Jon Garland traded to Los Angeles

Jon Garland has been traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers. SI's Jon Heyman broke the news of the trade on his Twitter feed. Per KTAR's feed, it's "for a player to be named later. Player needs to clear waivers." Gambo, through KTAR, is saying "D-backs will pay remainder of salary this year and potentially buyout for next season," which certainly makes it seem we should be getting someone semi-decent in return if we're also playing Garland's salary.

As quoted in the comments, one source has Tony Abreu as the potential PTBNL He's a 24-year old infielder, who has hit .347 in 48 games at Triple-A. Could he be our starting second baseman of 2010? Other reports - but I want to stress these are as yet completely unconfirmed - have the player as Dee Gordon, a shortstop with blazing speed, who's the son of Tom Gordon. However, that may be confusion caused by the second trade the Dodgers made this evening, getting Jim Thome from the White Sox for another low-level infielder, believed to be Justin Fuller.

The news was formally broken on the Diamondbacks' broadcast at 9:34, but the writing seemed on the wall earlier, given his departure from the Diamondbacks' dugout just after the trade deadline at 9pm AZ time. He seemed to be saying his goodbyes to the team at that point, though somewhat surprisingly, he was one of the people high-fiving Justin Upton after his eighth-inning homer tied the game - which would have been after his trade!

It was somewhat plaintive to see his bag outside the visitor's locker-room in the late innings of the game.He was scheduled to start the last game of this series on Thursday. He may still do so, but if that's the case it'll be from the home dugout. No word on who will take the mound for Arizona.

Generally, dealing with your divisional rivals, especially for a starting pitcher, is something that you tend not to do. However, with Garland being a free agent in little more than a month, and with the Diamondbacks being a) out of the divisional race, and b) most unlikely to pick up the $10m team option, this seems like the kind of move where you get something in return for the player, rather than nothing. Garland would probably not even have been a Type B free-agent, so we would have received no compensation for losing him.

The Diamondbacks pretty much got what they wanted from Jon during his time here: they were only able to afford him due to a combination of the economic meltdown and his poor 2008, where his ERA was up to 4.90. But he reverted to his previous form this season. Garland pitched pretty well over 27 starts with  Arizona, despite a record of only 8-11. His hit, walk and homer numbers all ended pretty close to his career numbers, as was his ERA+  - that ended at 106, while his overall number there is 104.

I can't say I am too surprised to see him go. I wouldn't be surprised if there was still some tension reverberating around the Arizona clubhouse after his remarks in July concerning his team-mates: "We're going out there and playing like a last-place team. I don't see any fight. I don't see anyone that wants it." While likely born out of frustration, and not entirely unjustified either, it will hardly have done anything to improve relationships with others on the roster. There is certainly a perception that Garland's interest in winning may have been less for the team, than his impending free-agency.

It's interesting to see that most reports have us paying Garland's salary for the rest of the season, and the buy-out on his option [which I've no doubt he'll now exercise from his end, so he gets the bigger payout]. That probably means we are on the hook for about $3.5 million. Based on this, I would certainly like to think we are getting a fairly decent prospect in return from Los Angeles, but as with the Jon Rauch trade, we'll just have to wait and see for the details to be made public [or for something to leak out].

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