Happening Elsewhere: Freddy Garcia Latest Big-Name Yanks Acquisition

Happening Elsewhere: Freddy Garcia Latest Big-Name Yanks Acquisition

I know it's almost not funny to keep piling on the Yanks at this point of the off-season--almost--but man, they're making it easy. After a disappointing free agent haul that saw the team miss out on all their Type A targets (except for relief pitcher Rafael Soriano, who GM Brian Cashman might not even have wanted in the first place), the Bronx Bombers have had to settle for a number of underwhelming, lower-profile signings in their stead. Notable mostly by its contrast to New York winters past, it's always a treat to see the Yanks have to fight for such scraps as Spring Training nears.

And whether by coincidence or design, these lesser signings have all had the distinct air of being about a half-decade too late. Mark Prior, Russell Martin, Andruw Jones, Bartolo Colon (!!)--and now, our old friend Freddy Garcia, signed to a $1.5 million deal conditional on Freddy making the major-league roster, with a couple mil available in incentive bonuses.

Garcia, you likely recall, was once the prized off-season landing of the Phillies organization. After spending a couple all-star seasons with the Mariners and winning a World Series ring with the White Sox, the Phils dealt a duo of pitching prospects (Gavin Floyd and Gio Gonzalez, both of whom are solid starters in the majors today) for Garcia with the intention of him becoming the rock of the team's 2007 rotation. Didn't exactly work out that way, as Freddy suffered a pre-season shoulder injury that plagued him for his first eleven starts, before he was shut down for the season with only a single W under his belt, and shown the door the next autumn.

Since then, Garcia has done a decent job of rehabilitating his career, eventually landing back in Chicago as a consistent if unspectacular innings-eater for the Sox. Last year, he went 12-6 with a 4.64 ERA in 28 starts--more outings than he'd managed in the last three seasons combined. In New York, he (potentially) joins a rotation with CC Sabathia, Phil Hughes, and a whole lot of question marks, as the Yanks try to figure out if Ivan Nova is worth a damn, if AJ Burnett should still have a career and if Andy Pettitte can be coaxed out of retirement one last time.

Reports say that the Yanks are closing in on Adam Eaton and Kris Benson as well, but are playing it cool in the negotiations to "avoid looking desperate."

ESPN: Yanks, Freddy Garcia Agree

Even Mike Trout wants to see Sam Bradford's return to Philly

Even Mike Trout wants to see Sam Bradford's return to Philly

When Angels All-Star outfielder Mike Trout's six-year, $144.5 million contract ends in 2020, the Millville, New Jersey, native will be in his prime at 29 years old, and Phillies' fans dream of seeing Trout playing at Citizens Bank Park could be come true.

For the time being, though, Trout, a season-ticket holder, is just chilling at Lincoln Financial Field as the Eagles play the Vikings on Sunday because the Angels are almost as bad as the Phillies and even he couldn't stay away from Sam Bradford's return to Philadelphia.

Michael Del Zotto, Scott Laughton return to practice

Michael Del Zotto, Scott Laughton return to practice

VOORHEES, N.J. — The Flyers welcomed two more players out on to the rink for their practice following Saturday’s 6-3 win over Carolina. 

Michael Del Zotto (lower body) and Scott Laughton (lower body) returned to the ice for the first time since suffering injuries within days of each other. Before Sunday’s light practice, Del Zotto and Laughton had skated two consecutive days prior to work on their conditioning. 

“It’s nice to see them back with the group,” head coach Dave Hakstol said. 

Laughton, who injured himself during a training camp practice after losing an edge, was a bit more forward than Del Zotto on when he hopes to return. 

“I would say within the next five to seven days,” Laughton said.

The 22-year-old pointed to Saturday’s game with Pittsburgh as his target to return. 

As for Del Zotto, the defenseman didn’t want to jinx anything, saying it’s a “day-by-day” situation. He would like to think he’s working on the same timetable as Laughton. If that’s the case, he would be back either a few days before or right on cue with the projected four to five weeks he was scheduled to miss after suffering an injury to his left knee in the preseason against the New York Rangers on Oct. 6. 

“It’s kind of trial and error,” Del Zotto said. 

Above all else, though, the two were just happy to be back with their teammates. Del Zotto said that being around everyone really rejuvenated his spirits. 

“Just being back around the guys and having that team chemistry and camaraderie and being able to joke with the guys,” Del Zotto said, “it’s probably been the best thing for me.”

This past month has especially been hard on the two because of the timing and how last season ended for them. 

While there’s never an ideal time to suffer an injury, the pair saw training camp and the approaching start of the regular season in a different light than most of their teammates.

It was supposed to be their new start. Last season, Del Zotto missed the final few months, including the postseason, after ligament damage to his left wrist. He was having a strong preseason, arguably the top defenseman in camp at the time before suffering his setback.

“Being out so long last year and having to sit and watch playoffs than having six months of grueling rehab to get back into it … that made it sting that much more,” Del Zotto said. “That’s part of the game. It’s a contact sport. I signed up for this.”

The same can be said for Laughton, who experienced a scary injury in Game 4 against Washington after being dumped head first into the boards. 

“I was really excited to have camp and start the year here,” Laughton said. 

The two will be traveling to Montreal with the rest of the Flyers for Monday’s contest. They will each do the morning skate with another bag skate afterward.