The Mariners have continued their busy offseason, inking veteran right hander Jon Garland to a minor league deal with an invite to Spring Training. Garland will meet the team in Peoria, AZ next week and undergo his physical at that time. Garland, 33, tore his rotator cuff on his pitching arm and had surgery in 2011. He missed the entire 2012 season as a result and figure to make little impact on the big league club this year. Having played the majority of his career for the Chicago White Sox, including winning a World Series ring in 2005, Garland bounced around a lot in the years after, playing for the Angels, Diamondbacks, Dodgers and Padres.
Jun 1, 2011; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers starter Jon Garland (21) delivers a pitch against the Colorado Rockies at Dodger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee/Image of Sport-USA TODAY Sports
Garland, once a top prospect for the White Sox, including being ranked as the 32nd best prospect per Baseball America prior to the 2000 season, never morphed into an ace or #2 starter but was a solid pitching arm that ate up innings while still producing quality results. Over his twelve year big league career, Garland owns a lifetime record of 132-119 with a 4.32 ERA and a 4.9 K/9. Its highly unlikely that he sees anytime at the major league level this year unless Seattle’s pitching staff suffers a few injuries, however, its hard to go wrong when you sign a veteran to a minor league deal.
Taking a physical is just a formality, however, the Indians signed Garland to a minor league deal last offseason but voided the deal when Garland refused to take a physical. Its highly doubtful that he repeats that same mistake twice, but its worth throwing it out there just in case.