Friday, December 3, 2010

Burrell gives Giants what Derek Jeter won't

It’s hard not to like the deal of re-signing Pat Burrell for one year and $1 million without incentives. In fact, I think you’d have to be a Machine not to like it, and a not very bright one at that.
When I first heard of the deal, it was reported he’d be retained at a “fraction” of his 2010, $9 million salary; this was paid almost completely by the Rays, as many will recall. I wanted to reserve judgment on the signing until I heard the exact terms of the contact, because telling us it was “at a fraction” wasn’t telling us much at all, other than to say it was for less. Weird.
Pat’s already said he’d be willing to play in a reserve role. In that capacity, I think he’s an excellent option as a right handed pinch hitter off the bench. He’s clearly capable of giving your squad a good at bat, perhaps drawing a walk, and he’s also good for igniting the crowd (or depressing a road one) with a majestic fly ball or a lightning bolt to left on occasion. Just ask Jonathan Broxton.
Even with his dreadful start to the 2010 season in Tampa Bay, Pat Burrell put up a .252 average, .348 on base percentage (OBP), .469 slugging percentage (SLG) and a .351 weighted on base average (wOBA). And I’m not cherry picking his San Francisco stats, this is his line for the season in aggregate. He also hit 20 home runs and his .217 isolaTed Power (ISO) was right in line with his career mark of .221. All said and done, and with some apparently quality defense – I don’t expect this to reoccur, I’m not delusional – his season Wins Above Replacement (WAR) was 2.5. That means he was worth around $11 million in 2010.
By signing Pat Burrell for just $1 million without incentives – this is a key, i.e. the lack of incentives or possible add-ons – the Giants are basically paying for 0.2 wins in 2011. It would take a remarkable nose-dive in 2011 for him not to be worth that. More likely, he will exceed that by a wide margin if he’s given any significant playing time. I mean, if he dropped two full wins, he’d still be worth the money. It’s clear that Pat has given the Giants the elusive hometown discount. Not even the greatest, most revered, team oriented players in the game today are willing to do that. If you don’t believe me, just ask Derek Jeter.  
I’m very much looking forward to seeing Huff and Burrell back at it again. Their antics and dugout celebrations were phenomenal. If you weren’t able to see the complete genuineness in their interactions throughout 2010, you probably don’t have a soul. I’m just saying.
Having said that, Neyer said it best in his thoughts on the deal – and for the record, it’s exactly how I ended my post on Tejada, as well.

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