Rotoprofessor Analyzes the Fantasy Impact of the Ryan Garko Trade

Jul 28, 2009


Written by
Eric Stashin the Rotoprofessor

The San Francisco Giants have reportedly acquired Ryan Garko from the Cleveland Indians for Single-A pitcher Scott Barnes, according to Anthony Castrovince of mlb.com (click here for the article).

Garko has hit .285 with 11 HR and 39 RBI over 239 AB this season, though he had been significantly better then that in July, hitting .343 with 3 HR and 7 RBI in 70 AB.  He provides an improvement for the Giants at first base, where Travis Ishikawa had been the main man at the position, but only a marginal one. 

Garko’s value is not going to increase much, if at all, thanks to the move.  He is what he is at this point, so look at him as nothing more than a corner infielder in the deepest of formats, but not much past that. 

The fallout in Cleveland is much more intriguing.  The main question is, who’s on first?  Victor Martinez is likely to see increased time there initially (he played there yesterday, though, keep in mind that he has been rumored to be dealt as well), which will open up more playing time for Kelly Shoppach.  While Shoppach has struggled thus far this season, in 2008 he showed that he was capable of producing with regular at bats.  He hit .273 with 14 HR and 35 AB in 187 AB second half at bats, so those in two-catcher formats could see a nice little boost in the short-term.

I say short-term, because Martinez may not see regular playing time at first base for long.  Matt LaPorta has been seeing at bats at first in Triple-A and could be recalled at any time so the team can see what it is they have in him.  While he struggled earlier this season in the majors, batting .191 in 42 AB, he has significantly more then that to give.  At Triple-A he’s hitting .301 with 13 HR and 49 RBI.

If he wasn’t currently struggling, he’d likely be the player recalled, but in his last ten games he’s hitting just .229.  He could have value in all formats this season, so keep an eye on him.

As far as the pitcher the Indians received, Barnes was ranked as the Giants ninth best prospect prior to the 2009 season by Baseball America, crediting him for the systems best change-up.  The lefty has gone 12-3 with a 2.85 ERA and 99 K over 98 innings at Single-A thus far this season.  Obviously, he’s not going to make an immediate impact, but a year or two down the line is a different story.  Keep the name filed in the back of your mind.

So, what do you think of the deal?  Who is the biggest winner?  Is it Garko?  LaPorta?  Shoppach?  Someone else? 

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