CC Sabathia.
Garcia takes the No. 5 slot in the rotation filled since the All-Star break by Caleb Smith and Bryan Mitchell. Michael Pineda’s elbow injury, which required Tommy John surgery, caused the Yankees to search for more starting pitching.
Garcia pitched for St. Louis from 2008-16 and was dealt to the Braves last December. He started Games 2 and 6 against Texas in the 2011 World Series.
“I think we’re looking at the experience factor,” Yankees manager Joe Girardi said . “It’s someone that’s pitched in some big games before.”
New York will in effect pay only $184,180 in salary to Garcia — a prorated share of the $535,000 minimum. Atlanta agreed to pay the Twins cash to cover most of the remainder of his $12 million salary, and Minnesota in turn will pass the cash on to the Yankees. He is eligible for free agency after the World Series.
“Basically a three-pitch guy: fastball, changeup, slider. And pretty good movement on the fastball,” Yankees pitching coach Larry Rothschild said.
Jordan Montgomery ( 7- 6) started just six of 16 batters with strikes and allowed four runs and six hits in 2 2/3 innings Sunday. More acquisitions could jeopardize his rotation spot.
“It’s not my decision,” he said. “I’ve been up here all year so, obviously, they want me here, and I’ve been throwing pretty well. Had three bad starts so just going to keep trying to do my job.”
Smith was optioned to Triple- A Scranton/ WilkesBarre on Sunday a day after lasting 3 1/3 innings, and lefthander Chasen Shreve was recalled from the Triple- A club. Right-hander Luis Cessa was sent down after pitching 3 1/3 innings of relief Sunday.
Ronald Torreyes homered with a career-high three RBIs for the Yankees, who had won eight of nine. New York had seven walks, a hit batter and another player who reached on an error but was 1 for 11 with runners in scoring position and stranded 10 runners.
“We didn’t take advantage of our free base runners,” Girardi said.
Judge went 0 for 4 with two strikeouts and a walk, stranding five runners. The AL homerun leader has a .158 average (9 for 57) with 25 strikeouts since winning the All-Star Home Run Derby, dropping his season average from .329 to .302.
“It’s just that part of the season. Everyone goes through it, and you just got to keep grinding,” he said. “You’re not going to feel 100 percent or be on you’re ‘A’ game 100 percent of the time.”
Matt Holliday, who hit a game-ending groundout against Alex Colome , was 0 for 5 with two strikeouts and stranded six runners. He is hitting .130 (9 for 69) with four RBIs since returning from a stint on the disabled list caused by a virus.
“Not squaring the ball up really more than anything,” he said.