Garcia was claimed off waivers by the Reds, Bobby Nightengale of The Cincinnati Enquirer reports. He will report to the Reds' alternate training site. With Mike Moustakas and Matt Davidson landing on the COVID-19 injured list, the Reds have some free 40-man roster spots in the short term, which likely motivated them to claim Garcia. He has some experience at shortstop and second base, which are now the Reds' two shallowest positions.
The Cubs designated Garcia for assignment Thursday, Sahadev Sharma of The Athletic reports. His removal from the 40-man roster opened up a spot on the roster for Josh Phegley, who will give the Cubs a third catcher on the 30-man Opening Day roster. Garcia bashed 32 home runs between the Cubs, Triple-A Iowa and Double-A Tennessee in 2019, but his contact woes hindered his overall effectiveness at the big-league level. He struck out in 35 of his 80 plate appearances (43.8 percent) and batted just .208.
Garcia is one of 11 Cubs players who will head to South Bend for summer camp. The 11-player group will likely focus on development while the 39 players training at Wrigley Field are more likely to see meaningful MLB action. However, Garcia played in 31 games for the Cubs last year and is on the 40-man roster, so he could be one of the first players to get the call from South Bend. The 27-year-old popped five home runs in those 31 games, but he also batted just .208 and struck out 43.8 percent of the time; therefore, he has plenty of room for improvement if he wants to stick as a regular in the majors.
Garcia was optioned to Triple-A Iowa on Friday. Garcia showed flashes in the majors last season, hitting five homers in 80 plate appearances, but he also struck out 43.8 percent of the time and finished with a 93 wRC+, the product of a .208/.275/.500 slash line. With the ability to play second base, third base and both outfielder corners, Garcia will remain a useful depth option for the Cubs this season should injuries strike the big-league roster.
Garcia is battling for a reserve spot in spring training but is likely to begin the year with Triple-A Iowa, Jordan Bastian of MLB.com reports. Garcia showed a few flashes in 2019, but he has to compete with the likes of Nico Hoerner and the newly-added Jason Kipnis for playing time at the moment. Chicago could elect to put the 26-year-old at Triple-A to begin the year and use him as a quick call-up if a need arises.