What’s Next For Pat Burrell?

When the Rays designated Pat Burrell for assignment earlier today, it signaled that Pat the Bat has likely played his last game in a Tampa Bay uniform. The team now has ten days to either trade, waive or release him. While we wait to see how exactly the situation plays out, let's play the what-if game, and assume the Rays are forced to release Burrell. In that case, which clubs might be interested in him at a reduced price?

  • In April, the Nationals were linked to both Jermaine Dye and Gary Sheffield, similar players to Burrell. However, despite the struggles by their right fielders so far this year, the Nationals insist they like their current options. It's worth mentioning too that Burrell has played only nine innings in the outfield since joining the Rays, which might reduce his chances of landing with a National League team.
  • The Athletics have a history of making low-risk investments on players like Burrell and could use some power, having only hit 22 homers as a team. They did just call up their own version of Burrell, in Jack Cust, but Cust is capable of playing the outfield, which still leaves a potential designated hitter opening.
  • The Mariners were considered a possible suitor for Hank Blalock before the Rays recalled him. Considering their DH issues, they'd have to think about kicking the tires on Burrell now.
  • Following the news of Burrell's DFA, MLB.com's Todd Zolecki wrote that Philadelphia probably doesn't have room for the former Phillie.
  • A week ago, MLBTR's Mike Axisa listed a few teams who could use an upgrade at DH. They could all be possibilities for Burrell, though in many cases he wouldn't necessarily represent an "upgrade."

Burrell's numbers in 572 plate appearances for Tampa Bay (.218/.311/.361) don't inspire confidence in his potential to be a difference-maker for a contender this season. But perhaps a change of scenery could help him regain his 2005-2008 form, when he averaged 31 home runs per year and recorded a .386 OBP. If the Rays end up on the hook for the majority of Burrell's $9MM salary, there should be a few clubs willing to give him a shot.

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8 Comments on "What’s Next For Pat Burrell?"

5 years 3 months ago

Most teams should be in on him. For a pro-rated league minimum contract he offers a lot of upside and no risk (other than a roster spot). If what he needs is a change of scenery he could end up being one of the best bargains in baseball.

M’s are the obvious choice here. A’s already have a crowded outfield/DH rotation (although he does fit their prior MO). If he can hit again then the options expand even more. Outside of his 2007 season, his defense has been bad, but not awful. Put another way – if he can walk a bunch and hit jacks then his defense is tolerable.

5 years 3 months ago

Cardinals need him…290. Career vs LHP Just what we need. Nick Stavinhoa 2.0!

5 years 3 months ago

DeRosa needs surgery…Wouldn’t be a bad pick up for the Giants since it would cost only pennies. Maybe then we can bench Rowand!

hey a guy can dream!

5 years 3 months ago

@55saveslives I was thinking along the same lines. With DeRosa gone, the Giants could use some outfield help. Rowand plays a good CF in a difficult park and is the kind of presence the young rotation can appreciate. Plus, the Giants have another 13.6 million reasons to keep Rowand in the lineup. The Giants obviously are not comfortable with Torres in LF despite his .284/.391/.419 line (after all they were starting DeRosa over Torres all season even with his horrifying .194/.279/.258). Burrell played LF for 9 years in Philly. If the Giants acquire Burrell, I predict he plays LF.

5 years 3 months ago

Saying Jack Cust is capable of playing the OF is like saying my stock Jetta is capable of driving 125mph

5 years 3 months ago

The Mariners seem like the obvious choice. They’ve been down this road before, signing Byrnes and Garko on inexpensive deals. Those two obviously didn’t work out too well but the risk is low and as our old GM Andy McPhail used to say, maybe they could “catch lightning in a bottle” this time around. Teams aren’t ready to make big trades anyway so Seattle might as well give it a try until other players become available. And who knows, if Pat has some thunder left in his bat, the Ms may not have to make that trade when that time comes.

5 years 3 months ago

“Hello, Pat? This is Jack Zduriencik calling.”

5 years 3 months ago

I’m sure if we installed a governor on Jack Cust he _could_ play the outfield too but it still wouldn’t be a smart idea.