Veteran right-hander Jon Garland is back on the free agent market, having received his release from the Seattle Mariners yesterday, and multiple teams have already reached out and expressed interest. The Colorado Rockies appear to be the latest team linked to the 33 year old, according to Thomas Harding of MLB.com. Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports also suggests that the San Diego Padres and Texas Rangers could be in the mix, given the two team’s apparent desire to add starting pitching.
Garland has missed most of the past season and a half to injury, but has thrown well in four starts this Spring for the Mariners. He’s largely kept the ball down in the zone and has shown signs that he’s healthy once again, despite poor peripheral numbers in his 12.0 innings of work (1.5 HR/9, 3.8 BB/9, 3.0 K/9). Seattle had signed Garland to a minor league deal in mid-February with a provision that a decision be made regarding his roster status no later than yesterday. When it became apparent he wouldn’t make the team’s roster, giving the final spot in their rotation to either Blake Beavan or Erasmo Ramirez, he requested his unconditional release.
Colorado’s interest is not truly surprising. They appear set to enter the season with a rotation fronted by Jhoulys Chacin, Jeff Francis, Jorge De La Rosa, and Juan Nicasio. Barring an outside addition, Drew Pomeranz will likely take the final spot in the rotation. Tyler Chatwood, Chris Volstad, Christian Friedrich, and Daniel Rosenbaum (a Rule 5 pick) could also be starting options. Collectively the group has some limited MLB experience, but none have seen significant success to date. Volstad and Rosenbaum could both find their way into the Rockies bullpen initially, while Chatwood and Friedrich both appear ticketed for Triple-A to begin the season. Pomeranz would presumably join them if he’s bumped from the rotation.
While the Rockies have options, from a numbers standpoint, there is a lack of a true experienced option among the group. Garland could offer a veteran presence that could prove beneficial in the clubhouse, as well as on the field. He’s thrown 2,083 innings in his 12 year career, posting a 132-119 record and 4.32 ERA. His last full season came in 2010 with San Diego, when he went 14-12 with a 3.47 ERA in 33 starts (200.0 IP).