I think Giants fans have been pondering this trade for a while: Pat Burrell to the Giants for Armando Benitez. But now Marcus Hayes tells us that Burrell would be willing to waive his no-trade clause to play for San Francisco. Hayes indicates that Burrell could move back to first base for the Giants. Benitez would go to the Phillies as "bullpen help."
If it were just a true swap of these two players and their inflated salaries, it's a big win for the Giants. They weren't counting on much from Benitez anyway, so if you subtract his salary you are essentially getting Burrell for two years, $20MM. As maligned as Burrell is, he's only 30 and he's posted an .890 OPS for two years running. Yes, Burrell was bad with RISP this season (153 AB sample). Why you shouldn't read too much into that sample: he hit .313/.429/.598 with RISP in 2005.
Benitez, I don't think will bounce back. His top comparables, Scott Sullivan and Jose DeLeon, didn't make it much past age 34. Still, if payroll flexibility is what Pat Gillick is after, one year and $7.6MM sounds a lot better than two years and $27MM.
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