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Marlins announce Yimi García signing

The club’s first major league free agent addition of the offseason is now official, with Kyle Keller designated for assignment to make room on the 40-man roster.

Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images

The Marlins announced Friday afternoon that right-hander Yimi García has been signed to a one-year contract. The deal was reportedly agreed upon at the MLB Winter Meetings.

Earlier this week, Miami officially invited nine players on minor league deals to participate in spring training. And remember, Jonathan Villar arrived via trade and Jesús Aguilar via waiver claim. So García is their only acquisition of the offseason thus far to actually choose the Marlins and get a full guarantee for 2020.

According to the Associated Press, García gets $1.1 million with $200,000 attainable through performance bonuses. He can earn $50,000 for 40 appearances, and an extra $50,000 each for reaching 50, 60 and 70 appearances. His career high up to this point has been 64 appearances (set in 2019).

As analyzed by Luis Davila, García provides an intriguing combination of pure stuff, control and MLB experience. The 29-year-old just needs to keep more balls in play after allowing 15 home runs for the Dodgers last season.

Another factor that surely appealed to the Marlins? García will be arbitration eligible in 2021.

A corresponding move was required to create room on the 40-man roster. The Marlins decided to designate Kyle Keller for assignment. Entering his age-27 season campaign, Keller has only 10 23 mediocre innings pitched at the highest level, though he has posted a 31.8% career strikeout rate in the minors (including 33.3 K% with Triple-A New Orleans). Keep in mind that the MLB average last season for relievers was 23.9 K%.

Keller still has his prospect eligibility, but did not crack the newly updated Fish Stripes Top 30 list.

Previously DFA’d Marlins arms Tayron Guerrero and Tyler Kinley were claimed by the White Sox and Rockies, respectively. As was the case with them, MLB teams may be drawn to Keller’s mid-90s fastball and swing-and-miss potential despite his elevated walk rate. But at this stage of the offseason, many 40-man rosters are filled up, increasing the likelihood that Keller passes through waivers and gets outrighted to the minors by the Fish.