Mariners Waive Ryan Garko, Will Keep Sweeney

7:19pm: Mike Sweeney has made the Mariners' Opening Day roster, writes Morosi.  The 36-year-old was set to retire if he didn't make a team's Opening Day squad.  Sweeney will be in a designated hitter platoon with Ken Griffey Jr.

Meanwhile, a source tells Morosi that the Rangers' current interest level in Garko isn't high.

5:10pm: The Mariners have put Ryan Garko on waivers, according to Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports (via Twitter).  Seattle signed the first baseman to a one-year, $550K deal roughly two months ago.  The 29-year-old still has options remaining.

Morosi points out that the Rangers are in search of a right-handed bat, though he is unsure if they are interested in Garko.  Texas is in search of a backup corner infielder and although manager Ron Washington seems willing to give middle infielder Andres Blanco a chance at third, it is unlikely that Garko is up to the task.  Before he landed with the M's, the Rangers were said to be interested in Garko's services.

In 40 games (127 plate appearances) for the Giants last season, Garko hit .235/.307/.330 with 2 HRs.


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47 Comments on "Mariners Waive Ryan Garko, Will Keep Sweeney"


Ian_Smell
5 years 4 months ago

How are the Jack Zduriencik jock sniffers going to spin this?

dwarfcatt
5 years 4 months ago

Z strikes again! Talk about a low risk move. Now if Garko completely tanks, it won’t hurt the Mariners one bit. Plus, if you focus solely on the Garko signing, the production of whoever replaces him will come virtually free. This is classic Z motivational tactics, Ichiro will know he better shape up and play hard, otherwise he might get Z’d up just like Garko.

5 years 4 months ago

This is a stupid move but choosing Sweeney over Garko was Wak’s decision. Garko didn’t have the proper “belief system” I guess.

crunchy1
5 years 4 months ago

Great decision by Jack Z…another work of staggering genius! It was a great move when he picked him up and even a greater move when he released him. It reminds me when I tried to get my flat screen TV on the cheap and had to return it a couple of days later.

bbxxj
5 years 4 months ago

I guess they must be really confident in Kotchman to go ahead and let Garko go. They really need Kotchman to be a near 20HR rather than the barely above 10HR guy he has been if they play him at 1B all year and bat him #3.

nelson_c
5 years 4 months ago

Apparently he was costing the team too much in BP balls hit over the fence for Z’s tastes

mw3
5 years 4 months ago

I’d rather have Sweeney, Kotchman and Byrnes getting Garko’s at bats anyway.

5 years 4 months ago

Versus righties maybe but Garko kills lefties and they just lost a very valuable piece of the puzzle.

maudlow
5 years 4 months ago

This is related to Sweeney and his hot Spring. He’s been hitting over .500 most of spring and driving the ball. The M’s weren’t that impressed with Garko’s defense and his lack of flexibility in the field….not that Sweeney has that, but at least he’s been hitting.

5 years 4 months ago

That’s a bold statement.

Guest
5 years 4 months ago

If any team makes sense to claim him it’s the Rangers, who have been searching for corner infield help.

Will_Clarks_Gauchos
5 years 4 months ago

Remember when two posts ago Millar wasn’t a ‘good fit’ in Texas because they were looking for middle infield help?

Guest
5 years 4 months ago

Google the following,

Irony
Joke
Parody

5 years 4 months ago

As a Giants fan, this makes me feel vaguely vindicated. But I guess Z. is really serious about this pitching and defense business, and doesn’t have room for a so-so clankmitt like Garko.

universalguru
5 years 4 months ago

I don’t get why they’d waive Garko when he had options left. I know they have a surplus of 1B/DH at AAA but none of them are particularly good. Garko has more potential than Brad Nelson or Mike Carp (even on a one year deal). Kind of lame, but whatever.

Shoeless_Joe
5 years 4 months ago

Bad Move by Jeff Z. A Kotchman/Garko Platoon is much better then…..just Kotchman!

grant77
5 years 4 months ago

The middle of the Mariners lineup is sure going to be ugly, one of the worst ever.

EdinsonPickle
5 years 4 months ago

This is an interesting move. I thought when he was originally signed that was going to pretty useful, since he provides decent power and is right handed whereas Kotchman is a lefty. With Garko out of the picture the M’s really have little to no power. Griffey may hit 15-20 HRs and Kotchman if he has a good year may hit the same. All I can say is that I hope the M’s will be able to manufacture some runs.

alxn
5 years 4 months ago

Kotchman still makes absolutely no sense for this team. Now he is going to get even more at bats.

5 years 4 months ago

No sense eh? Left handed, puts the ball in play and AMAZING fielder. Hmmm… Exactly what the Mariners want. Yeah no sense at all.

alxn
5 years 4 months ago

Just because it is what they want doesn’t mean it makes sense. An amazing fielder at 1st is overkill when they already have great defense everywhere else. Especially on a team that badly needs offense (more than hoping for a BABIP hot streak for someone who “puts the ball in play”). Just my opinion.

NotWerthTheRiske
5 years 4 months ago

yea, do not like this move at all….given garko can also catch in a pinch…

mw3
5 years 4 months ago

Griffey will not get the at bats that most pre-suppose. On the road especially Wak will give Sweeney, Bradley and Byrnes the DH at bats. Even against right handed pitching. Griffey was signed to be a pinch hitter and occasional DH, and almost all of those occasions will come at home against RH pitching.

5 years 4 months ago

Garko must have gotten a guarantee when he signed that he would be released if he didn’t make the team. I can’t imagine a team voluntarily making themselves worse.

I hate this move and I don’t understand what Wak and Z are doing. I know, let’s release Yusmeiro Petit again. Wait, no, let’s re-sign him again. I don’t think there’s a plan at all. Either that or Jack Z is building a plan and Wak is trying to destroy it. Sweeney better keep hitting .500 in the regular season because obviously all they care about is Spring Training stats.

stevemotivateir
5 years 4 months ago

Garko didn’t show that he wanted it, Sweeney did. Would have been foolish to ignore what Sweeney was doing. Kotchman isn’t going to need a lot of days off and I have no doubt Sweeney can fill in at 1st on occasion, so I don’t want to hear the lack of defense argument. Sweeney gives the team the power everyone seems to think the team lacks as well, so I like this move a lot.

bjsguess
5 years 4 months ago

What?

“Sweeney gives the team the power everyone seems to think the team lacks …”

Here’s a trivia question for you – name the last year Sweeney hit HR’s in the double digits? It was also the last time that Sweeney was healthy enough to play more than 74 games. Answer – 2005.

Sweeney offers you significantly below average defense, an incredible likelihood of being injured, and when he plays you can’t count on even league average offense.

Griffey is a cipher with the bat. Bradley can be above average (was slightly below average in 09) but you never know what you will get with him. Kotchman is no prospect any more. Over the past year and a half he has had 600 PA’s and 9 HR’s with an OPS around 700. He’s great with the glove but offers nothing offensively.

The M’s really should have brought back Branyan. Kotchman’s glove will save some runs but his bat will take them away. This entire offense is so bad. If Figgins gets hurt the M’s won’t be able to score runs period. Don’t worry about that though. Figgins only missed about 40 games in 07 and again in 08.

5 years 4 months ago

Sweeney could maybe hit 15 homers if he got 500 ABs. But he’ll get like 200 ABs for this team (if he stays healthy). So maybe 7 homers.

He’s had a grand total of 22 starts at first base in the past 4 years. 4 years! He didn’t even play at first at any time during Spring Training. How can he be the solution as a backup? For a team that loves defense, this move makes no sense. Garko may be bad at first but Sweeney is practically unusable.

Unfortunately, if Branyan had signed with us (we did offer him a contract early on) we would still be trouble because Branyan hasn’t played all Spring and will start the year on the DL because of his bad back. I didn’t want to believe it but they may have been right about that herniated disc.

crunchy1
5 years 4 months ago

I wonder if this has anything to do with Milton Bradley. Bradley’s already had some problems this spring (of course, none of it was his fault — just ask him or Wakamatsu, who seems to be something of an enabler) and he’s specifically mentioned Griffey, Jr and Sweeney as two guys he likes as teammates. I wonder if they thought that keeping Sweeney as a highly paid babysitter was more important than a solid righty bat bench and possible platoon partner for Kotchman.

stevemotivateir
5 years 4 months ago

First, Sweeney is in a back-up role. Second, it’s not fair to say he wasn’t healthy enough to play in more than 74 games because he is was in a back-up role last year and wouldn’t have played that many anyways. And he only missed 11 games last year with the back issues. Branyan missed more.
If you want trivia, do you know who was 2nd in the league in hitting last year from August til the end, with more than 100 at-bats? It was Sweeney. He’s healthy now, that’s what matters for this season. Consider that he’s not going to be an everyday starter, makes him a solid choice for a back-up. His defense isn’t great, but look what Garko did in the spring! I’d take Sweeney’s glove over his, and I’d take his bat over Garko, Kotchman, and Bradley.
You said the Mariners should have resigned Branyan. He was asking for a 2-3 year deal in the 20-30mil range. When he found out nobody would pay that, he settled for about the same Kotchman signed for after the trade. Seattle would have taken Branyan back if the numbers were right. But do you still think that they should have signed him now? If you haven’t read the news lately, Branyan has a herniated disc in his back again and is starting the season on the DL. Yeah, dumb move on Seattle’s part.

mw3
5 years 4 months ago

Ever since Lee got hurt it sure has become commonplace to see criticism of Z and the rest of the organization. It’s just about time for the players to produce or not and everyone else to zip it.

CrustyJuggler
5 years 4 months ago

This happened because Garko has looked horrible defensively at 1B all spring. And you know how Jack feels about defense.

It didn’t help Garko’s case either that he didn’t hit well either while Sweeney was tearing the cover off the ball. Still, the Mariners are in a world of hurt offensively going into the season.

Yankees10
5 years 4 months ago

Wow Garko couldnt even beat out Mike Sweeney. Thats pretty bad.