St. Louis Cardinals general manager John Mozeliak made it official on Sunday: The club will exercise the $11.5 million option in Jaime Garcia's contract for 2016. The news is not surprising. Chairman Bill DeWitt Jr. was a guest on Bernie Miklasz's 101 ESPN radio show and forecasted the likelihood of the move:
All MLB contracts are gambles and paying Garcia $11.5 million for 2016 is no different. Injury risk is inherent in every expenditure a baseball club makes, and it's more pronounced with Garcia. The portsider has undergone three surgeries on his throwing arm:
- 2008: Ulnar collateral ligament replacement (Tommy John)
- 2013: Partial labrum tear and partial rotator cuff tear
- 2014: Thoracic outlet release
- The St. Louis faithful witnessed firsthand how awful Justin Masterson was in 2014, when he posted a 5.88 ERA (133 ERA-), 4.50 FIP (124 FIP-), 4.08 xFIP (117 xFIP-), and 0.4 Fangraphs Wins Above Replacement (fWAR). Boston signed Masterson to a one-year deal worth $9.5 million last offseason.
- Brett Anderson is a very good pitcher when healthy, but he is oft-injured. Anderson totaled 35 innings in 2012, 44 2/3 in 2013, and 43 1/3 in 2014. The Dodgers signed Anderson to a one-year, $10-million contract during the 2014-15 Hot Stove.