D-backs, Garland agree to terms
Veteran right-hander fills Johnson's void in rotation
PHOENIX -- The D-backs strengthened their starting rotation on Wednesday by agreeing to terms with right-hander Jon Garland on a one-year deal with an option for 2010.
The club officially announced the deal Thursday at a news conference. According to ESPN.com, Garland will get $6.25 million in 2009 and the option for 2010 is for $10 million. Should the D-backs not elect to pick up the option, they would have to pay a $2.5 million buyout. If Garland declines the option, Arizona would owe him $1 million.
Arizona has been methodical in its quest to find a starting pitcher to replace Randy Johnson.
Two weeks ago, the D-backs made Garland an offer, which the 29-year-old turned down. It's not clear whether negotiations ended and were restarted or if there was continuing dialogue between the two sides, but following Garland's rejection, the D-backs offered a contract to free-agent lefty Randy Wolf and he also rejected it.
Garland, who has been looking for a multiyear deal in discussions with several teams, made $12 million last year. It is believed the D-backs had around $7 million left in their budget and they spoke with a number of free-agent hurlers as well as discussed trades with other clubs.
All along, Garland seemed to be their top target. He was 14-8 with 4.90 ERA in 32 starts for the Angels last season. In his nine-year career, he is 106-89.
Garland joins a rotation of Brandon Webb, Dan Haren, Doug Davis and Max Scherzer.
Over each of the last seven years, Garland has thrown at least 190 innings, which gives the D-backs four pitchers that could each throw close to 200 innings. That would allow Arizona to pitch Scherzer out of the No. 5 spot in the rotation where his innings could be monitored. The club would like to keep him around the 170-inning mark.
The more innings the starters pitch, the less pressure there is on a bullpen that lost Juan Cruz and Brandon Lyon, two key components from last year's crew.
Garland pitched well in the postseason for the White Sox in 2005. He was 1-0 with a 2.25 ERA in two starts. He allowed two runs in going the distance in Game 3 of the American League Championship Series against the Angels and allowed two runs over seven innings in Game 3 of the World Series. He left that game with a 5-4 lead that the bullpen was unable to hold.
The sinkerballer was originally signed by the Cubs after being selected with the 10th overall pick in the 1997 First-Year Player Draft. Garland was dealt to the White Sox prior to the non-waiver trade deadline in 1998.
After eight seasons with the White Sox, which included an All-Star selection in 2005, Garland was traded to the Angels last offseason in exchange for shortstop Orlando Cabrera.
Steve Gilbert is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.