Let's be honest Tribe fans, there aren't going to be many that actually miss Ryan Garko now that he's been traded to the San Francisco Giants. It's not that Garko hasn't been productive, because there have been moments in Tribe-land in which Garko was the most productive player on the team. Unfortunately for the lumbering first baseman, most of that production has come at a time when the Indians have done their best impression of their pre-90's selves. Garko always seemed to be the guy who played like he was wearing a 200 lb weight when there was any sort of pressure on him. Consider Garko Paul Sorrento. Unfortunately for Garko, the Indians of his generation won a whole lot less than Sorrento's.
Luckily for Cleveland, they were able to "sell high" in acquiring Scott Barnes from the San Francisco Giants. Barnes isn't a sure thing by any stretch of the equation, but certainly provides the Indians with a big upside in the future. The bonus is that they essentially acquired the well-thought-of lefty for a guy in Garko that certainly didn't figure into their future.
So what does that mean for the future of the Indians? Certainly Matt LaPorta is likely earmarked for the Indians in some form or fashion in the coming weeks. LaPorta is the elephant that enters any room when there's any sort of roster shuffling. Surprisingly enough, LaPorta won't be the first guy called up.
Why? Can you believe that Andy Marte is still/back in/actually in the picture? I don't really know what it is about this guy. Since the Indians have dealt for Marte 3 1/2 years ago for Coco Crisp, he has proven many scouts right in being nothing more than a AAAA minor league player. Let's face facts, he hasn't even been that good. Marte has struggled to find any sort of rhythm, and has gone from a top major league prospect to a massive hole in whatever lineup he enters.
Enter 2009, with Marte out of options and likely out of Cleveland in nearly every rumor mill talking about him earlier this year. Cleveland thought so little of him that they left him off their 40-man roster. MLB thought so little of him that not a single team claimed him. Back to the minors he went, but likely for a short period of time, with the Indians laced with corner prospects. What's he done since the start of the season in triple-A Columbus? How about making a run at the International league triple crown (2nd in homers and rbi, and third in average). Unfortunately for Marte, he won't get to fulfill his triple crown threats, as he finds himself in Cleveland for one last opportunity to make the club.
Ryan Garko couldn't stick with the Indians because he could perform when he needed to most. The only question now is, can Marte?
If he can, the Indians will be the better for it.