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Freddy Garcia Injures Shoulder in Venezuela

Free agent pitcher and former hefty-contract laden ace Freddy Garcia has re-injured his throwing shoulder, according to the Chicago blog Cubs f/x via the official site of Tigres de Aragua and Caracas based newspaper El Universal.

Garcia was pitching in the Venezuelan winter league to try and resuscitate his major league career, which took a year-long hiatus in 2008 despite the glaring need for starting pitching on a number of MLB rosters. He was banking on a healthy winter and the return of his pre-shoulder injury velocity to try and stoke interest heading into spring training. Last year, the Red Sox, White Sox, Mets and a handful of other teams worked out Garcia and considered signing him at various points of the year, only to back out before putting pen to paper (in fairness, it's likely they all backed out far before putting pen to paper).

It's possible that this setback may not kill Garcia's chance of a return. Two other Venezuelan articles, one of them filed via the official Spanish-language MLB site, didn't mention official injury for Garcia, only noting that he throw a paltry 15 pitches across two innings before exiting. Still, it's likely that Garcia will have to bounce back and pitch effectively for the rest of the winter campaign if he has a decent shot of landing on a MLB roster, likely of a team starved for a once-established starter and willing to roll the dice with a contract. If that sounds like the Nationals and Orioles to you, well, it probably should. It could also sound like the Royals, the Pirates and, well, a whole boatload of teams with question marks in their rotation entering spring training (doesn't Garcia seem like exactly the kind of guy the Rangers could overpay for after not getting a handful of other starters they'd targeted?). This injury should certainly give teams who claim to focus on more moderate payrolls like both the local nines a shot at pushing down the salary demands Garcia was tossing around in 2008.

By Cameron Smith  |  November 28, 2008; 6:11 PM ET
Categories:  Cubs , Mets , Nationals , Orioles , Pirates , Rangers , Red Sox , Royals , White Sox  
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