The San Francisco Giants were not supposed to be a good hitting team coming into the season. They were being carried on the back of their starting pitchers, led by Tim Lincecum, and Matt Cain. But their hitting was even worse than expected, with a .258/.306/.383 hitting line, the Giants were 15th in both team .OPS, and homeruns. But their pitching carried them to wildcard contention, and they acquired Indians backup first baseman Ryan Garko to replace one of their main offensive culprits, Travis Ishikawa.
Acquiring Garko is a solid move for the Giants. He’ll provide a solid power bat down the stretch, and can’t be any worse than Ishikawa. Garko was hitting .285/.362/.464 for the Indians with 11 HR, 39 RBI, and good defense in 78 games. Ironically, Garko was hitting almost as well as Matt Holliday, who was just traded to St. Louis for three top prospects.
The Indians, who never found their stroke this year, dumped an expendable part, and opened up a roster spot as they give Andy Marte one last chance.
In return, the Indians received 21-year-old LH starter Scott Barnes, who was 12-3 with a 2.65 ERA and strong rate stats at Class A+.
Overall, I like this trade for both teams, the Giants find the bat they needed, and the Indians get a good prospect for someone they didn’t need.