LOS ANGELES -- After nearly completing a trade for Braves left-hander Jaime Garcia late last week, the Twins got their man on Monday, officially acquiring Garcia, catcher Anthony Recker and cash for prospect Huascar Ynoa.The Twins and Braves were in advanced discussions on Thursday, but Atlanta didn't feel comfortable with
LOS ANGELES -- After nearly completing a trade for Braves left-hander Jaime Garcia late last week, the Twins got their man on Monday, officially acquiring Garcia, catcher Anthony Recker and cash for prospect Huascar Ynoa.
The Twins and Braves were in advanced discussions on Thursday, but Atlanta didn't feel comfortable with the medicals on pitching prospect Nick Burdi, who is currently recovering from Tommy John surgery. Minnesota opted to instead trade Ynoa, 19, who has posted a 5.26 ERA with 23 strikeouts and 14 walks in 25 2/3 innings with Rookie-level Elizabethton.
Garcia, 31, fills a major need for the Twins, whose starters have combined to post a 4.92 ERA that ranks as the 23rd in the Majors. He'll make his first start Friday against the A's, but the Twins are still working out whom he'll replace in the rotation with Kyle Gibson or Bartolo Colon the most logical candidates.
"It's an exciting bit of news for us," Twins manager Paul Molitor said. "It's been in the works with Jaime's name out there the last seven days or so. I've heard various things that transpired in our effort to get him, but thankfully it was consummated today. We all know his track record. He knows how to pitch and it's a nice addition to our club."
Garcia has a 4.30 ERA with 85 strikeouts and 41 walks in 113 innings with Atlanta. He has a career 3.65 ERA in 176 games, including 165 starts with the Cardinals and Braves, but he has never pitched in the American League. The veteran is coming off a solid start against the Dodgers on Friday, allowing three runs over seven innings, while also hitting a grand slam off All-Star Alex Wood.
Garcia is in the final year of his contract, and he is earning $12 million with the Braves after an offseason trade from St. Louis. He's due roughly $4.7 million the rest of the year, and the Twins are on the hook for the salary, receiving $100,000 from the Braves to cover part of Recker's $800,000 salary. The Twins weren't considered likely to trade for a rental player, but they need starting pitching and are 2 1/2 games back of the Indians in the American League Central and one game back of the second AL Wild Card spot.
"It's the first time in my career," second baseman James Dozier said of being buyers. "For a guy like Garcia, he's a veteran who knows how to win. It's pretty good. I think there's more stuff coming, I would think. But it's pretty cool. Where we're at, we're playing good baseball, a guy like him could put us over the top, but maybe another piece [would help]. But it is good to see the front office making moves to give us a push."
Outside of right-handers Ervin Santana (11-7, 3.26 ERA) and Jose Berrios (9-3, 3.50 ERA), the Twins haven't received much consistency from their starters. Injuries have also hurt their depth, as Hector Santiago is on the 10-day disabled list with a back strain, while Phil Hughes is likely out for the year with a recurrence of thoracic outlet syndrome symptoms. Trevor May also had Tommy John surgery before the season.
The Twins recently added veteran Colon, who also pitched for the Braves this year. Colon starts against the Dodgers on Monday, and how he fares could determine his future with the club.
Recker, 33, gives the Twins catching depth but he's expected to head to Double-A or Triple-A. He's a career .199/.283/.348 hitter in 206 games with the A's, Cubs, Mets and Braves in parts of seven seasons. He was hitting .233/.301/.381 with four homers and 10 RBIs in 41 games with Triple-A Gwinnett.
Rhett Bollinger has covered the Twins for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter **@RhettBollinger** and **Facebook**. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.