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The San Diego Padres came as close as any team could to making the postseason last year, losing to the San Francisco on the final day of the season in a showdown for the National League West title. Nevertheless, much of San Diego’s success can be attributed to right-hander Jon Garland, who was a constant in the Padres’ rotation all season. Here’s how the veteran has fared over the past three seasons: 

YR

Team

GS

IP

W-L

ERA

BB

SO

SNLVAR

SNWP

SIERA

2008

LAA

32

196.2

14-8

4.90

59

90

2.0

.455

4.84

2009

LAN, ARI

33

204.0

11-13

4.01

61

109

3.5

.429

4.75

2010

SDN

33

200.0

14-12

3.47

87

136

4.6

.521

4.45

Garland has averaged 208 innings over 11 big-league seasons. He’s 15th among active pitchers in innings pitched, in select company with marquee names like Roy Halladay (9th), former White Sox teammate Mark Buehrle (11th), and CC Sabathia (14th). Similar to Buehrle, Garland pitches primarily to contact:

YR

GB%

BABIP

2008

49.9%

.315

2009

45.7%

.302

2010

51.9%

.270

Career avg.

46.3%

.288

While Garland has been a groundball pitcher his whole career, Marc Normandin pointed out that he was even more so in 2010, attempting to take advantage of PETCO Park being a pitcher’s haven. 

Garland ended up being seventh in the National League in ground ball percentage and sixth in BABIP (minimum 150 innings). The Padres in turn, were fifth in GB% (46.8) and second in BABIP (.291) – one of the best defensive teams in all of baseball. If Garland leaves San Diego, he’s going to need an average to above average infield in order to post similar numbers to 2010.

Here's a list of teams that may attempt to sign Garland this winter: 

Team

ERA (rank)

GB % (rank)

BABIP (rank)

BAL

4.59 (27th)

43.2 (28th)

.301 (15th)

DET

4.30 (25th)

45.2 (16th)

.303 (17th)

MIN

3.95 (11th)

46.2 (12th)

.304 (21st)

SEA

3.93 (9th)

44.3 (22nd)

.285 (3rd)

MIL

4.58 (26th)

43.6 (24th)

.317 (29th)

NYN

3.70 (7th)

46.5 (8th)

.303 (18th)

PIT

5.00 (30th)

45.7 (14th)

.321 (30th)

Garland is the epitome of a workhorse, and some of these teams desperately need a pitcher that can give them 30 starts and 175-200 innings. Some of these clubs are looking to contend in 2011, others could be looking to sign Garland and deal him at the trading deadline. So let’s hear it – where will Garland be pitching next season?

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rawagman
11/10
Garland to the Pirates would be a mistake. He is a pitch-to-contact guy and they have a horrible defense. They need strike-out arms and better infield defense.
tslavinsky
11/10
Twins would seem to be a logical fit, but they do seem to have an army of similar right-handed pitch to contact starters. It would be fun to see what Dave Duncan could do with Garland in St. Louis, but I don't think he is deep enough in the bargain bin.
NYYanks826
11/10
The Mets would probably be the best fit. Huge ballpark, decent defensive infield. He and Pelfrey would make a pretty mean pitch-to-contact duo.
mgolovcsenko
11/10
The Mets would be a great fit ... presuming "MoneyBall Meets the Metropolitans" doesn't embark on a tear-down and punt 2011, in which case ponying up up for the money Garland will want after his 2010 doesn't make a lot of sense.
mhmosher
11/10
Agreed. Garland is exactly what the Mets could use. He won't require a huge commitment and he'll give you innings.
mhmosher
11/10
I think the new front office is pretty much considering 2011 a building season, without saying that. They lose 45 million in payroll (mostly dead payroll) after this coming season.
wonkothesane1
11/10
According to FanGraph's Garland's WAR for 2010 was only 0.8. That's a lot of replacement level innings. Seems like there are cheaper ways to get replacement level performance than signing Garland.
hessshaun
11/10
I would have to agree.