"The Red Sox got Jake Peavy; what a great addition!"
"The Tigers got Jose Iglesias; now they won't miss Jhonny Peralta so much!"
"The White Sox got Avisail Garcia. Whatever."
For real baseball, those were the general reactions to the late-July three-way trade between Detroit, Boston, and Chicago. Those were fair reactions; the contending teams got the help they needed, while the pointless White Sox added a player that will not keep them from being pointless.
For fantasy baseball, though, the reactions should be the opposite, as the trade didn't change much for the big guys. Peavy's value was basically unchanged with the move (a worse run environment, but a better chance at wins). Iglesias' value was artificially inflated by an unsustainable hot streak, and anyone with the super-smarts you obviously have (the fact that you're reading what I write shows you make smart decisions) knew not to put much stock in Iglesias.
On the other hand, Garcia went from a guy without a job, without a role, to a guy who had a full-time job. (Yes, the full-time job didn't totally arrive until the White Sox dealt Alex Rios to the Rangers, but the point still holds. We knew a Rios trade to somewhere was likely, so we should have known a Garcia job was equally likely.)
It's easy to parse Garcia's 2013 into three chunks - "full-time Tiger," "part-time Tiger," and "full-time White Sox." With the obvious caveat that I'm playing super fast and loose with arbitrary endpoints and small samples, these are Garcia's numbers in those chunks:
|Full-time White Sox||41||6||14||5||0||.341||.386||.463|
No, this isn't an open-and-shut case. But it's an oft-repeated trope that some guys are just more successful in a full-time gig. There is absolutely no way to know at this point, through 64 career games, whether Garcia is that sort of guy. But if you look at his full-season, whatever-usage numbers, he's still got a not-bad slash line of .274/.311/.403, and he's played every game for the White Sox since the Rios trade. Even if he's not the "I love a full-time job" guy, he's going to have full-time plate appearances, so counting stats ought to be a helper regardless.
The primary knock against Garcia (and it is totally legitimate) is his plate discipline. His O-Swing % over his two-year career is over 40%, and his walk rate is right at 5%. A K:BB ratio this year of 29:6 is a potential problem, as an early-career 5:1 can often become a later-career 8:1 as pitchers figure the hitter out.
But Garcia is owned in only 4% of Yahoo leagues. While he's not remotely a must-own guy, if you've been struggling along without Nelson Cruz, or if you just lost Jose Bautista to the DL (sad face for me on that one), you could do worse than Garcia's bat.
He's worth a look. More than Iglesias, anyway.
Follow me on Twitter @danieltkelley
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