Wednesday, December 01, 2010


The Bat Is Back

Two immediate reactions upon hearing the news that the Giants had (surprisingly, in my view) re-signed left fielder Pat Burrell to a very team-friendly one-year contract (actual terms haven't been disclosed). One: well, Carl Crawford would have looked really good in Orange and Black, and two: I guess this means we won't be seeing top prospect Brandon Belt in the majors any time soon. I thought that the Giants might be planning to stick the recently re-signed Aubrey Huff in left field to make room for Belt at first base, but I guess that was just wishful thinking by yours truly.

So it looks like the 2011 Giants are going to be a reasonable facsimile of the 2010 championship team, sans one Juan Uribe and plus a whinier substitute. There's an inherent peril in continuing to rely on players like Huff and Burrell who may have just had a couple of fluky stretches last year. Glass-half-empty types might point to Burrell's disastrous postseason and awful American League experience as a an indication that his torrid hitting in San Francisco might fizzle.

Remember the days when the Giants were signing questionable veteran players to three-year deals? Shudder. I guess Brian Sabean has learned. One year deals, once again, are hard to get worked up over. Burrell might sink into Old Player Skills hell and be a non-factor, or he might smack 25 homers and draw 90-100 walks. For what is probably going to amount to pennies, it's worth it to find out if Burrell has got that latter season in him. If so, this is a great deal, giving the Giants a productive one-year plug-in while Belt continues to develop.

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