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Freddy Garcia signs with Braves for $1.25 million plus incentives

The veteran right-handed pitcher had reportedly drawn interest from the Mets earlier this winter.

Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

The Mets already know who their top four starters will be heading into the regular season, but that mysterious fifth spot is still up for grabs. Jenrry Mejia is considered the front runner, but there have been rumors floating around that the Mets want to bring in a veteran to compete with him.

One of those rumors involved veteran pitcher Freddy Garcia, but now Jerry Crasnick is reporting that the right-hander has signed a deal to return to the rival Braves. The base salary is set at $1.25 million, but there is a chance for Garcia to earn more money depending on how many starts or relief appearances he makes in 2014.

It would have been nice for the Mets to acquire Garcia because of his ability to throw strikes, eat innings, and work out of either the rotation or the bullpen. However, this is hardly heart-breaking news. Last season at age 37, Garcia a 5.77 ERA in 53 innings for the Orioles before being traded to the Braves for cash in August.

Garcia ended last season with a 1.65 ERA in 27.1 innings with Atlanta, and he should continue to work as a decent swingman in 2014.