These are just a few of the many questions that are on my mind these days…And fans, Freddy Garcia was very good for the Chicago White Sox last season, (at times you might argue he was great, that is if you are the sort that considers a combined 9-1 record in the months of April and May when the team struggled badly immediately following Opening Day, “great”) and we paid him peanuts in comparison to other starters in the league. We specifically paid him peanuts in comparison to our own starting staff, and the mixed bag that was their production. And here we are with February almost upon us, and Freddy Garcia is STILL available. Now, I’m not saying trade a pitcher to make room in the rotation for Freddy to return as our solid #5, but what I AM saying is what I have always said from the beginning: What does it hurt to bring Freddy Garcia back on a low-budget ($1MM, and maybe plus incentives for number of IP?) to serve as an insurance policy in the event that Jake Peavy cannot return to his former self ? He’d be a perfect candidate to slide into the long-reliever/spot starter role that Tony Pena was forced into last season.
With Spring Training looming, and still no clear picture on the prospects of Peavy’s health, it sure would seem a prudent move to go “back to the well”, and reach for the “wooby”(or woobie if you prefer)…the old and tattered, yet completely reliable known quantity. For some, just the sight of him sweating profusely (“Sweaty Freddy”), and reducing the game to a downright crawl of a pace is not a savory or even a positive thought…but for others (myself included), he is your favorite comfort food. That old sweatshirt that has been washed so many times that it is just too soft to throw away. When it rips, you sew it, and you hate to sew. You know what to expect from it, and even though it just reeks at times, and doesn’t look too great to the untrained public eye…the fact of the matter is: it still works. More often than not, he is still: “Big Game Freddy”.
Sometimes that kind of feeling just can’t be ignored. What do you have to lose anyway? If it doesn’t work, no harm, you try a different plan. If it really is the problem of not having the scratch on hand to give the man (maybe not as much as he deserves) at least as much as you can pull together so as not to insult him for his efforts to keep a marginal team competitive last season. And if you REALLY don’t have it in the budget after all of the spending this off-season? Well, I suggest you find it, before somebody else beats you to it, then you’ll only have yourselves to blame if he beats you on the field, and especially on the field pitching for a Division rival…
So, please Kenny Williams, do us all a favor, and pass the hat, start looking for coins in the couch cushions, look under a rock…just sign Freddy Garcia! What could it harm?