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Giants non-tender midseason pickup Ryan Garko

Dec 13, 2009, 12:29 AM EDT

San Francisco acquired Ryan Garko from Cleveland at midseason in an effort to boost one of the league’s worst lineups, but Garko hit just .235/.307/.330 in 40 games and tonight the Giants non-tendered him rather than pay what likely would have been around $2 million via arbitration.
Garko is mediocre against right-handers and crushes left-handers, so he’s a better fit as a platoon player than an everyday starter, but he certainly could have done a passable job for the Giants in 2010 at a modest salary. Based on his .313/.392/.495 career line against lefties alone he’ll have no trouble finding regular work and by letting him go the Giants essentially get zero value out of Scott Barnes, the solid mid-level pitching prospect traded to the Indians.
Pablo Sandoval’s ability to play either first base or third base gives the Giants some flexibility when it comes to bringing in another veteran bat, with Chris Haft of reporting that they’re interested in Mark DeRosa, Nick Johnson, and Adam LaRoche. All three figure to be more expensive than Garko, perhaps by quite a bit, and only Johnson is likely to be significantly better at the plate.

  1. GimmeSomeSteel - Dec 13, 2009 at 1:40 AM

    I think that as an everyday player, LaRoche is considerably better than Garko. The Giants appear to be interested in an everyday player at either 1B or 3B, with Sandoval playing the other position. Garko doesn’t fit as an everyday guy, especially at that price.

  2. Old Gator - Dec 13, 2009 at 8:12 AM

    Not that this has all that much to do with baseball – although it does have something to do with “giants,” after a fashion – but I seem to recall that one of the earliest issues of Howard the Duck featured a metamorphic villain named Garko the Man-Frog. I also recall that among the villain’s last words were, “Getting harder to think…wanna find a pond.” Really. You could look it up. Come to think of it, there’s a certain promise of springtime in that urge to find a pond, isn’t there? Pitchers and catchers in how many more weeks?

  3. Falcon - Dec 13, 2009 at 4:43 PM

    Mets need a 1B who can hit lefties to platoon with Murphy, too bad Omar is too clueless to go after Mr Garko

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