Pat Burrell gives Giants a ridiculous discount

TORONTO - JUNE 20: Buster Posey #28 and Pat Burrell #9 of the San Francisco Giants celebrate Pat Burrell 2 run home run against the Toronto Blue Jays at the Rogers Centre during a MLB game June 20, 2010 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. (Photo by Abelimages/Getty Images)

I found this story about Pat Burrell's new contract more than a little odd. In particular, this line:

"General manager Brian Sabean told Burrell the Giants would love to have him back but could pay him $1 million"

Really? Let's look at Bill James' projections for the Giants two "left fielders":

 

GP 2B 3B HR OPS
Aubrey Huff 143 30 2 19 0.801 $22M over 2 years
Pat Burrell 126 20 1 20 0.794 $1M for 1 year

 

Three thoughts:

1. The Giants paid about $3.3M for Burrell and Huff last season.  Why aren't they confident in their ability to find similarly-talented played for less than $11M this season?

2. I don't believe for a second that the Giants "could only pay Burrell $1 million."  The Giants just cashed on a ton of revenue and presumably expect increased ticket sales in 2011.  So why is the budget so tightly constrained?  (It looks to be $6-7 million higher than last season.)

3. If you knew you had $11M to allocate on a first baseman and a left fielder, is this how you'd split up the money?

The Giants succeeded on a very low payroll last season - $66M when you take into account the Zito and Rowand contracts.  The odds of doing that again are very low, and they're even lower when you go out and pay market rate for Aubrey Huff.  It won't take long for people recognize how much luck there was in Brian Sabean's world series win.

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