Veteran lefty J. Garcia announces retirement

January 9th, 2019

, who pitched 10 seasons in the big leagues and won a World Series ring with the Cardinals, announced his retirement during a press conference on Wednesday.

Though the 32-year-old lefty closed his career in his home country of Mexico, Garcia made his biggest mark in St. Louis, where he pitched in parts of eight seasons and helped the club to the 2011 World Series title. He then joined the Braves, Twins, Yankees, Blue Jays and Cubs to close out his career.

Last month, Garcia signed with Naranjeros de Hermosillo of the Mexican Pacific Winter League. He made four appearances with them prior to Wednesday's announcement.

A 22nd-round Draft pick in 2005 by the Cardinals, Garcia had the sort of natural movement on his pitches that made him the envy of other pitchers. But he often struggled to stay healthy. Garcia never reached the 200-inning plateau in a season, and medical issues kept him off the field in several of the Cardinals' postseason runs.

He did, however, make five starts in the 2011 playoffs, which ended with the Cardinals capturing the franchise's 11th championship. During that run, Garcia joined Fernando Valenzuela as the only Mexican-born pitchers to start a World Series game.

With the Cardinals, he went 62-45 with a 3.57 ERA over 158 outings, including 147 starts. Garcia finished third in the National League Rookie of the Year vote in 2010 and had his best year in '15, when he went 10-6 with a 2.43 ERA.

The Cardinals traded Garcia to Atlanta after the 2016 season, and he spent the next two years bouncing around with marginal on-field success. In 2017, he became the first pitcher in MLB history to pitch for three teams in a 15-day span, according to Elias, after he was traded from the Braves to the Twins on July 24, then from the Twins to the Yankees on July 30.

This past year, Garcia went 3-7 with a 5.82 ERA and was demoted to Toronto's bullpen after returning from shoulder inflammation in July. Garcia was designated for assignment by Toronto on Aug. 25, released four days later, then signed with the Cubs in September. He appeared in eight games with Chicago.