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Sox look to plug holes in rotation
By Scot Gregor | Daily Herald Staff

Freddy Garcia

 

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Published: 1/15/2009 12:02 AM

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The White Sox' starting rotation features Mark Buehrle, Gavin Floyd, John Danks and two big question marks.

One of those could be erased within the next few days if Freddy Garcia decides to return to the South Side.

A source Wednesday confirmed that the 33-year-old Garcia is considering signing with the Sox, while the Mets, Rangers and Yankees also are in the mix.

Major-league sources Wednesday also reported that veteran right-hander Bartolo Colon and the Sox have agreed on a one-year contract, pending a physical. Colon pitched for the White Sox in 2003.

Meanwhile, Chris Leible, who works for the agency (Peter E. Greenberg and Associates) representing Garcia, intimated the free-agent starter could be a good fit for the Sox.

"We're talking to several teams that have an interest," Leible said Wednesday night. "We're just kind of waiting for the right situation, the right opportunity. There's really not a timetable, but he'd like to get settled in at some point soon.

"Freddy really enjoyed playing for them (White Sox). He got a ring there, and he was a big reason they won the ring."

Garcia was a workhorse for the 2005 White Sox, who rolled through the playoffs and swept the Houston Astros in the World Series. Acquired in a trade from the Seattle Mariners on June 27, 2004, Garcia started for the Sox through 2006 and was traded to the Philadelphia Phillies for Floyd and Gio Gonzalez.

In 82 starts for the White Sox, Garcia was 40-21 with a 4.24 ERA. The big right-hander made only 11 starts for Philadelphia in 2007 and was 1-5 with a 5.90 ERA before season-ending shoulder surgery.

Garcia made a comeback with the Tigers late last season and was 1-1 with a 4.20 ERA in 3 starts.

He was on the mound for Detroit on Sept. 29 at U.S. Cellular Field in a game the Sox needed to win to force a tiebreaking game against the Minnesota Twins for first place in the AL Central. Garcia allowed 2 runs over 5 innings before exiting with shoulder pain in the Tigers' 8-2 loss.

Garcia pitched winter ball in his native Venezuela at the end of the season but cut his stay short with more shoulder discomfort. That might raise another red flag, but Leible said a subsequent MRI showed no structural damage.

"The MRI was clean and he feels really good," Leible said. "He just went to winter ball to get some innings, but he wasn't going to push it."

Manager Ozzie Guillen's presence can only help the White Sox land Garcia, who is married to Guillen's niece. Currently vacationing on a "remote island," Guillen sent word through White Sox spokesman Bob Beghtol on Wednesday that he hasn't talked to Garcia recently.