SAN FRANCISCO -- As anticipated, the Giants announced Saturday that they declined to tender first baseman Ryan Garko a 2010 contract, casting him into free agency.
Economics parly accounted for Garko's departure. He was eligible for salary arbitration, which would have virtually guaranteed him a significant pay increase from his 2009 base salary of $446,100. San Francisco faces possible arbitration cases with two-time Cy Young Award-winning right-hander Tim Lincecum and closer Brian Wilson, who are guaranteed astronomical raises. Left-hander Jonathan Sanchez and right-hander Brandon Medders also are arbitration-eligible. Additionally, the Giants' pursuit of free-agent first basemen Nick Johnson and Adam LaRoche demonstrates that Garko would have occupied a subordinate role had he remained with the club. The move left the Giants' 40-man roster at 39 players.
Chris Haft is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.