LOS ANGELES -- The Dodgers lose left-handed relief pitcher Onelki Garcia off waivers, claimed by the White Sox on Thursday, the deadline to set 40-man rosters in preparation for the Rule 5 draft on Dec. 11.
Garcia, 25, didn't pitch for the Dodgers at all in 2014, spending all season on the disabled list after slow recovery from arthroscopic left elbow surgery in November 2013 and right knee surgery during the 2014 regular season. Garcia did pitch in one minor league rehab game on Aug. 31 for Class-A Rancho Cucamonga, but after allowing three of five batters to reach base and two runs to score, the left-hander never pitched again in 2014.
Garcia was ranked the Dodgers' No. 9 prospect one year ago by Baseball America, with the best curveball in the system.
This move is reminiscent of the Dodgers losing Shawn Tolleson to waivers one year ago today, claimed by Texas after missing nearly the whole season after back surgery. A gamble to remove an oft-injured pitcher off the 40-man roster resulted in losing Tolleson, who had a 2.76 ERA (and 4.23 FIP) with 69 strikeouts in 71⅔ innings for the Rangers in 2014.
The gamble on Garcia nearly paid off, with all 14 other National League teams passing on him on waivers, as well as four American League teams with worse records than Chicago. Had Garcia cleared waivers, the Dodgers could have outrighted him to Triple-A Oklahoma City, and kept him in the organization.
The Dodgers drafted Garcia in the third round of the 2012 draft. He pitched in three games for the team in a September call-up in 2013, including walking his only batter faced on four pitches in his major league debut.
To make room for Garcia on its 40-man roster, Chicago designated old friend Ronald Belisario for assignment.
This move reduces the Dodgers' 40-man roster to 36 players, which also gives the Dodgers flexibility to possibly add one another player aside from the expected additions of Zach Lee, Chris Reed and Scott Schebler later on Thursday.