Could Rays Release Pat Burrell?

Marc Topkin of the St. Petersburg Times writes that the Rays will have to consider cutting Pat Burrell loose if their designated hitter doesn't start producing. Although Tampa Bay management maintains that they have confidence in Burrell's ability, Topkin speculates that by mid-May or early-June, the club may run out of patience.

Burrell hit .221/.315/.367 in 2009 and is off to another slow start in 2010, the final season of his two-year contract. He'll make $9MM this year, a figure which will likely make him unmovable. Topkin thinks that at some point the Rays "will just have to accept their mistake and cut him loose."

If they were to cut ties with Burrell, the Rays would have other options available. Hank Blalock is currently in Triple A, waiting for an opportunity to earn Major League playing time. Additionally, Topkin points out that Rocco Baldelli has been taking regular batting practice at Tropicana Field and would like to play again. The long-time Ray would be a cheap right-handed alternative, and, as this Rays Index article suggests, Tampa fans would have more patience with him than they've had with Pat the Bat.

Burrell's $9MM salary would be a huge cost for the budget-conscious Rays to eat, so expect them to give the 33-year-old every chance to succeed. However, if his struggles continue and compromise the club's chances of contending, they could be forced to make a change.

18 Responses to Could Rays Release Pat Burrell? Leave a Reply

  1. jaydestro 5 years ago

    if you ever saw a guy begging to be a met, it’s pat the bat.

  2. Garyoldman 5 years ago

    Let him go Rays! Philly fans miss Pat, I’m sure the team will give league min to sit on the bench.

    • Dylan 5 years ago

      I could see that…but I think Ben Fransisco is more valuable to the team right now than Burrell.

  3. bjsguess 5 years ago

    Why would anyone assume that Blalock or Baldelli would provide better offense than Burrell? I don’t see either as an upgrade – even if Burrell continues to suck it.

    In terms of full disclosure – I thought that this was a brilliant signing at the time. $9m/year for Burrell was genius. Thank goodness I wasn’t in charge of my favorite team back then. The guy has been a huge disappointment so far.

    • jwredsox 5 years ago

      Who wouldn’t be an upgrade over a guy who hits .221, has no speed, is DH so is no help defensively, and is zapped of power atm? And I actually remember ESPN hating this deal when it was done, he had a big year at 31 homerun wise after a mediocre few years, and never hit for average except for ’05 and ’02. It seemed to be a case of the Rays coming off their miracle season feeling they had to make a deal and they made a bad one.

      • yankeepride3 5 years ago

        What are you talking about? I remember clearly when this deal went down that ESPN was saying “this deal could give the Rays the best line-up in baseball”. All the ‘experts’ were going nuts saying the Rays had made an incredible move.

        • jwredsox 5 years ago

          I remember Buster Olney is particular hating this deal. And he was worst when it came to being on the Ray’s bandwagon. He practically ran the bandwagon.

          • R_y_a_n 5 years ago

            So…since when does it matter what ESPN thinks? This deal LOOKED good, they signed a power bat at a solid price for limited years – he just flat out hasn’t produced. It was really just a case of bad luck.

    • bigpat 5 years ago

      Because a bag of flaming poop is an upgrade over the way Burrell has played while under contract with the Rays.

    • RichMahogany 5 years ago

      I though it was a smart move too. Burrell came off four consecutive years of an OPS+ in the 120-130 range and was a reliable 30 HR hitter with good plate discipline. It’s not easy to predict a 50 point drop off in OPS+ with a huge loss of power at age 32.

      The only thing the Rays can do, besides release Burrell, is be thankful they didn’t sign him for three years (which wouldn’t have been crazy either).

  4. foggybull 5 years ago

    Why do they need an old DH? Burrell, Sheffield, Baldlli? They have Joyce (when healthy), Fernando Perez, Desmond Jennings, Justin Ruggiano all in Durham. Give one of them a chance. .221 isn’t helping these guys compete with the yanks and sox.

  5. Trious 5 years ago

    With the money they are paying him, they might as well give him a few more weeks to see if he comes out of the slumo

    • germanshepard44 5 years ago

      He did go 2-4 today, maybe that’s a start

  6. waayneman 5 years ago

    They already gave him all of last year. The Rays can’t afford to wait and get to far behind in the AL East. Yes, it is early, but it looks like more of the same of Mr. Burrell. As of today, he is batting .188!

  7. x_p 5 years ago

    Trade him & Carlos Pena for David Ortiz and a starting pitcher?

  8. bamf9 5 years ago

    Why would u trade Pena? The powerhouse of your lineup? Then who would play first and they have enough starting pitching? You have Shields, Garza,Price,davis, and niemann. How much of an upgrade is Ortiz over Burrel anyway? If they are going to trade anyone valuable to their lineup it might as well be Crawford

  9. Pat is a cancelled check: already cashed out by the Phillies. Still good to frame and hang in the wall of one of the worst free agent signings of all times. Release him today rather than tomorrow. The first loss is always the smaller loss.

  10. bucs_lose_again 5 years ago

    Man, I miss watching Sheffield at-bats.

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