Early rumors on the subject proved on the money: It looks like the St. Louis Cardinals and young ace Jaime Garcia have come to exactly the agreement that broke on Twitter last week, with Garcia getting four guaranteed years at $27.5 million just one full season removed from elbow surgery and the minor leagues. The deal has two option years and in that sense, among others, resembles the one the Cardinals gave Adam Wainwright after his first year in the rotation, in 2007.
It’s a long way from the damaged prospect who reemerged from elbow surgery with 30 innings in AAA Memphis at the end of the 2009 season. A surprise pick for the fifth starter spot in 2010, Garcia competed for an ERA title into September and finished third in the National League Rookie of the Year voting.
Garcia has improved on his brilliant rookie season so far in 2011, improving his K:BB ratio to 3.13 and maintaining his startlingly low home run rates while getting significantly more decisions to fall his way; where last year he finished 13-8 with his 2.70 ERA this year, going deeper into games, he’s 9-3.