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Jaime García to retire from MLB

Jaime García is, according to multiple reports, expected to retire from Major League Baseball after a disapointing 2018 season spent with the Blue Jays and Cubs.

According to Jon Morosi of MLB Network and Roberto Espinoza of Revista Strikeout, left-handed pitcher and former Blue Jay Jaime García is retiring from Major League Baseball. Minutes after those reports were published, García himself appeared at a press conference (via Naranjeros Radio) confirming he will retire. MLB Mexico also confirmed the retirement.

García, who turns 33 in July, was drafted by the St. Louis Cardinals in the 22nd round of the 2005 draft, eventually making his debut with the club in 2008, rising to stardom in 2010 when he finished third in National League Rookie of the Year voting thanks to a stellar 2.70 ERA in 163.1 frames.

After over 10 years in the Cardinals organization, the native of Tamaulipas, Mexico was traded to the Braves, dealt to the Twins and sent to New York to play with the Yankees within the span of eight months. In a rollercoaster 2017 season, he pitched for three different teams, boasting an ERA of 4.41 in 157.0 innings.

In February 2018, García signed a one-year contract with the Blue Jays, eventually getting designated for assignment by Toronto in August and released just a few days later. He then signed on with the Chicago Cubs and appeared in eight games, tossing 7.2 frames to an ERA of 4.70.

In 74.1 innings with the Jays, he pitched to an ERA of 5.93, striking out 73 and walking 44 in 14 starts. In an attempt to rejuvenate his stock in the second half of the season, the Blue Jays used him out of the bullpen. In 19 appearances as a reliever, he pitched to an ERA of 3.54 in 20.1 frames. He was, before his retirement, a free-agent.

Though García’s career was clearly trending in the wrong direction, it was shocking that he decided to announce his retirement at this point in time. With several teams looking to shore up their pitching depth, he could’ve easily latched on to a contender on a minor-league deal or a major-league deal with minimal financial and contractual commitments.

Overall, García ends his career 50th among active pitchers in wins (70), 55th in games started (188), 24th in shutouts (4), 43rd in complete games (4) and 55th in strikeouts (188).

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García is also, according to Morosi, one of only two Mexican-born pitchers to start a game in the World Series, joining Fernando Valenzuela (LAD, 1981) when he started Game 2 of the 2011 World Series for the Cardinals, tossing seven innings of three-hit ball, striking out seven and holding the Texas Rangers scoreless. The Cardinals ended up losing that game 2-1 but ultimately won the series in seven games.

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