SEATTLE -- The desire to add more pitchers with swing-and-miss ability in the strike zone led the Astros to acquiring another hard-throwing reliever on Wednesday when they swung a trade with the Marlins for right-hander Yimi García in exchange for right-hander Austin Pruitt and Triple-A outfielder Bryan De La Cruz.
The move came a day after the Astros added relief pitchers Kendall Graveman and Rafael Montero from the Mariners, giving Houston’s beleaguered bullpen three fresh faces. García is expected to join the team in time for Friday’s series opener in San Francisco.
“One thing that we’ve learned about pitching over the past few years is there’s a lot of different ways to get batters out,” Astros general manager James Click said. “And getting a swing and miss in the zone is something that I think the guys that we’ve acquired the past couple of days have in common. I think it’s something we’re going to need hopefully going forward and in the playoffs. These guys have power stuff, they have high velocity, they have good movement and we’ve seen the ability for them to get the ball in the zone.”
García, 30, has 15 saves and a 3.47 ERA in 39 relief appearances this season, with 35 strikeouts in 36 1/3 innings. García’s arsenal features a 96-mph fastball and a hard slider to go along with a curve and a changeup. Click said he can overpower hitters.
“Yimi was a guy that we identified early in the process,” Click said. “This is somebody we thought could help us out in the bullpen, and the conversations with Miami moved along in such a way we felt we could acquire him for a price that made sense.”
Click didn’t rule out making additional trades before Friday’s 3 p.m. CT deadline.
“We’re going to use all of those hours to continue to try to improve the roster,” he said. “I’m happy with the options we’ve been able to provide for Dusty [Baker] so far, but our job is not going to be done until 3:01 on Friday. We’re going to continue to look for more ways to improve the team. I don’t know where that’s going to come from. That will depend on conversations and how they go over the [remaining] hours, but we’re open to anything and we will continue to be aggressive.”
In addition to Graveman, Montero and García, the Astros have veteran reliever Pedro Báez. Báez, who signed with the club in the winter and has battled health problems all season, is on a rehab assignment at Triple-A Sugar Land and could return soon.