Monday, July 27, 2009

Breaking down the Garko trade

"Sometimes the best deal you make is the one you don't"

Who ever said that doesn't know what they are talking about, trades are fun when you think they are going to work in your favor or you THINK that your team won... Oh wait, I've been saying that for months.

Well, I didn't mean it in this case. This time, the Giants have finally made a trade that looks great on first impressions. The Giants acquired 1B/OF Ryan Garko from the Cleveland Indians for minor league (A) P Scott Barnes. On second impression, I still like it.

Now, if Scott Barnes turns into Francisco Liriano or Joe Nathan, then for the record I HATE THIS DEAL. I thought it was dumb from the beginning and Sabean needs to be fired... But for now, I think the Giants got a great return.

Garko, 28, is a Stanford product so he's got to be smart right? Isn't that enough? No, OK, well we do have a ton of Cal Bear fans so we'll leave that one alone. He was a 3rd round draft pick by Cleveland in 2003, made his major league debut in 2005 but only played one game. Garko then played 50 in 2006 and became a regular for the Indians over the last three seasons. Regular? kind of. He's been playing mostly 1B and DH over his career, with some limited LF/RF this season... and it hasn't actually been everyday. Garko has about 100 less plate appearances than Giants regulars Winn, Sandoval, Renteria, Rowand, & Molina so his numbers may look smaller than they can be.

He has demonstrated decent power over the last 3 seasons, with a high of 21 and 53 career. Garko may never be that perennial 30 home run, 100 RBI guy, but 25/90 isn't that far fetched. He's just entering his prime and is coming to a home park that actually suits a right handed pull hitter very well. Garko is a pull to middle hitter that nearly equally hits line drives, fly balls, and ground balls

More so than his power is his all around bat. Garko has a career line of .283/.355/.450/.805. That .805 OPS isn't superstar, but it is good. It's also better than the career average of every single Giant except Pablo Sandoval. It's not just the career line though, this season he's at .285/.362/.464/.826. Again, better than all the current Giants except Sandoval.

Garko excels against lefties, this season batting .333 with a .960 OPS. He takes a few more pitches than we're used to and can hit in the clutch. In 61 AB's this season with RISP, he has 4 doubles, 4 HR, 27 RBI, and is batting .295/.408/.557/.965.

Garko is also under team control for 3 more seasons as he enters arbitration for the first time this offseason. He makes 450K this season but should get a nice bumb this offseason in the 1 to 2 million range.

Comparable ball players to Garko on Baseball Reference are James Loney, Conor Jackson, Casey Kotchman, and none other than our very own JT Snow. Not bad company.

Barnes is a fair price to pay. It's unforunate to see him go as he is likely to be a very quality to good major league pitcher. Barnes problem is the depth within the organization, exactly the reason why he was expendable. Baseball America rated him the Giants preseason #9 prospect within the farm system. Currenty he was buried behind Madison Bumgarner, Tim Alderson, Henry Sosa, Kevin Pucetas, Jonathan Sanchez, Ryan Sadowski, Joe Martinez among others. Barnes is still 2 years plus away from making the bigs but when he does, he's probably more like the 5th best pitcher in the farm system.

Barnes is having an excellent season at A San Jose, posting a 12-3 record with a 2.85 ERA & 1.13 WHIP. He certainly has the chance to make the Giants look bad 5 years from now, but in the end, this should be a good move for both teams. The Giants don't lose their best prospects and still have depth while improving their offense and the Indians clear a spot for one of their top prospects in Matt LaPorta while getting a likely 3rd starter in a few years.

1 comment:

signals3_t5 said...

Barnes is having an excellent season at A San Jose professional thinking

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