Padres Claim El Cajon Native Greg Garcia From Cardinals

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The San Diego Padres have claimed St. Louis Cardinals’ utility infielder Greg Garcia off of waivers. This gives the Padres another bench option as the San Diego native is very versatile.

On Thursday, Nov. 1, 2018, the San Diego Padres claimed infielder Greg Garcia off waivers from the St. Louis Cardinals.

The move is low-risk and could greatly benefit the team regarding depth as Garcia is very versatile; he can play second base, third base, and even shortstop.

The future of Freddy Galvis is uncertain, along with players like Jose Pirela, Cory Spangenberg, and Christian Villanueva that have proved to be inconsistent, making this a decent pickup. Garcia, 29, was drafted back in 2010 out of the University of Hawaii and had spent his entire career with the St. Louis Cardinals.

The infielder made his MLB debut in 2014 and has filtered in between the majors and minors since then.

Garcia did receive plenty of playing time in 2017 and 2018 as he featured in 133 games in 2017 and 114 games this season.

The 29-year-old did struggle this year as he hit .221/.309/.304 with three home runs in 208 plate appearances. Garcia’s best season came in 2016 when he hit .276/.393/.369 with three home runs, 17 RBI, and a career-high 1.8 WAR in 257 plate appearances.

Garcia has hit .248/.356/.339 in five years in the MLB and he is a left-handed bat that is solid defensively with plenty of versatility.

The ex-Cardinals’ infielder is also a San Diego native as he was born in El Cajon and grew up supporting the Friars. His grandfather is former MLB manager Dave Garcia, who was in charge of the Angels from 1977-1978, the Indians from 1979-1982, and was also a part of the Padres’ coaching staff from 1970-1973.

Garcia will have to be added to the 40-man roster after being added. Of course, the Padres can take a chance on putting him back on waivers and hope that he passes by the other teams. While there is a spot for him after a trade of Raffy Lopez freed a roster spot, the Padres still have other questions regarding who to protect from the Rule 5 draft. If Garcia stays, he will either serve as minor league depth or as a utility player similar to Spangenberg.

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