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Thursday, December 1, 2016

FANTASY BASEBALL HOT STOVE TRADE FALLOUT: JAIME GARCIA LATEST VETERAN PITCHER TO JOIN BRAVES

The Atlanta Braves added their third veteran starting pitcher just weeks into the Hot Stove season as they acquired lefty Jaime Garcia from the St. Louis Cardinals for three prospects.  Garcia joins the free agent signings of 40-plus starters Bartolo Colon and R.A. Dickey to fortify a rotation that was a major weak point of the team in 2016.  In terms of fantasy baseball, Garcia has been one of the very best SP 5's in the game during his career with the Cardinals, as he registered an ERA under 4.00 in 5 of 6 season from 2010-15.  While his WHIP has been an issue during his career (an elevated 1.28 due to some ugly walk rates), Garcia has been a dependable arm to round out your fantasy baseball rotation on a yearly basis pitching for a winning team.  Well that was until 2016 when Garcia posted a career-worst 4.67 ERA and 1.37 WHIP as he was hammered so badly that eventually he was eventually ranked from the rotation.  While Garcia went back into the rotation by September, the Cardinals were obviously ready to move on given the trade to the Braves.  Garcia is still young at the age of 30 but years of arm and especially shoulder trouble have likely robbed him of velocity and thus resulted in such an ugly campaign last season.  When the Cardinals give up on a pitcher, that is a telling thing and reveals that they are concerned Garcia was not going to be viable again in 2017.  That should be weighed when it comes to drafting him this season for fantasy baseball and his move from St. Louis to Atlanta does nothing to help him in terms of ballpark since he remains in the same type of pitching park that got him shelled a year ago.  Again while Garcia has been a big help as a rock solid SP 5 from 2010-15, there are too many red flags now (injuries, coming off horrible year, average K/9 rate) that might make him someone to now avoid this season. 


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