The Marlins lost left-handers Jarlin García and José Quijada on Monday after they were claimed off waivers by the Giants and Angels, respectively. Both of them had spent their entire professional careers with the Fish up to this point.
García, 27, finishes his Marlins career with a 4.29 ERA and 4.92 FIP in 150 appearances. Underwhelming on the surface, but he seemingly should have been at the peak of his value—he pitched to a 3.02 ERA in 50.2 IP last year, stranding 22 of 28 inherited baserunners out of the bullpen and inducing lots of weak contact. Additionally, García thrived this offseason during winter ball in his native Dominican Republic. He isn’t even arbitration eligible yet (under club control through 2023). The main deterrent for interested teams was that he has used up all of his minor league options.
The Marlins managed to get something in return for DFA’d relievers Austin Brice and Kyle Keller earlier in the winter, setting expectations that they would be able to do the same in García’s case.
Losing him without adding any young talent whatsoever—at a time when the Marlins already have limited bullpen depth—is inexcusable. After a few hours of reflection, I’d like to qualify my criticism and note Stephen Tarpley’s indirect involvement in this situation:
There's risk with Tarpley. Bad/limited MLB track record!— Fish Stripes (@fishstripes) February 10, 2020
But when he was DFA'd by Yankees, Marlins made the calculation that they preferred him (and his minor league options) over Jarlin. Eventually 40-man math led to this.
From Season Preview series... https://t.co/9GSCCynsyP
In a vacuum, losing García for nothing is inexcusable. In full context, it’s still suspect, but at least we can see a coherent vision behind it.
Quijada split his age-23 season between Triple-A and the Marlins, struggling mightily with the latter. He threw 63.5% of his pitches for strikes in New Orleans, but that plummeted to 58.7% in the majors. Predictably, that resulted in way too many walks. On the other hand, his above-average fastball velocity, sharp bite on his breaking ball and the flexibility to option him made the Venezuelan lefty worth taking a flier on.
This is a deflating ending to what has otherwise been an efficient, well-executed Marlins offseason plan. But on the bright side, pitchers and catchers report to Jupiter on Wednesday!