In the days since Thanksgiving, Major League Baseball has seen a flurry of All-Stars and big-league regulars sign free agent contracts, ostensibly to get their 2022 (and beyond) destinations settled before the looming lockout December 1. Not all signings have been major, though, as evidenced by former SF Giants catcher Aramis Garcia agreeing to a minor league contract with the Cincinnati Reds, per the Reds' team Twitter account.
SF Giants 2018-19 backstop inks MILB deal
Garcia came up through the SF Giants system. He was the team's 2nd-round draft choice in the 2014 amateur draft out of Florida International University and spent the first six years of his professional career as a Giants minor leaguer.
A slow rise through the farm saw Garcia make stops at every level from Rookie League to Triple-A by 2018. By late-August of that season, with Buster Posey being shut down with a hip injury, Garcia was brought to the majors for the first time at the age of 25.
Garcia made his Major League debut in a start against the New York Mets on August 31, and after striking out swinging in his first two at-bats he hammered his first career home run to lead off the bottom of the eighth and extend the Giants lead to 2-0. Later that same inning, Garcia knocked a single to center field to drive in Hunter Pence.
A good showing at the end of the 2018 season (.268/.308/.492 with 4 home runs in 63 at-bats) raised the possibility of him being a long-term answer behind the dish for the orange and black, especially with Posey's future in doubt thanks to his injury. But an 18-game stint in 2019 sunk that idea, as he struck out in half of his 42 at-bats while stroking just six hits.
An early-February hip surgery in 2020 sidelined Garcia for the pandemic-shortened campaign, and in November of that year he was placed on waivers by the Giants and claimed by the Texas Rangers. He never appeared in a game in Arlington, being sent by the Rangers back to the Bay Area in the Elvis Andrus trade with the Oakland Athletics in February, 2021.
Garcia made the Opening Day roster with Oakland as the backup to Sean Murphy, missed 10 days on the injured list with a stomach bug, and was optioned to Triple-A Las Vegas at the trade deadline. He played in 32 games with the A's, batting .205 with three homers, and hit .268 in 30 games in the minors. Oakland placed him on waivers and released him in late-September, making Garcia a free agent.