I know I’ve been away for awhile but I’m back. Packing, moving, and tackling all the tasks that come with buying a house has been time consuming to say the last. But, here I am. It’s good to be back.
Turing yourself off to Giants’ news for a few weeks and then coming back to read SFGiants.com is like being locked into a deep freeze time capsule for a few centuries. “They did what with Garko? We’ve offered a deal to Adam LaRoche? Dan Uggla? Nick Johnson? Wahhh?” It’s like waking up in the future. Except flying cars still don’t exist. And Brian Sabean’s frozen heard-in-a-jar is still the GM. It’s the year 20XX and the Giants still can’t score runs. Some things change, some stay the same.
I can’t tackle all the news I missed while I was away but I’ll talk about Garko a little.
A questionable trade just got worse. At the bare minimum, even if you don’t like Scott Barnes chances of pitching in the major leagues, I think even the most die-hard Sabean supporter would say that the trade to Cleveland that landed us Garko ended up to be a very poor use of prospect resources. Barnes, a player that would most likely still be ranked among our 10 best prospects, was cashed in for Ryan Garko. Garko, a defensively challenged LHP masher, never hit for the Giants and, as the Giants sometimes do, locked themselves into the small sample room and made a grand decision of what Garko would be going forward based on 100-something at-bats.
Garko is no prized jewel but he’s pretty close to being a +2 win player in the NL. He crushes LHP but isn’t anything special against RHP. He’s got a career wOBA of .347 and can’t play much defense at first base. It’s not that Garko would have been a key cog of the 2010 team, but why trade for a player (and using a pretty good prospect, too) when you’d rather non-tender him at the end of the year? It begs the question: if the Giants didn’t like Garko enough to tender him a contract, what exactly did they see in him last July?
Oh, and here’s the punchline: Adam LaRoche and Ryan Garko are really very similar. Gakro career wOBA .347. LaRoche career wOBA .353. And neither plays a good defensive first base. If the Giants replace Garko with LaRoche they haven’t improved the team one bit. It’s easy to say, it’s called a lateral move. Only LaRoche is going to cost more in both years and salary.
Now, back to unpacking.