P's in a Pod 

Now that Lance Niekro and Jason Ellison have been banished to Fresno, replaced by Chad Santos and Todd Linden, it's more obvious than ever that the Giants need a right-handed power-hitting first baseman. Chad Santos hits lefty and cannot hit lefties. Mark Sweeney hits lefty and cannot hit lefties (2-for-28 this year, 11-for-63 since 2003). With that in mind, let's play a little "What's My Line?":

Player A

2006 stats (274 ABs)
.389 OBP / .529 SLG / .286 EqA

Career stats (3,339 ABs)
.361 OBP / .481 SLG / .286 EqA

Player B

2006 stats (233 ABs)
.348 OBP / .485 SLG / .278 EqA

Career stats (1,826 ABs)
.361 OBP / .487 SLG / .287 EqA

Remarkably similar, eh? Like (hint, hint) P's in a pod. Player A has been around longer. Player A is also making a schmazillion times more money than Player B. Both have first base experience, but it's either a distant memory (Player A) or cringeworthy (Player B). Player B is remarkably consistent year over year; Player A has had both excellent and terrible years.

If you haven't guessed by now, A is Philly left-phielder Pat Burrell, and B is Pirate outfield/first-baseman Craig Wilson. Wilson has been rumored as a target for many teams, which makes sense. He's cheap, he hits lefties with aplomb, he can play three positions (1B, LF, RF) and even catch in an emergency.

But I just heard ESPN's Jerry Crasnick say Burrell has "zero" trade value. I guess his contract -- $9.5 M this year, $13 M next year, and $14 M in 2008 -- is a deal-killer. If the Phillies are willing to pay a chunk of it, Burrell might be the answer for the Giants this year and in the near-future.

Here's why: For the 2006 home stretch, he's a potent RH bat, he can play first nearly full-time and sub for Bonds or Alou without any loss of power. He hits well at Mays Field -- especially this past weekend -- though not usually with tons of power (7 extra-base hits in 50 plate appearances since 2003).

Burrell can get mighty out-of-whack -- in 2003 he put up a .203 /.309 /.404 line -- but note even then he maintained a good walk rate. It seems he's been around forever, but he only turns 30 this year. The Giants would lock up through 2008 a legitimate power bat who's relatively young and healthy (only one season with fewer than 146 games played since his rookie year). Moving him to 1B long-term would be a plus for the team defense and reduce his injury risk, to boot.

Craig Wilson is a free agent after this year and likely to command $5-7 million a year for his next contract (he's making $3.5 M this year). He would likely be a two-month rental. If the Giants want to trade for a player who'll stick around past this winter, Burrell might be a better choice. If they're willing to absorb all the money owed to Burrell, the Giants may not have to send the Phils much talent in return.



This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

Weblog Commenting and Trackback by HaloScan.com