I don't know about you, but it seems the Mitch Garver signing was met with a wide array of responses. I've seen complaints that they should've stuck with Tom Murphy, because there isn't really a difference. I've seen questions as to why they would sign a backup catcher/DH position, as it limits the positional versatility of the team. I've also seen excitement from those who think that Garver is a great bat to get in the lineup.
I think I lean more towards the third group. Garver has had three seasons with an WRC+ of 135 or better. That's a darn good mark, and for comparison sake, Cal Raleigh has put up WRC+ marks of 120 and 111 the last two seasons. If we get a 135+ from Garver, that would be immense to this lineup.
Mitch Garver has the potential to be a difference maker for the Mariners
STEAMER sees Garver doing well in Seattle, although not as well as in those 135+ seasons. It's backed by an acceptable K rate, much better than what Tom Murphy was doing, as well as a well above average walk rate and plenty of power, but a slash line that falls well below his career average.
2024 - .235/.327/.440, 11.2% BB rate, 26.2% K rate, 24 HR, 19 2B, .278 BABIP
Career - .252/.342/.483, 11.1% BB rate, 25.6% K rate, .298 BABIP
I love seeing the HR number, because it stands out that Garver has true power, not just "meh" power that leads to a lot of warning track fly outs. Savant has him at 22 HR if he was a Mariner last year, up from his actual 19. Let's hope he can pepper the bullpens with homers all season.
I think Savant is right, though, to be wary of his batting average. Yes, Garver has put up seasons of .256, .268, .270, and .273. Those are great numbers. However, he also has seasons of .196, .167, and .207. However, those first two marks were each in 23 game seasons (rookie year and COVID season) while the .207 came in 2022. You're either getting a stud or a bum essentially.
The other part to keep an eye on is health and games played. Garver is going to have expectations placed on him to see a lot of AB's in the DH role. His top games played in a season are 103, 93, and 87, which happened last year in Texas. STEAMER has him at 121, but the DH plays a big part of that. Can he make it through that larger portion of a season as a DH and keep producing? It seems like they think so.
Let's hope that we get not just the good Garver, but the one who can make it to 90+ games. If so, as STEAMER predicts, I think we are going to be happy with what we get from Mitch Garver in 2024.