Cardinals Exercised 2017 Option For LHP Jaime Garcia, Now Traded To The Atlanta Braves

By Beth Chapman
Dec. 02, 2016

News a bit earlier this evening, St. Louis Cardinals trade left-hander starter Jaime Garcia to the Atlanta Braves this afternoon. They pickup three prospects, second baseman Luke Dykstra and pitchers John Gant and Chris Ellis from the Braves. 

LHP Jaime Garcia went 10-13 last season and finished with a 4.67 ERA.

Garcia, who has battled injury throughout his eight years with the Cardinals, in 2015 had 20 game starts, which was four more starts than his 2013-2014 seasons combined. However, he closed that season 10-6/2.43 ERA for 129.2 IP. His K:BB ration, 97-30 with a 1.049 WHIP. In 2016, his success of the previous season eluded him. Pre-All Star he held a 4.01 ERA. Post-All Star he saw a rise to a 5.60 as he closed the season 10-13/4.67 ERA. He had one complete, one hit shutout his second outing in 2016 bringing a 6.00 ERA down to a 2.40. The first part of the season was by far better for J Garcia. And, for the most part, he was able to go deep into games for the Cardinals, save the last month of play. Fourteen of his thirty game starts, he went six innings or better. Along with his complete game (April 14), he had back-to-back starts (August 5 & 10) of eight innings pitched. The August 5 game was against Atlanta for a three hit shutout, 1-0, win only issuing one walk; and, had 11 strikeouts, that put him at .500 W/L. In his 171.2 IP last season, he had 150 strikeouts and only issued 57 walks. 

Even with his less than stellar 2016 season, the Cardinals exercised his option, $12 MM, for 2017. But, speculation was that he would be shopped during the off-season. Today, speculation became reality and the deal was confirmed. The potential is there for Jaime Garcia to return to his solid pitching he executed in 2015. However, the key will be for him to remain in good health. Maybe for him to re-group, a change a scenery is what he needs. I only wish him the best. In his eight seasons with St. Louis, he was 62-45 with a 3.57 ERA, overall.

Prospects coming in from the Braves (per Fox Sports), 2B Luke Dykstra is the son of former major league outfielder Lenny Dykstra (5 Yrs/New York Mets and 8 Yrs/Philadelphia Phillies). The 21-year-old batted .304 for Class A Rome and was a South Atlantic League All-Star last season.

Pitchers John Gant, 24, was 1-4 with a 4.86 ERA in 20 games (seven starts) for Atlanta last season. Chris Ellis, 24, made 28 combined starts for Triple-A Gwinnett and Double-A Mississippi in 2016, going 12-9 with a 4.49 ERA overall.