And here's why.
The 27-year-old right-hander finally made his major league debut during the 2012 season after seven years in the minor leagues. He pitched out of the bullpen and was a revelation for the Nationals. In 13 appearances, Garcia had a 2.13 ERA in 12.2 innings pitched, surrendering only eight hits and two walks while striking out 15 batters.
And his stock rose even higher when he made the playoff roster. Garcia appeared in two playoff games, giving up only one earned run in 2.2 innings pitched.
What makes him even more valuable, however, is his versatility. Garcia pitched as a reliever in 2012. But the Nats intend to make him a starter in 2013.
Christian Garcia recently talked to Adam Kilgore of The Washington Post about his possible new role with the team:
I’m open to the idea as long as it’s playing in the big leagues. I’ll do whatever it takes to play in the big leagues. I got one taste of it last year, and there’s nothing like it. It was a dream of mine growing up. Being able to get to feel it and live it, it’s just a dream come true now. I don’t want anything but that.
But despite his upsides and advantages, the Washington Nationals should sell high on Christian Garcia.
The main reasons for this strategy are the significant injury issues Garcia has had in his career. Garcia has actually had Tommy John surgery twice, both while a starting pitcher in the New York Yankees organization.
For the Washington Nationals, it would be best to trade Garcia now and attempt to get something of value in return. Pitching is always in high demand, especially for someone who can pitch out of the starting rotation or the bullpen. Teams would be willing to part with valuable pieces for a pitcher of Garcia's caliber. But if he suffers another injury, his stock would begin to drop, therefore lessening the return for the Washington Nationals.
Plus, with a deep rotation, a newly augmented bullpen and organizational depth at pitcher, the Nationals can further afford to sell high on Garcia right now.