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Giants claim Jarlin Garcia off waivers, DFA Burch Smith

The bullpen is getting a waiver wire upgrade.

Miami Marlins v New York Mets Photo by Emilee Chinn/Getty Images

With just one day until pitchers and catchers report to spring training in Arizona, the San Francisco Giants are upgrading their bullpen. The Giants claimed lefty reliever Jarlin Garcia (lovingly dubbed “Jarlin the Marlin”) from the Miami Marlins.

It’s always a tiny bit funny when a team claims a player off of waivers from one of the worst teams in baseball. Garcia, just 27-years old, wasn’t good enough to occupy one of the 40 spots for a 57-win team, yet the Giants think he’s worth adding to their roster?

Well, in this case, it seems more to point towards why the Marlins are a 57-win team that’s stuck in the mud. It’s a bit unclear what they’re doing, other than making a bad roster decision.

After a few mediocre-to-bad years to start his career, Garcia had a very strong 2019. A control pitcher, Garcia didn’t strike out many batters - just 39 in 50.2 innings. But he limited hard contact. His ground ball rate was a decent 46.9%, and his line drive rate was just 17.9%. He gave up just four home runs all year.

The result? An ERA of 3.02, and FIP of 3.77, 1.3 Wins Above Replacement per Baseball-Reference, and 0.5 WAR per Fangraphs.

For a Giants bullpen that lost Sam Dyson and Mark Melancon to trades, Will Smith to free agency, and Reyes Moronta to injury, those numbers are needed. They would also be needed by Miami, but that’s neither here nor there.

To make room on the roster for Garcia, the Giants designated right-handed reliever Burch Smith for assignment. It was likely an easy choice for Farhan Zaidi and Scott Harris, seeing as how Garcia is three years younger and much better at throwing a baseball.

Pitchers and catchers reporting just got a little bit better.