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Rays acquire RHP Edgar García, DFA Daniel Robertson

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This marks a likely, surprising end for Robertson’s Rays tenure.

MLB: Miami Marlins at Philadelphia Phillies Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

The Rays have acquired reliever Edgar García from the Phillies this afternoon, and designated INF Daniel Robertson for assignment to make room on the 40-man roster. García will report to the Rays alternative training site in Port Charlotte.

Who is Edgar Garcia?

Only 23-years-old, Edgar Garcia joins the Rays organization with one season of Major League experience under his belt.

Garcia was signed by the Phillies in 2014 and in 2019, after posting a 2.48 ERA in 29 innings at Triple-A, was promoted to the MLB where he would go on to pitch 39 innings for the Phillies. In those 39 innings of work, Garcia’s ERA was 5.77.

Garcia primarily utilizes a two-pitch mix featuring a four-seam fastball and slider. Throwing the slider 49% of the time last season, the breaking pitch averaged 87.1 mph while his fastball averaged 93.8 mph, being thrown 43% of the time.

Garcia’s four-seam fastball

Neither of the two pitches thrown by Garcia are anything better than league-average, but they have caused opposing hitters to swing-and-miss at a 13.8% rate, putting him in the 75th percentile among pitchers with 500+ pitches last season.

Garcia’s slider

Walks were a big issue during Garcia’s short time in the MLB, but were not as much of a problem throughout his development in the minors. Garcia’s track record between the minors and MLB shows that he is capable of working a second inning in an outing.

Garcia will report to the Rays Alternate Training Site in Port Charlotte, and he will have one option remaining following this season.

The Fall of Daniel Robertson

Robertson was acquired as the key prospect in the trade that sent Ben Zobrist and Yunel Escobar to the Oakland Athletics. At the time, he was the top prospects in the Athletics system and coming off a fantastic season in High-A.

Unfortunately for Robertson and the Rays, Robertson suffered a broken hamate bone during his debut season with the team. A broken hamate is an injury that is notorious for sapping power as a player works their way back from the injury and Robertson would endure this for the next several seasons.

Nonetheless, Robertson made the Rays Opening Day roster in 2017 and proceeded to play in 77 games and performed at just above replacement level (0.1 fWAR).

In 2018, Robertson broke out as he excelled in a full-time role for the Rays. Robertson had a strong arm and was able to play all around the infield for Tampa Bay. Heading into August, Robertson led the Rays in fWAR, despite missing some time with a hamstring strain, and was among the top players in all of baseball at getting on base.

However, on August 3rd, 2018 during a game against the Chicago White Sox, Robertson hustled his into a double and dove into the bag. During this dive, Robertson would suffer a sprained thumb that would ultimately sideline him the rest of the season.

In 2019, Robertson had to compete for playing time with a crowded Rays infield and quickly fell out of favor as he under-performed while the likes of Brandon Lowe, Yandy Diaz, and Willy Adames took over the starting positions at second, short stop, and third base. Robertson did make it into 74 games, but performed below replacement level.

Although the Rays had given Robertson a place on the active roster a couple of times thus far in 2020, Kevin Cash never found a suitable time to put him into the game so his Rays tenure ends unceremoniously a few weeks into the 2020 campaign.