This move is flabbergasting.
Ignore, for a moment, that the Giants essentially gave away Scott Barnes. Brian Sabean acquired Ryan Garko in late July. Up until that point, he was hitting .285/.362/.464 with 11 homers and a .361 wOBA in 273 plate appearances. With the Giants, he would experience some legitimate struggles, batting .235/.307/.330 with two homers in 127 plate appearances. That’s a bad spell for anyone, but this is a 28-year-old who batted .283/.353/.480 in the American League over his last three seasons. Odds are, Garko will rebound towards his career numbers more so than his career Giants numbers.
This move comes down to two things. Either Sabean and company have absolutely no plan to speak of, or this was their plan all along: shipping off their ninth best prospect – a left-handed starting pitcher with an impressive performance in a hitter-friendly league – for what amounts to a month of plate appearances. I’m not sure which should terrify Giants fans more, but I’m leaning towards the latter. At least the promise of no plan is exciting and leads to unpredictably and spontaneous bouts of anger. That beats the heck out of a constant dull roar of anger because your favorite team’s front office considers long-term potential for extremely short-term gains an equal trade.
What may be the worst part about this – and mind you, that’s saying a lot – is the Giants are probably going to sign a free agent first baseman now. Maybe they’ll lock onto Jim Thome or Carlos Delgado – the jokes about Sabean’s obsession with old players would write themselves – but it’ll probably be someone like Adam LaRoche. Why Adam LaRoche? Because getting marginal upgrades like this when it costs you one of your top 10 prospects and millions more is exactly the type of move that caps this massacre of foresightedness with one violent stroke:
Ed Wade and Dayton Moore need to be on notice. Sabean’s not letting you take that crown of most silly off-season move without a fight.