Rays Get Much Needed Right-Handed Bat in Burrell

January 5, 2009 at 1:41 pm 5 comments


The Tampa Bay Rays reportedly signed LF/DH Pat Burrell to a 2-yr $16M deal which is well below market value for his bat. The Rays were in the market for a power hitting DH-type and they had their eyes set on him, Bobby Abreu, Garrett Anderson, Jason Giambi, Adam Dunn, and Milton Bradley. They landed the best option for them at a lower cost than all the above players except Anderson and maybe Giambi.

With Abreu, Giambi, Dunn, and Bradley all asking for 3-years and more than $10M per year, they fell out of favor with the Rays. That left them with Anderson, who never fit into the Rays plans anyway, and Burrell. They desperatley needed a right-handed bat and he and Bradley were the only ones that can swing the stick from that side of the plate. According to MLBTR the ’08 Rays struggled against lefties (.726 OPS) while Burrell crushes them (.952 OPS in ’08).

Burrell will be the Rays’ DH so his negtive defense will not hurt the team. But, he is capable of playing LF and 1B in case there is injury or someone needs a rest.

Burrell brings a career stat line of .257/.367/.485, an OPS+ of 119, and a wOBA of .348 to Tampa Bay but those are low for his last 4 years. His numbers over the last four years look like this:

2005: .281/.389/.504, OPS+ of 128, wOBA of .384
2006: .258/.388/.502, OPS+ of 122, wOBA of .381
2007: .256/.400/.502, OPS+ of 127, wOBA of .391
2008: .250/.367/.507, OPS+ of 125, wOBA of .374

Those numbers are above his career average and more in line with what Burrell is capable of doing over the next two years. He has also averaged 31 homers and over 103 walks over those 4 years. A stat line of .255/.390/.500 is not out of line for Burrell over the next two seasons with 30+ homers in each season.

This is a great signing by the Rays and all their fans should rejoice while Phillies fans should be upset becuase the Phillies signed Raul Ibanez, a lesser player, to a 3yr deal worth over $30M.

-Jonathan C. Mitchell

stats from fangraphs and baseball-reference

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Entry filed under: Uncategorized.

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5 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Michael A. Hall  |  January 5, 2009 at 2:14 pm

    I am pretty happy with this signing, but I guess this spells the end for Rocco Baldelli in Tampa.

  • 2. Jonathan C. Mitchell  |  January 5, 2009 at 2:23 pm

    More than likely. Baldelli probably has some good offers out there and he’d only platoon in RF if he were in Tampa Bay.

  • 3. Danno  |  January 5, 2009 at 6:37 pm

    An out and out bargain if you ask me. He was a Met killer, so I’m glad he’s gone to the AL. I do think he’ll do well in Tampa.

  • 4. Erik  |  January 8, 2009 at 5:51 am

    Good signing by the Rays and on the cheap too. Mets should have made an effort but I think this is a great signing for Tampa.

  • 5. Jonathan C. Mitchell  |  January 8, 2009 at 8:37 am

    I thought the Orioles should’ve made a play for him. He’d fit nicely there as a 1B/DH but I am glad the Rays got him.


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