Mariners acquire Moses Lake product Garbe

The Mariners made a minor trade with major Washington state ties on Tuesday morning, sending veteran catcher Pat Borders to Minnesota in return for Moses Lake, Wash. native and former first-round pick, outfielder B.J. Garbe.

Borders will get a chance to play for a World Series contender in the Twins, which currently stand seven games ahead of Cleveland in the American League Central standings with 32 games remaining in the regular season.

The 41-year-old catcher spent most of the season at Triple-A Tacoma, hitting .255 with five home runs, five doubles and 13 RBI with the Rainiers. In a short stint with the Mariners, Borders hit .189 with a homer and five RBI.

Borders, a 22-year major league veteran and former World Series MVP with Toronto in 1992, will join his ninth major league team.

Garbe is an intriguing player not because of his 2004 stats at Double-A - the outfielder has managed to bat just .201 with three home runs, 35 RBI and 12 steals - but because of his past. He was drafted in the first round of the 1999 First-Year Player Draft (5th overall) by Minnesota, and signed for $2.75 million.

Also considered a top quarterback recruit out of Moses Lake High in 1999, there's never been a question with Garbe's strong arm and ability to chase down fly balls. It's been his inablities at the plate that have forced the critics to multiply in numbers.

After batting .316 as an 18-year-old in rookie ball in 1999, the 23-year-old outfielder hasn't batted above .242 in any season since. He reached rock bottom last year, hitting just .178 in 225 at bats at his first stop in Double-A as a member of the New Britain Rock Cats.

Reports are that Garbe has never been able to improve his pitch selection in the minor leagues, often falling behind in counts, swinging at bad pitches and playing into the pitchers' hands. Until that changes, his quick bat won't matter.

Garbe will report to Double-A San Antonio, hoping to leave the past behind with a clean slate as a member of the Mariners organization.

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