Orioles agree to contract terms with Rico Garcia

The desire for more pitching depth has led the Orioles to right-hander Rico Garcia.

The Orioles have agreed to terms with Garcia, 27, on a minor league deal pending a physical, according to a source. He didn’t pitch this summer and went on the 60-day injured list with Double-A Richmond on May 17 after undergoing Tommy John surgery in March.

Garcia became a minor league free agent this month.

The Rockies selected Garcia in the 30th round of the 2016 draft out of Hawaii Pacific University. The Giants claimed him off waivers in November 2019 and twice re-signed him to minor league deals with spring training invites.

He won’t be ready for spring training with the Orioles and likely will have to begin the season on the injured list.

Thumbnail image for Oriole-Park-at-Camden-Yards-Warehouse-Sidebar.jpgThe extent of Garcia’s major league experience is two games with the Rockies in 2019 and 12 with the Giants in 2020 - with only one start in the mix. He’s allowed 13 runs and 22 hits in 16 innings, with nine walks and nine strikeouts.

Garcia is 25-25 with a 3.75 ERA and 1.313 WHIP in 85 minor league games, including 72 starts. He’s struck out 400 batters in 400 2/3 innings and averages 1.0 home runs per nine innings.

Garcia, who’s listed at 5-feet-9 and 201 pounds, has a mid-90s fastball and mid-80s changeup. He also mixes in a curveball.

MASN’s Melanie Newman first reported the news on Garcia.

* Left-hander Nick Vespi has been chosen to the East team for the Saturday’s 15th Arizona Fall League “Fall Stars Game.”

Vespi, 26, is 3-1 with a 2.19 ERA in eight games with the Mesa Solar Sox. He’s allowed three earned runs (four total) and nine hits in 12 1/3 innings, with five walks and 14 strikeouts.

No other Orioles were selected. Outfielders Kyle Stowers and Yusniel Diaz were shut down early due to lower back and shoulder injuries, moves made to ensure that they’d have a regular timeline leading into spring training.

Vespi is eligible for the Rule 5 draft. He posted a 1.42 ERA and 0.947 WHIP in 14 relief appearances with Double-A Bowie and a 6.86 ERA and 1.525 WHIP in 16 games with Triple-A Norfolk.

Vespi, an 18th-round draft pick in 2015, averaged 11.4 strikeouts per nine innings.

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