Rays Say Bye-Bye to Burrell

burrell 0515 2010.jpgThe Phillies cut loose Pat Burrell following 2008, figuring they had gotten the best of him.

They might have been right.

The Tampa Bay Rays, who signed Burrell to a two-year, $16 million contract before the 2009 season, designated him for assignment today to make room for Hank Blalock. Burrell had hit just .202 with two home runs and 13 RBIs this season. The Rays have 10 days to dispose of Burrell’s contract. They can trade him, release or send him through waivers.

Asked if the Phillies have any interest in bringing back Burrell, Ruben Amaro Jr. said, “It’s unfortunate for him. I wish it would have worked out better there.”

Amaro cannot address their interest in Burrell because he remains with the Rays, but it seems there is no place for him on the 25-man roster.

Burrell has hit just .218 with 16 home runs and 77 RBIs in 496 at-bats the since he left the Phillies. He has just a .311 on-base percentage and a .361 slugging percentage. Out of the 213 players that qualify for on-base-plus-slugging percentage the past two seasons, Burrell’s .617 OPS is 198th. It is difficult seeing how Burrell would fit on the Phillies’ bench, especially with Ben Francisco and Ross Gload occupying those spots. Burrell cannot run well and has played just two games in the outfield since he left the Phillies. He also is a career .227 pinch-hitter.

A National League team’s fourth and fifth outfielders need some versatility. Francisco and Gload are much more versatile than Burrell because they can play multiple positions. Matt Stairs fit Burrell’s mold last season, but he also was an accomplished pinch-hitter.

“I think Burrell can still hit,” Charlie Manuel said. “I think he’ll get a job. I hope he does.”

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The Zo Zone is on Facebook and Twitter. His Phillies book “The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly” is available online, and at Delaware Valley bookstores!

9 Comments

I love “Pat the Bat”. He has had several key hits while with the Phillies. His HR against Billy “The Whiner” Wagner was priceless. But he looks so stiff when at the plate. He has made about $60 million in his career. He should have no trouble paying for dog food.

Not thrilled with all the negative comments about this post, on Facebook. How soon we forget. Pat had a great career. And whatever the future holds for him, I wish him much happiness. Thanks for being a Phillie, Pat!

It’s a shame, I hoped it would have worked out better for him in Tampa. Maybe he can catch on with someone else, if not, he had some very good years here and has my eternal gratitude for his contributions in 2008. Thanks Pat, good luck in the future.

Totally agree with my two favorite posters here. Best of luck, Pat!

The Mets were always a team that I though Burrell would end up with, he always hit well at Shea. Now of course the Mets have moved to a newer Citi Field.

I still think he’s a player somewhere in the league. The Rays will just have to pay him to the end of the year. Maybe he gets on a team next season?

Some AL team will probably take a shot with him to DH. That’s all he’s probably good for.

I hope Pat just fades into the sunset rather than try to hang on. Some guys just aren’t cut out to be DHs. He was good once.

I hope Pat winds up somewhere. But the DH role, sure didn’t work for him in TB.
When the time comes, Ruben needs to sign him to a one day contract, so he can retire a Phillie!

I think the Phillie organization should give Pat Burrell another chance. After all, he never wanted to leave Phillie. And I think you will find when he is back with the fans again, it will make a big difference in his playing. The fans love him here and hearing them cheer when he comes up to bat will probably boost his confidence, which seemed to disappear down in Florida. And if you take a look around the ball park, you always see signs that say “Bring Pat Back”. Please give him another chance, even if it is for one year, at least he can retire, if he chooses, as a Philadelphia Phillie.
Love you Pat…and you wife and Elvis too.

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