Sure, his performance is going to make it difficult for Pat Burrell to get any more major league work, but underlying that performance is that chronic foot injury from which he’s been suffering all summer. I wasn’t really clear on the nature of it until I read Hank Schulman’s piece in the Chronicle this morning:
Burrell signed for $1 million this year and could do so again. On the other hand, he might have to retire because of a rare and debilitating foot injury that one doctor told him occurs mostly in car accidents. “I’m one of those guys, I’ll play until they tell me I can’t,” Burrell said. “I just enjoy it so much. That being said, I’ve got some limitations with this, and I don’t know if I’ll be allowed to play with this foot thing.”
He’s always been so hot-and-cold that I figured that the injury was just an annoyance and we were simply in a cold spell, maybe even a permanent one. Guess not.
The Padres may have some interest in acquiring Phillies third baseman Maikel Franco, according to a recent report from Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic. It seems unlikely that the team would deal their starting third baseman with J.P. Crawford (fractured left hand) sidelined through July; to that end, however, they signed infielder Danny Espinosa as minor league depth on Friday and have reportedly been eying the Rangers’ Adrian Beltre, among other veteran options.
Franco, 25, entered Sunday batting .255/.297/.425 with nine home runs and a .721 OPS in 229 plate appearances this season. While he has yet to live up to the .280+ average, 1.9+ fWAR he posted during his rookie campaign, he’s been a solid 20+ home run producer over the last few years and shown some stability at the hot corner. He’s also under team control for the next three years and could provide some much-needed insurance behind the Padres’ current third base option, 27-year-old Christian Villanueva.
Rosenthal notes that the Phillies could strike a deal for one of San Diego’s relievers, though no one specific has been connected to the team yet — and the club probably wouldn’t be able to finesse a one-for-one deal given the quality of the Padres’ pitchers. The Phillies’ bullpen has looked downright abysmal over the last month, placing 11th-worst in the league with a collective 5.34 ERA and 0.3 fWAR. Their failure to procure a viable reliever beyond Seranthony Dominguez, Victor Arano and Edubray Ramos lends a certain urgency to any potential deal they make over the next few weeks, though the official trade deadline is still over a month away.