In a separate transaction, the Orioles traded with San Francisco to acquire veteran reliever Scott Proctor for cash considerations. Proctor, who pitched in Korea last year, is also expected to begin the season with Norfolk, pitching out of the bullpen.
“Here’s two veteran pitchers that have been successful in the big leagues and we have some spots available at Triple-A and we’ll take a look at them to see if they can help this club during the season. Freddy Garcia has won over 150 games in the big leagues. He’s a winning pitcher,” Orioles executive vice president Dan Duquette said.
Duquette confirmed tonight that four of Norfolk’s starters will be, in some order, Garcia, Zach Britton, Zach Clark and Jair Jurrjens.
He also confirmed that top pitching prospects Dylan Bundy, Kevin Gausman and Mike Wright will all begin the season in the rotation at Double-A Bowie.
Over the last two seasons with the New York Yankees, Garcia was 19-14 with a 4.29 ERA in 56 games with 42 starts. He went 7-6 with a 5.20 ERA last year.
“Freddy is a veteran pitcher who knows what it takes to win,” Duquette said. “He’s a good guy to have in the organization. Even the last two years with the Yankees, he’s won 14 games. So we’re going to take him to Triple-A to take a look at him. He’s a good veteran pitcher to have.
“He’s agreed to go there (Triple-A) for five or six starts and we’ll see where he is and where the team is.”
Duquette was asked if that meant Garcia had an out clause in his minor league contract and could leave the organization after five or six starts if not called to the major leagues?
“No, not necessarily,” he said. “We’ve agreed that after five or six starts we’ll evaluate where he is and where the team is. He didn’t make their ballclub (in San Diego). We saw a lot of Freddy last year and he’s a capable major leaguer.”
Garcia was released Sunday after losing out in a spring battle for the fifth starter’s job in San Diego. He went 1-4 with an 8.71 ERA in six spring starts, allowing 25 runs and 26 hits in 20 2/3 innings. If he had been added to the Padres’ 40-man roster, Garcia would have received a one-year deal with $1.3 million, with another $1.25 million in incentives based upon games started.
In his 14-year major league career, the 36-year-old Garcia is 152-101 with a 4.15 ERA. He was an American League All-Star with Seattle in 2001 and 2002 and finished second in the Rookie of the Year balloting in 1999, when he went 17-8 with a 4.07 ERA in 33 starts for Seattle.
Garcia’s 152 career wins are the most by a Venezuelan-born pitcher in major league history.
The 36-year-old Proctor last pitched in the majors in 2011, going 2-6 with a 7.14 ERA over 40 1/3 innings for the Yankees and Atlanta Braves. He is 18-16 with a career ERA of 4.78 in the majors with those two teams and the Los Angeles Dodgers.
“He’s a veteran reliever who had a great year last year in Korea,” Duquette said of Proctor. “He’s another veteran guy that could come up and help the major league team. He’s looked good this spring, he’s pitched well for the Giants. It looks to me like he regained the form and stuff that made him a good pitcher for the Yankees a couple years ago.”
In 2012, Proctor pitched for the Doosan Bears of the Korean Baseball Organization and was 4-4 with 35 saves and a 1.79 ERA in 57 games.