Giants: Jarlin Garcia could be Farhan Zaidi’s best waiver claim yet

Giants reliever Jarlin Garcia. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
Giants reliever Jarlin Garcia. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /

The San Francisco Giants added another arm to the bullpen mix on Monday when they claimed Jarlin Garcia off waivers from the Miami Marlins.

With pitchers and catchers starting to make their way to sunny Arizona and Florida as spring training begins, the San Francisco Giants will have a new face in camp in the form of Jarlin Garcia.

The lefty reliever was claimed off waivers on Monday, as team president Farhan Zaidi continues to treat the back-end of the 40-man roster like a revolving door in his search for marginal upgrades.

Garcia, 27, was once one of the top up-and-comers in the Marlins system.

The 6’3″ southpaw began the 2016 season as the team’s No. 3 prospect, according to Baseball America, after a 2015 campaign where he posted a 3.57 ERA in 133.2 innings between High-A and Double-A as a starter.

He made his MLB debut as a reliever in 2017, posting a 4.73 ERA and 1.20 WHIP with 15 holds in 68 appearances, and he has been a staple in the Miami bullpen for the past three seasons.

The 2019 season was the best of his career thus far, as he finished with a 3.02 ERA and 1.11 WHIP in 53 games while limiting opposing hitters to a .216 average.

He was also equally effective against lefties and righties, as Kerry Crowley explained:

His 2019 performance was worth 1.3 WAR, according to Baseball Reference, which was tied for seventh among all Marlins players.

The only pitchers on the Giants roster to post a higher WAR last season were Jeff Samardzija (2.9), Madison Bumgarner (2.8) and Will Smith (2.2), and two of those guys will be wearing different uniforms in 2020.

Garcia is also still pre-arbitration, meaning he will make roughly the league minimum salary this coming season. He will be under team control through 2023, so he has a chance to be a long-term piece in the San Francisco relief corps.

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It’s hard not to like this pickup for the Giants, and it’s equally hard to figure out what exactly the Marlins were thinking when they designated him for assignment.