Garlick, 31 in January, was outrighted off the Twins’ roster a year ago but earned his way back on by the middle of April. He only got into 66 games on the season due to various injuries. He went to the IL four times, with the causes ranging from a right calf strain, a left hamstring strain, a right ribcage contusion and a left wrist sprain.
Despite all those ailments, he was still able to be an above-average hitter at the plate on the season. He hit nine home runs in that limited playing time and produced an overall batting line of .233/.284/.433. That amounted to a wRC+ of 104, indicating he was 4% better than the league average hitter. The Twins likely envision him for a platoon role, as he was much better against lefties. Six of his nine homers were against southpaws and his overall production against them finished at .243/.305/.500, wRC+ of 128. Against righties, it was just .224/.263/.368 and a wRC+ of 79.
The Twins have a couple of lefties in their outfield mix in Max Kepler, Alex Kirilloff and Trevor Larnach. Given Garlick’s abilities with the platoon advantage, he could take some at-bats away from that crew from time to time. All three of them also made multiple trips to the IL in 2022 and could create a larger opening for Garlick if they got hurt. There’s also the oft-injured Byron Buxton in the mix in center, creating another reason for the Twins to keep Garlick around as depth.
Garlick qualified for arbitration as a Super Two player, his first time being eligible for the process. MLBTR contributor Matt Swartz projected Garlick for a salary of $1.1MM but he has settled for less than that. It’s not uncommon for such deals to come out at this time of year. Thursday is the deadline for teams to decide whether or not they will tender contracts to their arbitration-eligible players. Garlick was a candidate to be non-tendered and sent back to free agency but has instead agreed to a salary with a modest raise.
Last year’s minimum was $700K and next year’s will be $720K, meaning Garlick gets a small bump and the Twins have secured a player they could find useful at a rate barely above minimum. Under the previous collective bargaining agreement, arbitration salaries weren’t guaranteed until Opening Day but the new CBA does guarantee them as long as the player doesn’t go to a hearing. That means Garlick has that $750K locked in.
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