"It was an ethical thing as much as an evaluation," Orioles manager Buck Showalter said of the move, which he talked about with executive vice president of baseball operations Dan Duquette.
"Freddy's going to be in the big leagues for them, and we weren't sure that that's where we were going to go for sure," Showalter said. "I think he deserved that opportunity. Now, if we're playing the Braves in the World Series and he's sticking it to us, we'll probably regret it. But in the long run, this is what's best for Freddy and his career, and I applaud Dan and the organization for doing it the way they did it."
Garcia last pitched for Baltimore on June 23, allowing seven earned runs over 2 1/3 innings before later being designated for assignment to clear a roster post for Kevin Gausman.
Garcia opted to stay in the organization after he was designated and made 13 starts for Norfolk, going 8-3 with a 2.84 ERA. While Garcia could have been a potential September callup, the O's pitching depth -- which includes top pitching prospect Gausman -- would've made it hard to find a role for the righty.
In 15 seasons in the Majors, Garcia is 155-106 with a 4.18 ERA in 370 games.
Brittany Ghiroli is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, Britt's Bird Watch, and follow her on Twitter @britt_ghiroli. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.