Monday afternoon’s conversations in New York heavily revolved around the Yankees’ trade for right-handed starter Sonny Gray, but he wasn’t the only arm acquired by the club before the deadline.
To veteran southpaw Jaime Garcia — who joined the Yankees via the Minnesota Twins on Sunday — playing in pinstripes will be a dream-like opportunity, all because his late grandfather envisioned it for him as a kid, growing up in Mexico.
“My grandfather was always a huge Yankees fan. He told me when I was a kid that he would see me playing for the Yankees one day,” Garcia told the New York Daily News on Tuesday afternoon at Yankee Stadium. “So my mom was very emotional about [the trade] because of that story. My grandfather passed away when I was 13-years-old. The family was touched by [the trade] because obviously they’re all Yankees fans. They were very excited — excited for me, excited for this opportunity.”
According to Yankees’ manager Joe Girardi, the refurbished pitching staff will be supplied with six arms in the rotation for the time being, although Girardi doesn’t plan to incorporate a six-man rotation for more than a week. On Friday night in Cleveland, Garcia will make his Yankee debut against the Indians, and he expects to be pitching every fifth day.
“I was told when the trade happened [with Minnesota], they called me, I was told I may be starting. Then when I got [to Yankee Stadium] today, I was told that I was going to be making the start in Cleveland,” Garcia said. “Like I said, I’m 100 percent focused on that one start. I take my deal one start at a time. I don’t focus on anything else that’s out of my control.”
In 19 combined starts with the Atlanta Braves and Twins, the 31-year-old owns a 4.29 ERA, with 92 strikeouts, 44 walks and 116 hits in 119.2 innings.