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Jaime Garcia has had a hectic couple of weeks, going from almost being traded to the Twins, to hitting a grand slam, then ending up on the Twins anyways soon after that. Garcia is on the move again after the Yankees agreed to acquire him and cash from the Twins in exchange for right-handed pitcher Zack Littell and left-handed pitcher Dietrich Enns.
Garcia is heading into his age 30 season, spending most of his career with the Cardinals before being traded to the Braves this past offseason, who ended up trading him to Twins. Garcia only made one start with the Twins and is a combined 5-7 with a 4.29 ERA with 92 strikeouts in 119 2/3 innings pitched between the two teams. He is a rare lefty arm to find on the market and the Yankees helped themselves by adding him.
Littell, 21, was ranked as the Yankees 22nd best prospect according to MLB.com and he is having a spectacular season between Single-A and Double-A. In a combined 18 starts, he went 14-1 with a 1.87 ERA, racking up 109 strikeouts to just 23 walks in 115 1/3 innings pitched. Here is a scouting report from MLB.com:
Littell has improved his conditioning and his stuff in his first full season with the Yankees, working at 91-93 mph with a fastball that plays up thanks to its rising life and his command. His best offering is often his curveball, which has depth and can be a plus pitch at times. His changeup has its moments as well and helps him keep left-handers in check.
Littell’s pitchability may be more impressive than his stuff. He can’t overpower hitters but he mixes his pitches, pounds the strike zone and keeps the ball down, generating plenty of strikeouts and groundouts. He has a ceiling of a No. 4 starter, perhaps more if he can add more power to his pitches.
Enns, 26, not ranked on the Yankees top 30 prospects list, has found success as both a starter and a reliever throughout his minor league career, but always seemed to be overlooked by the Yankees. In two seasons with Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, he had a record of 8-3 with a 1.81 ERA, to go along with 87 strikeouts in 104 1/3 innings pitched. The Twins have an open spot in the rotation now so Enns may have a chance to fill that spot.
Make no mistake, the Yankees are still fully in on Oakland A’s Sonny Gray, but they couldn’t pass up on adding some extra rotation help. This move by the Twins begs the question, are they still making the push for the playoffs or are they going to shuffle some players around to see what they can get.