Tigers trade RHP Galarraga to Diamondbacks
PHOENIX – The Arizona Diamondbacks have added depth to their pitching staff with a right-hander who was nearly perfect.
Arizona acquired Armando Galarraga in a trade with the Detroit Tigers for minor league pitchers Kevin Eichorn and Ryan Robowski on Monday, giving the Diamondbacks another arm in what should be a pretty good rotation battle in spring training.
Galarraga, 29, had an average 2010 season, but gained fame by missing a perfect game when umpire Jim Joyce acknowledged blowing a call with two outs in the ninth inning against Cleveland.
He's expected to compete for a spot in Arizona's rotation on a staff that already includes Joe Saunders, Ian Kennedy, Dan Hudson, Barry Enright, Zach Duke and Aaron Heilman.
"We are excited about the opportunity to acquire a pitcher of Armando Galarraga's ability a few weeks before the start of spring training," Diamondbacks general manager Kevin Towers said. "Armando is a quality pitcher as well as individual that will compete for a spot in our rotation with all of the other starting pitchers this spring."
Galarraga went 4-9 with a 4.49 ERA in 24 starts and one relief appearance last season with the Tigers, gaining national attention when Joyce blew the call at first base against Cleveland and later made a tearful apology.
Galarraga, who was 13-7 with a 3.73 ERA just two years ago, is 23-26 with a 4.58 ERA over four seasons with Detroit and Texas.
He has a one-year contract for $2.3 million, but became expendable when the Tigers signed Brad Penny.
"I talked to Armando and he was very thankful," Tigers general manager Dave Dombrowski said. "He said he realized it was a business and he understood. It's a great opportunity for him. Arizona was real aggressive because they are looking for a starting pitcher. It's a good match for everybody involved."
Eichhorn, a 20-year-old right-hander, was 5-6 in 15 minor league starts last season. Left-hander Robowski, 22, was 2-4 in 35 relief games in the minors last year.
Dombrowski was satisfied with acquiring Eichhorn and Robowski in exchange for a player who wasn't going to be in Detroit's rotation.
"We look at both of the guys as sort of fringe-type prospects, not blue-chip guys, but guys we think can pitch at the big-league level," Dombrowski said.
Arizona added another pitcher on Monday, signing right-hander Micah Owings to a minor league contract. Owings, who pitched for the Diamondbacks in 2007-08, was 3-2 with a 5.40 ERA in 22 relief appearances for the Cincinnati Reds last season.
The Diamondbacks also designated right-hander Rafael Rodriguez for assignment.
AP Sports Writer Larry Lage in Detroit contributed to this report.