Back during the 2021-22 offseason, Yimi García was signed by the Jays through free agency with a very economical two-year, $11 million deal to help bolster the backend of their bullpen. Together with Jays’ closer Jordan Romano, they formed a “dynamic duo” to close off many games for the ballclub during the 2022 season. He posted a strong 3.10 ERA to go along with a 1.049 WHIP, 122 ERA+, giving up 21 earned runs, 16 walks and 58 strikeouts in 61 appearances. Having signed through to the end of the 2023 season, the Jays appeared to be set for another year of bullpen dominance by the dynamic duo.
However, 2023 has been a nightmarish season for García thus far. The calmness, reliability and consistency seen from the previous year have completely vanished this year, with fans expecting that something was going to happen almost every outing. So far, he has pitched to a 5.53 ERA, 1.446 WHIP, giving up 31 hits, 17 earned runs, nine walks and 33 strikeouts in 27.2 innings with two blown saves and two losses. More importantly, because of his unpredictability, he has lost his setup role to Erik Swanson, who has been dynamite since joining the ballclub via the Teoscar Hernández trade. The strong play of Tim Mayza, Swanson, Pearson, and especially Richards recently has taken the spotlight away and helped mask some of the troubles García has been having, but eventually something will have to give. If the Jays intend to be strong contenders this year, they should start their work in improving the bullpen soon for the stretch run, and to do so, it could start with cutting bait with García.