Jaime Garcia’s stay in Minnesota lasted one start. Less than a week after the Twins got him from Atlanta for Huascar Ynoa, Garcia is headed to the Yankees for righthander Zack Littell and lefthander Dietrich Enns.
The Twins had hoped Garcia, 31, would boost them in the wild-card race, but they’ve gone 1-5 since the trade to fall to 50-52 and they now are four games back of the final wild-card spot.
For the Yankees, Garcia represents an upgrade on the No. 5 rotation spot, which of late has seen less-than-stellar outings from Luis Cessa and Caleb Smith. Smith has made two starts, the longest being just 3.2 innings.
Enns was on the Yankees’ 40-man roster and Littell would have had to have been put on there to protect him from the Rule 5 draft, so the trade helps New York with some housecleaning as well.
Zack Littell, rhp
An 11th-round pick in 2013 out of Mebane, N.C., Littell signed with the Mariners for $100,000 rather than attend Appalachian State. He was traded to the Yankees last December for lefthanded reliever James Pazos and had a standout season in his time in the Yankees organization. Littell is not overpowering, pitching mostly at 89-91 mph, but shows great feel to pitch. He throws a two-seam and four-seam fastball, which he spots well to both sides, and shows no fear of pitching inside, despite non-elite velocity. His curveball is his go-to pitch, with 11-to-5 shape and good depth beneath the zone, drawing swings and misses. His slider has some depth but can be inconsistent and the changeup has some fading action. Scouts are split on whether Littell is a starter in the long-term because of his velocity and that his fastball can get flat when it’s up in the zone. He profiles best as a long man.
|Dietrich Enns, lhp
A 19th-round pick out of Central Michigan in 2012, Enns is a classic touch-and-feel lefthander, although he has shown the ability to push his fastball to 94 mph. Enns’ changeup is probably his best pitch. Enns also throws a curveball, but he mostly relies on location and adding and subtracting to succeed. He profiles best as a lefty specialist.
Jaime Garcia, lhp
As pedestrian as Garcia’s numbers look, he still represents an upgrade for the back of the Yankees rotation. In 120 innings, he’s generated a 55 percent ground-ball rate, which will help keep the ball in the park at Yankee Stadium, where balls fly. Garcia’s sinker is the most effective offering of his four-pitch mix. He’s a free agent after the season and the Twins reportedly are covering the remainder of Garcia’s 2017 salary, around $4.2 million, according to Joel Sherman of the New York Post.