SEATTLE MARINERS

Groz on ’01 Mariners: Freddy García replaces the ace he was traded for

Jul 14, 2021, 12:05 PM
Mariners Freddy García...
Mariners ace Freddy García started the 2001 All-Star Game. (Getty - Otto Greule Jr/Allsport)
(Getty - Otto Greule Jr/Allsport)

2001: A Baseball Odyssey – a weekly look back at the record-setting 2001 Mariners and the players who got them there.

As the second half of the season continued, the Mariners were still hitting on all cylinders led by a pitcher who was part of one of the most surprisingly effective trades in team history.

Salk’s M’s Observations: What they need to do, what’s working

In 1998, Randy Johnson had had enough of the Mariners. After going 43-6 in his last two-plus seasons, Johnson was in the last year of his deal and had seemingly shut it down after making it clear he wasn’t re-signing. He was 9-10 with an ERA over 4 nearing the MLB trade deadline, and general manager Woody Woodward decided to get something for him. Houston offered a terrific young shortstop – Carlos Guillen – and its best young pitching prospect – a 21-year-old from Venezuela named Freddy García – along with a player to be named later (John Halama).

Johnson went 10-1 in two months with Houston but left for Arizona in free agency that offseason, and the Mariners had García in their rotation in 1999. Freddy made his major league debut on April 7 and got the win against Chicago, and he was an immediate hit, going 17-8 with over 200 innings thrown to finish second in the Rookie of the Year vote.

In 2001, García was 24 and the Mariners’ ace, leading the league in ERA and innings pitched while winning 18 times. And it was Freddy who started the All-Star Game for the American League against the man he was traded for.

García’s first start after the All-Star break was July 14 against the Giants, and he turned in a seven-inning, three-hit performance in a 3-2 victory. That made his record 11-1 as the Mariners improved to 65-25, a full 40 games over .500 after just 90 games into the season.

Follow The Groz on Twitter.

More 2001 Mariners memories from Groz

• Kaz Sasaki and Seattle’s incredible bullpen
• Seattle hosts an All-Star Game for the ages
• The bounceback year of M’s Hall of Famer Dan Wilson
• Mark McLemore, the all-important 10th man
Edgar Martinez cements his legacy with his last great season
• Aaron Sele, the pitcher who ‘fell from the sky’
• Bret Boone gave Seattle a huge, surprising boost
• Paul Abbott, the forgotten hero of the historic ’01 M’s
• Introduction: Celebrating the 2001 Mariners, 20 years later

See you next season

Chevrolet Silverado

Seattle Mariners

Mariners Shed Long Jr....
Shannon Drayer

Mariners make 6 roster moves ahead of 40-man roster crunch

The Mariners announced six player moves Friday afternoon, creating three 40-man roster spots ahead of an expected offseason roster crunch.
2 days ago
Mariners...
Mike Salk

Mariners’ Mitch Haniger, Jerry Dipoto sound more like they’re on same page

Comments Thursday by Mariners GM Jerry Dipoto about Mitch Haniger on 710 ESPN Seattle paint a better picture about a possible extension than before.
2 days ago
Mariners Semien Crawford...
Brent Stecker

Jerry Dipoto addresses how Mariners may find a fit in SS free-agency class

The Mariners have their shortstop, so why would they be interested in one of the big name free agent shortstops? Jerry Dipoto sheds some light.
3 days ago
Mariners Mitch Haniger, Jarred Kelenic...
Brandon Gustafson

Is the future of the Mariners’ outfield as set as we thought?

The outfield is where the Mariners appeared to have the brightest future entering 2021, but the way the season played out changed some things.
7 days ago
Mariners Dodgers Chris Taylor...
Brent Stecker

The potential Mariners free agency targets to watch in MLB playoffs

A number of players set to enter free agency who could be interesting to the Mariners are still playing in the postseason. We break them down.
9 days ago
Mariners Mitch Haniger...
Brent Stecker

Heaps: Mitch Haniger’s Mariners article is worth getting fired up about

Jake Heaps of 710 ESPN Seattle's Jake and Stacy shares why Mitch Haniger's message from his column in The Players' Tribune makes him excited about the Mariners.
10 days ago
Groz on ’01 Mariners: Freddy García replaces the ace he was traded for