You know what 11 strikeouts in 13 World Series at-bats will get you? A new one-year contract, apparently.
According to Andrew Baggarly of the San Jose Mercury News, the Giants have re-signed Pat Burrell to a “discounted, one-year contract,” pending a physical.
To be fair, while Burrell was all sorts of awful during the postseason, he batted .266/.364/.509 with 18 home runs, 51 RBI and an 872 OPS over 289 at-bats after the Rays gave up on him in May. He was a legitimate middle-of-the-order presence for the Giants during the second half of the season, slugging 13 home runs in 198 at-bats.
You can certainly make the case that Burrell deserves a chance at a repeat, but it’s worth noting that the Giants’ lineup is looking really, really old at the moment. By Opening Day next season, Andres Torres and Freddy Sanchez will be 33, Burrell and Aubrey Huff will be 34 and Mark DeRosa and the newly-signed Miguel Tejada will be 36. Giants fans should hope that top prospect Brandon Belt tears the cover off the ball during spring training. Of course, Brian Sabean will probably find some reason to leave him in the minor leagues until around Memorial Day.
Free agent lefty reliever Aaron Loup has been given a locker in the Padres’ clubhouse, AJ Cassavell of MLB.com reported Sunday. Per MLB Network’s Jon Heyman, Loup received a one-year MLB deal with a club option for 2020. The Padres will shift right-hander Garrett Richards to the 60-day injured list to make room on the 40-man roster.
Loup, 31, began the 2018 season with the Blue Jays and was traded to the Phillies for minor league right-hander Jacob Waguespack at the midseason deadline. The veteran left-hander pitched just two innings in Philadelphia before hitting the injured list with a forearm strain and returned for a handful of appearances at the end of the year, bringing him up to a 4.54 ERA, 3.2 BB/9, 10.0 SO/9, and 0.3 fWAR across 39 2/3 combined innings.
Assuming health issues don’t complicate his next campaign in San Diego, Loup will be added to the bullpen alongside fellow left-handers Matt Strahm and José Castillo (with the possible late addition of southpaw reliever Brad Wieck, who underwent surgery for testicular cancer earlier this year). There are worse places to be — according to FanGraphs, the Padres’ ‘pen jumped from second-worst in 2017 to second-best in the league with a cumulative 3.53 ERA, 3.31 FIP, and 8.7 fWAR in 2018.