How can you not like this deal? Ducksnorts:
- The Padres have signed veteran right-hander Jon Garland to round out the 2010 rotation. The deal is $4.7 million this year, plus a mutual option for $6.75 million in 2011.
Excluding 2005, when he masqueraded as a front-line pitcher, Garland has been a league-average innings eater throughout his career. He’s filled that role for a long time and he’s still in his prime.
Garland’s main assets are durability and reliability. Every year since 2002, he has made at least 32 starts, worked at least 190 innings, and won at least 10 games. His career ERA+ is 104.
There is nothing sexy about Garland’s game. He gives up plenty of hits and doesn’t notch many strikeouts (career high in a season is 115; career K/9 is 4.72). He just takes the mound when it’s his turn and gives an honest day’s work in the big leagues. I don’t have a problem letting the youngsters watch a guy do that.
I feel bad for Wade LeBlanc, who pitched well in his second stint with the big club in 2009 and who probably deserved the chance to compete for a job this spring. Then again, opportunities will arise, whether the Padres want them to or not. Remember last year’s rotation at the season’s start? Remember how many were still around at the end?
Stuff happens, the kids will get their chances. Garland’s presence just increases the likelihood that they won’t all get thrown into the fire at once, which seems prudent to me.
Garland also should have trade value should the need arise. That could prove useful at some point.
At $4.7 million, Garland is an absolute steal. Between his durability and his league-average performance, he's worth twice that.
Wade LeBlanc? Yes, he deserves a chance. So do Clayton Richard and Tim Stauffer and Mat Latos. The way these things work, eventually each of them will get a chance or three. In the meantime, it's nice to have a guy who's going to take the ball every fifth game and give you six or seven innings.