Name: Freddy Garcia
Claim to Fame: From 2001 to 2003, Freddy Garcia was the Mariners opening day starter. In 2001 Garcia led the American League in ERA and innings pitched, and helping the Mariners win a record 116 games.
Was he any good?
After being shipped to Seattle in 1998 from the Houston Astros along with Carlos Guillen and John Halama in exchange for Randy Johnson, Garcia had some big shoes to fill. He immediately had an impact, finishing with a 17-8 record and a 4.07 ERA in his first season.
He finished second in rookie of the year voting. However, his personal best and best season as a Mariner came two years later in 2001. As the ace of a pitching staff whose team won 116 games, Garcia posted career bests in ERA (3.05) and innings pitched (238.2), Freddy also posted a record of 18-6.
Unfortunately, the team was unable to renegotiate a contract with their ace, and in 2003 Garcia was traded to the Chicago White Sox in exchange for Miguel Olivo, Mike Morse, and Jeremy Reed.
Anything Else Interesting About Him?
Garcia serves as a mentor to current Mariners pitcher, Felix Hernandez. He’s been a great mentor so far, I’d say. Felix refers to Garcia as his childhood “idol” as he can relate to Garcia with both of them being from Venezuela. Garcia is currently fighting for a spot in the New York Yankees rotation in spring training. He’s had history with the Yankees, most notably in the 2001 playoffs when they knocked out the Mariners in the AL Championship series.