The St. Louis Cardinals finally put an end to rumors about starting pitcher Jaime Garcia's future in the team by picking up his 2016 option. The Redbirds reportedly told the pitcher's representatives that they will be exercising his $11.5 million option to retain him for the next season.
Cardinals general manager John Mozeliak mentioned that the 29-year-old pitcher did just enough in the past season to buy himself one more year within St. Louis. "You look at his performance, and what he was able to accomplish coming back from surgery, he stepped up and did a tremendous job for us [in 2015]," Mozeliak noted. During a KMO morning show, he revealed that the Cardinals' official announcement for picking up the Garcia's option for 2016 will be shared this week.
After fellow pitcher Adam Wainwright was lost earlier this year, Garcia has pitched well and consistently became a member of the team's starting rotation. In over 20 starts, Garcia delivered an average of just below 6.2 innings per start while amassing a 2.43 ERA, a 1.05 WHIP, and a .225 opponent batting average. Arch Authority pointed out that if Garcia qualified for MLB's ERA title, he would have placed second only to Dodger's Clayton Kershaw among left-handers.
St. Louis' current five-man rotation features Adam Wainwright, Michael Wacha, Carlos Martinez, Jaime Garcia and Lance Lynn. Moreover, Alex Reyes, the Cardinals' top pitching prospect, is expected to reach the big leagues sometime during the 2016 season.
With the team's offseason already underway, rumors are also floating around suggesting that the Cardinals are going to South Korean first baseman Byung-ho Park. He has been mentioned as a potential fit for the Cardinals. According to 101 ESPN, the 29-year-old player had 53 homers, 146 RBIs, .714 slugging percentage, and 1.150 OPS in 2015.
Park has also managed to have an average of 85 walks in the past four seasons, resulting in a high on-base percentage. It should be noted that he also competes in the same league (KBO) and same team (Nexen Heroes) that produced Jung Ho Kang, the third baseman and shortstop that just had a promising rookie season in 2015 with the Pittsburgh Pirates.
According to NBC Sports, the Nexen Heroes will be posting Park on Tuesday, and the bidding will be open until Friday, 5 p.m. ET. At that point, the team will decide whether they will accept the highest bid. If they do accept it, the winning team will then have 30 days to work out a deal with the player.