NEW YORK, NY: Freddy Garcia #36 of the New York Yankees celebrates an inning ending out against the Boston Red Sox at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx borough of New York City. (Photo by Nick Laham/Getty Images)
It looks like the Yankees are getting the band back together, as Freddy Garcia's signed a one-year deal to return to the rotation in 2012.
signed a one-year deal worth between $4-5 million, more than tripling his $1.5 million base salary from last season. Garcia earned more than $3 million including incentives, going 12-8 with a 3.62 ERA in 25 starts.
This is an exceptionally good deal for the Yankees, considering that Garcia was worth roughly $10 million to them last season. More, actually; the value of a better-than-average starting pitcher is higher for a contending team than for a non-contending team.
Of course, the risk is that Garcia regresses to his 2010 ERA (4.64) rather than sticking to his 2011 mark (3.62). But even if that happens, the Yankees still get their $5 million worth, since they'll score so many runs that even a 4.64 starting pitcher will win about as many games as he loses.
I'm not so sure. The Yankees went into 2011 with six starters -- those five, plus Bartolo Colon -- and I suspect they'll do the same in 2012. We just don't know whether they'll look for another Colon-like bargain, or spend what it takes to get one of the Grade A free agents out there.