Friday evening marks the Major League Baseball deadline for teams to tender contracts to arbitration-eligible players, which the Los Angeles Dodgers began the offseason with nine of.
The group was comprised of Luis Avilan, Pedro Baez, Tony Cingrani, Josh Fields, Yimi Garcia, Yasmani Grandal, Kiké Hernandez, Joc Pederson and Alex Wood. Eight made contributions to the team in 2017, while Garcia missed the entire season after undergoing Tommy John surgery in October 2016.
Despite missing the entire season, it appears that Garcia still figures into the Dodgers future plans, as the two sides avoided the arbitration process altogether by agreeing to a one-year contract, according to J.P. Hoornstra of the Southern California News Group:
The Dodgers signed Yimi Garcia to a one-year contract, avoiding arbitration.
— J.P. Hoornstra (@jphoornstra) December 1, 2017
The right-handed reliever signed with the Dodgers as an amateur free agent out of the Dominican Republic in 2009. He made his Major League debut as a September call-up in 2014.
Garcia developed into one of the Dodgers best right-handed relievers in 2015, appearing in 59 games and yielding a 3.34 ERA, 3.20 FIP and 0.95 WHIP while striking out 68 compared to just 10 walks in 56.2 innings of work.
Garcia dealt with a multitude of injuries in 2016 that limited him to just nine games and 8.1 innings, although he was effective in that short span pitching to a 3.24 ERA.
Given the Dodgers bullpen depth this past season, it may be tough for Garcia to earn a spot on the Major League roster out of Spring Training. But if he proves he is healthy and can return to his 2015 form then he will be another weapon for manager Dave Roberts.
Dodgers general manager Farhan Zaidi said the club anticipated Garcia playing a significant role for the team in 2018.