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 MLB.com 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.
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