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11.08.2006

Health is the New OBP 

Will Carroll of BP this morning hands out his annual award for the best MLB medical staff. The winners are the Chicago White Sox. Read more here, but I'll pull one tidbit that I find fascinating.

Carroll cites Chicago's acquisition of three young relievers, Jenks, McDougal and Thornton, and their key role in pitching 148.2 innings, "most...in the highest-leverage relief situations." Price tag: $1.125 M. Compare that to the Blue Jays, who spent $11 M this year on A.J,. Burnett, who threw 135 innings. Carroll then asks, "Is medicine the new arbitrage opportunity in which you can find the most value for your dollar? We've been arguing this point for years, but we're finally starting to see the data to back this up."

It's an excellent question to ponder as the Giants head into the post-Stan Conte era.

***

UPDATE: ESPN's Jerry Crasnick writes today about Pat Burrell. Most of the article is about the fallout of a no-trade clause, but there's one brief passage about the rumors of Burrell being traded to the Giants:

The Phillies were caught off guard last week by reports that Burrell might consider waiving his no-trade provision to go to San Francisco. Don't count on him winding up there. If the Giants re-sign Barry Bonds, Burrell would be out of luck in left field. And although there were rumblings that San Francisco might play Burrell at first base, the Phillies tried him there earlier in his career and he didn't exactly warm to the position.

Finally, the Phillies have received no indication that the Giants are interested. One club official said the clubs have had "zero" discussions about Burrell.

Burrell's agent, Greg Genske, didn't return calls seeking comment. But it's not difficult to envision places for which Burrell might be willing to waive his no-trade clause. Arizona, the California teams, Boston and the two New York clubs are about it. That's a finite universe of suitors.

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