Freddy Garcia's Return to the Yankees Was a Mistake

BALTIMORE, MD - APRIL 10: Starting pitcher Freddy Garcia #36 of the New York Yankees attempts a pick off throw to first base against the Baltimore Orioles during the second inning at Oriole Park at Camden Yards on April 10, 2012 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)

Throughout the offseason, many of us questioned the Yankees' incentive in bringing Freddy Garcia back into the fold as a starter. Yet after doing so, and while operating under a budget, the Yankees traded for Michael Pineda, signed Hiroki Kuroda, and inked Andy Pettitte to a minor league deal. All of a sudden, if it's possible, there was too much pitching.

The Yankees also have David Phelps and Adam Warren in the organization, both of whom are respected prospects and are widely considered Major League ready. Phelps proved that last night as he tossed 2 1/3 perfect innings with four strikeouts, while Warren awaits in Triple-A.

Garcia signed a harmless one year, $4M contract, but with the benefit of hindsight, this seems like a mistake for multiple reasons. Does Garcia offer any more upside than Phelps? If last night is any indicator, the answer to that question is quite obvious.

Additionally, while operating under a budget, the Yankees signed Raul Ibanez to a one year, $1.1M contract. If they had not signed Garcia, could they have made a harder push for a younger, better left-handed bat like Carlos Pena, who signed for $7.25M to return to the Rays?

It seems like Garcia's presence on the roster has caused a log jam. Young pitchers were unable to have a shot at the rotation, and his salary, while low, might have been enough to keep the Yankees away from attempting to sign a better DH after trading away Jesus Montero.

I'm sure Brian Cashman didn't envision acquiring Pineda, Kuroda and Pettitte when he signed Garcia, but I can't help but feel that Garcia's $4M and his roster spot could be put to better use.

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