FanGraphs' RJ Anderson breaks down the Garko move. He thinks it is one of the silliest of the off-season. Even if you skip the story, look at the graph comparing Adam LaRoche's wOBA with Ryan Garko's. The blue line is "league average."
Grant at McChronic is just as bewildered. Garko was worth something when we acquired him--he was worth exactly one pitching prospect. Apparently that pitching prospect had almost no value because the Giants aren't willing to pay Garko $2 M or so next year (he was paid $466 K this year).
The Giants traded for Freddy Sanchez, who was hurt and couldn't play. We gave away a pitching prospect for a guy that could not help us. Then we gave that same guy $12 M for the next two years. No audition at all for FSanchez--he had the part already. The other guy we traded for, Ryan Garko, got an audition of sorts. But the poor lad took a fall on his first entrance and that was it. The organization wrote him off and never looked back. All it cost was another pitching prospect, and we all know the Giants lead the world in pitching prospects, so we shouldn't be upset if we use them up like kleenex.
I know that Ryan Garko is nothing special, but he's a reasonably competent major-leaguer who doesn't cost a lot and can deliver value with the bat. He sounds like the kind of player we need a surplus of, not the kind of player we cut loose. According to Extra Baggs, Garko "didn't have nearly the impact the Giants hoped and soon fell out of favor with manager Bruce Bochy."
Great. Our team is run like a junior high cheerleading squad. I suppose all will be better when we give $25 million to Adam LaRoche.