Giants Acquire Garko for Prospect Barnes

July 27, 2009 at 10:27 pm Leave a comment

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The San Francisco Giants and the Cleveland Indians made a deal that is sending firstbaseman Ryan Garko to the Giants for 2008 8th round left hander Scott Barnes. The Giants, in desperate need of bats, got an upgrade in Garko.

Garko is currently hitting .285/.362/.464 with an wOBA of .361, OPS+ of 114, and 11 homers in 239 at-bats. The man he will be replacing in the lineup, Travis Ishikawa, is currently hitting .269/.318/.411 with an wOBA of .317 and only 7 homers in 219 at-bats. The only part of Ishikawa’s game that is better is his defense. He has a UZR/150 of 19.8 but Garko isn’t bad at all with one of 12.1 at first base. Garko has also put some time in at both outfield corners but he is well below average out there.

The Indians recieved Scott Barnes in the trade. Barnes is a legit pitching prospect. He is currently 12-3 with a 2.85 ERA in 18 starts over 98 innings with a 99/29 K/BB rate. He is not a power lefty. He sits mostly 88-92 with an average slider and change-up. He has decent command and the low minors have not been a problem for him at all. He will need to be tested at higher levels before we judge him by his stats but he looks like a legit prospect that could be a mid-rotation starter.

The Giants, with plenty of top-tier pitching in their system, must have decided that Barnes was expendable just to get an average corner bat in return. Garko will instantly improve the offense, mainly because Ishikawa was so bad, but he is still a platoon bat that crushes lefties and struggles versus righties and is moving to a big ballpark.

This is just a minor trade with Cleveland trading a guy that becomes arbitration eligible for the first time in the offseason and I believe that helps tip this trade slightly in favor of the Indians.

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