Freddy Garcia has agreed to a contract with the Tigers, SI.com has learned. Garcia had been a free agent, and has not pitched since June of 2007 with the Philadelphia Phillies, when shoulder problems limited him to just 11 starts. He went 17-9 with the White Sox in 2006, his last full season in the majors.
Garcia's deal is a minor-league contract that runs only through the end of 2008. It will become a major league contract if he's promoted to the parent club. Garcia will report first to Class-A Lakeland.
Garcia, 33, has a lifetime record of 117-76 with the Mariners, White Sox and Phillies, and has a 6-2 postseason record. He has been sidelined for over a year and had shoulder surgery on a torn labrum, but had recently begun auditioning for teams who might hope to sign him for the stretch drive.
On August 5, Garcia held a showcase for about 15 teams, including the Tigers, Dodgers, Diamondbacks, Rays, Yankees, Mets, Red Sox, Phillies, Twins, White Sox and Brewers. Scouts thought he looked very good but his radar readings in the 84-86 range indicated his arm strength was still coming.
The Tigers, expected to roll to the AL Central title before the season began, have been a disappointment right from the start, and enter play on Tuesday at 58-60, in third place in the AL Central, eight games out of first and 9 1/2 games behind in the wild card race.
Garcia has a reputation as a big-game pitcher, having won the clinching games in the Division Series, ALCS and the World Series for the White Sox in 2005. He beat the defending champion Red Sox at Fenway Park to cap a sweep in the ALDS, tossed a complete-game victory over the Angels to clinch the pennant, and delivered the White Sox' first World Series title since 1917 with seven shutout innings in Game 4 against the Astros.