Tampa Bay Rays Sign Pat Burrell

by Ben Cook on January 5, 2009

Pat Burrell is moving from one World Series team, to the other. The Tampa Bay Rays have reportedly signed former Philadelphia Phillies power-hitting outfielder Pat Burrell to a two year deal worth $16 million.

Burrell, never known for his skills with a glove, will serve as an upgrade to the Rays output from their DH slot. Last year the Rays got 24 home runs, 78 RBI, and a .246 average from their DH spot while Burrell hit 33 home runs, had 86 RBI, and a .250 average. Burrell also, and perhaps most importantly for the Rays (who had a collective .712 OPS against lefties), hits well against southpaws, posting an impressive .951 OPS against them last year.

ESPN’s Jason Stark expects the Rays’ deal with Burrell along with the Cubs signing of Milton Bradley, to prompt the A’s to finish their deal-in-the-works with Jason Giambi as well as possibly prompt several other outfielders to sign. As more and more teams ink power hitters, the demand for future hall of famer, Manny Ramirez seems to be dwindling. If the flurry of deals happens as Stark expects, it might leave the Dodgers as Manny’s only option. While Manny seemed to enjoy his time in LA, as we all learned in high school when demand drops, so does the price, a prospect Ramirez and his supposed super-agent Scott Boras won’t like much.

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