Padres sign reliever Luis Garcia

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Credit: USA Today Sports

The San Diego Padres signed right-handed pitcher Luis Garcia to a two-year deal.

On Wednesday, as the looming MLB lockout looms, the San Diego Padres signed a relief pitcher.

Luis Garcia signed with the team for $7 million and two years.

The Padres surely need relief help as Mark Melancon officially signed on Wednesday. The former close signed with the Arizona Diamondbacks for $14-million and two years. The Padres and Melancon held a mutual option for the 2022 season at $5 million, but the reliever elected for free agency instead of returning to the Padres.

Luis Garcia has numbers that are up and down throughout his career.

The right-hander from the Dominican Republic is coming off a great season with the Cardinals, in which he recorded a 3.24 ERA and a WHIP of 0.990 in 34 games, and 33.1 innings pitched in St. Louis. Last year, Garcia pounded the strike zone like no other year. The Padres are counting on him trending in that direction. The help of new pitching coach Ruben Niebla should be of assistance to Garcia.

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The timing of this signing is well as the Padres elected to non-tender several pitchers on Tuesday.

Trey Wingenter, Jose Castillo, and Matt Strahm were all allowed to walk as injury issues plague all three hurlers. The Padres needed relief help, and this signing will go a long way towards rebuilding the depleted bullpen.

The Padres still need relief help and, specifically, a closer.

Robert Suarez, who pitched his entire career in Japan, is an excellent candidate, and the Padres are linked to the right-handed pitcher. He tops out in the triple digits with his fastball and saved 42 games last year in Japan.

Luis Garcia will probably pitch in a set-up role with the Padres. Expect the hard-throwing pitcher to throw in the 7th or 8th innings for San Diego.

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