The Indians continued to be busy during the trading period as they sent first baseman Ryan Garko to the San Francisco Giants for Class-A left-handed pitcher Scott Barnes. The Indians continue to address pitching needs, the obvious weakness for the Tribe this season.
Garko batted .285 with 11 home runs and 39 RBIs on the year. Garko has been a mainstay in Cleveland since 2006. In 2007, he batted .289 with 21 homers and 61 RBIs. The following year, RBI production jumped to 90, as his average topped at .273 and he hit 14 home runs. Recently, Garko has helped hold down the first base position along with the help of Travis Hafner and Victor Martinez.
The 21-year-old Barnes was 12-3 with a 2.85 ERA in 18 starts for Class A San Jose in the California League. He was leading the league in wins, was second in ERA, and his 99 strikeouts were tied for ninth overall. Barnes, who is listed at 6-4 and 185 pounds, will be sent to Class-A Kinston. He was an 8th round pick in the 2008 first year player draft. Barnes was also rated as the number 9 prospect in the entire Giants system by Baseball America prior to this season.
When discussing the trade, Indians GM Mark Shapiro stated that Barnes has an above average changeup and the makings of an above average curveball. Shapiro also said that he thinks the Indians have a potential lefty starting pitcher. How far in the future this will be remains to be seen.
This move also has freed up space for Andy Marte to rejoin the Indians. Marte has bounced between the bigs and the minors in his time with the Indians organization. Marte has batted .330, homered 18 times, and driven in 66 runs to go along with 24 doubles this year in Columbus, as he earned International League All-Star honors while on the Clippers.
As a part of the 2006 Coco Crisp deal with Boston, Marte was supposed to be the future star 3B for the Indians. In a meager 150 games, Marte only batted .219 with 9 home runs and 48 RBIs for Cleveland. Once again, Marte is handed the reigns to a position that he can own to himself.