Giants non-tender midseason pickup Ryan Garko

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San Francisco acquired Ryan Garko from Cleveland at midseason in an effort to boost one of the league’s worst lineups, but Garko hit just .235/.307/.330 in 40 games and tonight the Giants non-tendered him rather than pay what likely would have been around $2 million via arbitration.
Garko is mediocre against right-handers and crushes left-handers, so he’s a better fit as a platoon player than an everyday starter, but he certainly could have done a passable job for the Giants in 2010 at a modest salary. Based on his .313/.392/.495 career line against lefties alone he’ll have no trouble finding regular work and by letting him go the Giants essentially get zero value out of Scott Barnes, the solid mid-level pitching prospect traded to the Indians.
Pablo Sandoval’s ability to play either first base or third base gives the Giants some flexibility when it comes to bringing in another veteran bat, with Chris Haft of MLB.com reporting that they’re interested in Mark DeRosa, Nick Johnson, and Adam LaRoche. All three figure to be more expensive than Garko, perhaps by quite a bit, and only Johnson is likely to be significantly better at the plate.

Video: Jaime Garcia hits a 399-foot grand slam

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Jaime Garcia has been at the center of trade talks for several days now, but on Friday night, he commanded center stage for an entirely different reason. The Braves’ southpaw went head-to-head with Dodgers’ lefty Alex Wood and mashed his first career grand slam: a two-out, 399-foot blast that cleared the wall in right field and put the Braves up 9-0 in the fifth inning.

The bases-loaded knock was the third career home run for Garcia, whose contributions at the plate have been few and far between over his nine-year track in the major leagues. Not only did the homer mark an impressive career first for the 30-year-old, but it was just the second pitcher grand slam in Braves’ history and the first since 1966.

Garcia looked almost as impressive on the mound during Friday’s series opener, issuing one run, four hits and three strikeouts through his first six innings. The Braves currently lead the Dodgers 12-1 in the top of the seventh inning.

As for whether the slam will affect negotiations between the Braves and Twins? MLB.com’s Mike Petriello put it best:

Ryon Healy exits game after taking a ground ball to the face

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Athletics’ first baseman Ryon Healy had a scary moment during Friday’s loss to the Mets. Lucas Duda smacked a single to the first base side, where the ball took a high hop and caught Healy in the left temple. He crumpled to the ground after getting struck by the one-hopper, but was eventually able to stand and walk off the field with assistance from a trainer.

Prior to the injury, Healy went 2-for-3 at the plate with an RBI single in the first inning. He was replaced by Yonder Alonso, who finished off the rest of the night’s 7-5 loss with a walk in two plate appearances.

Following the game, manager Bob Melvin told reporters that Healy did not appear to have sustained a concussion as a result of the hit. Healy said he thinks he’ll be good to go for Saturday’s game, though a final decision likely won’t be made until tomorrow.