This is one of those things you feel like you need to discuss more than really want to, but the Dodgers lost lefty reliever Onelki Garcia on waivers to the White Sox today.
Garcia had a pretty weird and brief term with the Dodgers after being drafted in the 3rd round in 2012, reaching the bigs for three games in late 2013, but then missing basically all of 2014 after rehab from what was thought to be minor elbow surgery just never seemed to end. Garcia got into one game for Single-A Rancho Cucamonga, then appeared twice in the playoffs for Double-A Chattanooga. All told, and not including those playoff games, he pitched in just 66 professional innings with the Dodgers.
So why let him go? We saw this last year with Shawn Tolleson, who was claimed by Texas before any of us even knew he was available. It’s not that the team didn’t want Garcia any longer, it’s that they didn’t want him on the 40-man roster. With today being the final day to set the 40-man before the Rule 5 draft, and teams scrambling to clear spots for prospects they want to add, it’s a neat trick to pull to try to sneak a player through waivers and keep him in the organization, but off the 40. It didn’t work last year, and it didn’t work this year, either, though since Garcia had to clear the entire NL to get to the White Sox, it almost did. (Amusingly, Ronald Belisario got the axe in Chicago to make room.)
Ultimately, it’s a little disappointing that a player drafted only two years ago with a nice reputation was lost, but Garcia also battled control issues as well as health concerns, so this probably isn’t a huge loss. That said, I’d rather have seen the easily-replaceable Ryan Jackson go instead.
Related, the Dodgers added Zach Lee, Chris Reed, and Scott Schebler to the 40-man, as Dustin predicted yesterday. Though having Garcia on waivers briefly made us think they’d keep a fourth, they did not, and now the 40-man roster stands at 39. I suppose that could have allowed them to keep Garcia and just DFA him (or anyone else) later when they need a spot for a free agent, but doing it now also lets them draft a Rule 5 guy if they want.
Anyway, this was a thing that happened. In the long run, it won’t really matter.