Blue Jays officially sign relief pitcher Garcia to two-year, $11M deal

Houston Astros relief pitcher and new Blue Jay Yimi Garcia throws during the third inning of Game 1 in the World Series on Oct. 26. (AP)

The Toronto Blue Jays bolstered their bullpen by officially signing RHP Yimi García to a two-year contract worth $11 million, the team announced on Wednesday.

García, 31, opened 2021 pitching for the Miami Marlins before he was dealt at the trade deadline to the Houston Astros, for a combined 4.21 ERA in 62 appearances, picking up 15 saves in 18 opportunities. Garcia struggled while with the Astros, but did pitch four scoreless innings for them in the World Series.

A native of Moca, Dominican Republic, Garcia signed with the Los Angeles Dodgers as an international free agent in 2009 and debuted with the club in 2014. Over seven MLB seasons, the 6-foot-2, 228-pound right-hander has a 3.60 ERA and a 1.03 WHIP in 241 appearances.

“We are excited to welcome Yimi to the Blue Jays,” Ross Atkins, Blue Jays executive vice president, baseball operations & general manager, said in a statement. “Not only does he have an impressive work ethic and arsenal, and experience in the postseason, but he is also a great teammate and person. We know he will be embraced by our clubhouse environment and be an asset to our bullpen.”

García joins a staff that has seen dramatic change over the last few days, with the departures of Cy Young winner Robbie Ray and fellow star starter Steven Matz.

Despite the departures, the Blue Jays will still be well-armed going into 2022, with newly signed all-star right-hander Kevin Gausman joining a rotation that features Hyun-jin Ryu, Jose Berrios and impressive sophomore Alek Manoah.

“I want to thank God and the Blue Jays organization for this opportunity, and for trusting and believing in me,” García said in the same release about the signing. “I decided to sign with Toronto because it is a tremendous team with a chance to win it all this year. The offence is unbelievable and the way the entire team plays with emotion and enjoys the game were the main reasons I picked this team. I will work hard to help the Blue Jays win the World Series.”

The Blue Jays were 91-71 in 2021 and failed to qualify for the playoffs, missing a wild-card spot on the last day of the season.

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