Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Soriano and Estrada for Burrell?

Randy Miller:

Soriano, 30, is expected to get a first offer this week from the Phillies, who have decided to go all-out for the right-handed slugger the same way they did four years ago when signing free agent first baseman Jim Thome to a six-year, $85 million contract.

A team source says the Phils are prepared to dish out at least $75 million over five seasons for Soriano, who hit .277 with a career-high 46 homers, 95 RBIs and 41 steals last season for the Washington Nationals, most out of the leadoff position.

If the Phils land Soriano, their next move would be dealing left fielder Pat Burrell, who has two seasons and $27 million remaining on a $50 million contract that includes a no-trade provision.

In a meeting late this summer with general manager Pat Gillick and assistant GM Ruben Amaro Jr., Burrell was forewarned that the team wants to move him and asked to provide a list of places he'd go, the team source said.

Dealing Burrell to Arizona for catcher Johnny Estrada is a possibility.

I'm taking the easy way out here and pulling a recent discussion out of the comment section because it is so damn relevant to this rumored report:
malphie said...

I just noticed this.

A: .388 / .502 / .301
B: .389 / .504 / .302

A is Pat Burrell this year. B was him last year. He literally had the same exact year at the plate in '06 as he did in '05. So why is everyone calling for his head now? Because of the emergence of Howard, right? They say he needs "protection" in the lineup. Only...he hit 58 homeruns last year! I mean, didn't Howard have an awesome, MVPish year with Burrell protecting him? If the Phils spend ridiculous money to bring in Soriano, I guess he would provide marginally more protection than Burrell, but at his cost? No way Soriano is worth it.

1:06 PM

I said...

Damn good points, couldn't have said it better myself. People can hate on Burrell all they want, but the simple fact remains that he is a good hitter. Replacing a good hitter with a "great" hitter like Soriano (I use the term very loosely) would provide a net gain, small as it may be. Making a move like this would likely cost about $5 million or so of Burrell's salary on top of the $13 million plus that Soriano figures to make.

Replacing a garbage hitter like Abe Nunez with even a league average hitter represents a greater net gain (yes, Nunez really was that bad in 2006 - as good as Chase Utley was this past season, Nunez was literally as bad) all at a much, much cheaper cost.

The Phils are not in a position where they can afford making big money changes to get better around the margins; they need to target their biggest weaknesses and seek out solutions that can, at the very minimum, provide a one year or two band-aid over their problems.

OPS+ is not even close to being any kind of definitive statistic, but it is interesting to compare Burrell's career OPS+ (117) with Soriano's (115). If we were to forget finances, I would rather have Alfonso Soriano on my baseball team in 2007 than Pat Burrell (by a slim margin). But after factoring in the cost it would take to dump Burrell and then sign the dollar bills it would take to sign Soriano, there is no way in heck that it could even be argued Soriano is the better choice.

As for the pesky Burrell for Estrada rumor...let's just hope that's all it is - a rumor.


Blogger GM-Carson said...

Only a silly Phillies fan would be happy with a Burrell for Estrada trade. Not only DO we need Burrell until a suitable replacement is found, but we also DON'T need Estrada...silly.

7:08 AM  

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