St. Louis Cardinals will pick up Jaime Garcia’s option for 2017

The St. Louis Cardinals will exercise their $12 million club option on Jaime Garcia.

As reported by Jenifer Langosch of MLB.com, the St. Louis Cardinals will pick up left-handed pitcher Jaime Garcia‘s option for 2017. The Cardinals chose to spend $12 million to keep Garcia for 2017 rather than spend $500k to buy him out.

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The Cardinals were said to be considering both choices for Garcia, but they ultimately chose to keep the lefty instead of pursuing other rotation options in an extremely weak free-agent class. There isn’t many options in free agency for top-to-middle rotation pitchers and there’s even fewer that are left-handed. But, this move in keeping Garcia makes things interesting going forward. The mix of St. Louis starters is incredibly deep and includes:

This list could be even longer if the Cardinals consider Luke Weaver, Marco Gonzalez, Tim Cooney, and a number of other young pitchers to be MLB ready.

The 30-year old Garcia posted a 10-13 record with a 4.67 ERA through 171.2 innings in 2016. He’s sported the bird on the bat since 2008 and has been a staple in the rotation since 2010. Garcia has had his injury woes in 2013 and 2014 but in 2015 he went 10-6 through 20 starts with a 2.43 ERA.

After picking up Garcia’s option, John Mozeliak and the St. Louis Cardinals front office has a number of options. Garcia could be used as the only left-handed starter in the rotation for 2017, he could be traded to fill a need elsewhere, or he could become a spot-starter/reliever hybrid. If Garcia is going to be part of the 2017 starting rotation, then it is likely that another starter listed above will be dealt.

The Cardinals are not expected to pick up any other options besides Garcia. Outfielder Matt Holliday and reliever Jordan Walden are expected to have their options decline and become free agents.

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