The problem with a trade for Lowell is that Texas does not have the at-bats currently for a player of his talent and well let’s face it trading away Max Ramirez for an aging first basemen hardly seemed like a genius idea.
Ryan Garko provides the Rangers with all the things that Mike Lowell would have and he cost the team no players and comes with no health concerns.
Garko is a right handed bat who will back up Chris Davis at first. He could also see some time at DH if he goes on a hot streak. A career .279/.351/.441 hitter he had played his whole career in Cleveland until a deadline move sent him to San Fransisco.
This winter he signed with Seattle and despite being signed to a deal worth $550,000 was beaten out for a roster spot by Mike Sweeney.
That process led to him being placed on waivers and the eventual claim by Texas.
Garko isn’t much of a pull hitter, will probably give the Rangers a solid bat and won’t wow anyone on defense but much the same could be said about Mike Lowell these days.
The biggest benefit of getting Garko is that the Rangers will also get to keep Max Ramirez. Ramirez enjoyed a rise though Atlanta and Cleveland’s system before a trade to Texas in 2007. After an eye popping 2008 campaign split between Double-A and Triple-A he made his big league debut later that year. He took a step back last year with an injury plagued season and some question if he can hit enough for average to be an everyday player.
I for one am willing to see if he can bounce back from his 2009 season. After all if the cost is having Ryan Garko instead of Mike Lowell then it’s more then worth it.