Free Agent Stock Watch: Pat Burrell

Pat Burrell's stock reached a low on May 15th, when the Rays designated him for assignment.  The move showed that the team was willing to eat nearly $7MM to get Burrell off the roster.  He'd hit just .218/.311/.361 in 137 games as the team's designated hitter.

On May 29th, Burrell signed a minor league deal with the Giants.  After five games at Triple A, Burrell joined the big league club.  Since then he has a .272/.366/.510 line in 243 plate appearances – pretty much what the Rays expected when they signed him to a two-year, $16MM deal in January of 2009.  He has, however, faced lefties a disproportionate amount of the time.

Burrell may be reluctant to return to the American League and a designated hitter role in 2011.  That'll limit his market to National League clubs seeking a left fielder, as Burrell hasn't played first base in ten years.  And Burrell's reputation in left isn't stellar.  With about $70MM earned in his career, the slugger may focus more on playing time rather than guaranteed money for his next contract.  He might be available for less than $2MM guaranteed, plus plate appearance incentives.  Returning to the Giants will have to be at the top of his list, if they're interested.


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16 Comments on "Free Agent Stock Watch: Pat Burrell"


moonraker45
4 years 11 months ago

I don’t remember pat burrell being good enough to make 70 mil

4 years 11 months ago

The bulk of those earnings came from a 6 year $50M extension he signed after 2002 when Burrell was worth about 4 WAR. At the time he was eligible for arbitration for the third time, and Ed Wade, then the GM, apparently thought that Burrell was destined for the stardom expected as the #1 overall pick in the ’98 draft. He responded with a .209/.309/.404 line in 2003, and never returned to the form that earned him that contract in 2002. While he was overpaid in Philadelphia, particularly in 2007 and 2008, after the horrible 2003 season, Burrell’s never posted an OBP below .365, and never had a season with less than 24 HR’s. In my opinion as a Phillies fan, Burrell was a good player paid by Wade as the future big bat that Ryan Howard actually ended up being.

bjsguess
4 years 11 months ago

23 WAR for his career. Assuming $4-$5m/win his earnings are right where they should have been.

4 years 11 months ago

Yea, in the end he was probably fairly compensated in total, but just examining ’07 and ’08 alone, he was about 3 WAR yet paid over $25M for those two years. They are probably headed for a similar, but much more expensive, series of over paid years with Ryan Howard in a few years.

bjsguess
4 years 11 months ago

Pretty typical – in some years he really was overpaid – in others he was underpaid. But I do agree with your general sentiment – that Burrell seems like the kind of guy who never really earned his paycheck.

K-N
4 years 11 months ago

Burrel, Ross, Guillen and Rowand. Giants have to sort out veteran OFs this off season. It’s better they have options to choose than not.

55saveslives
4 years 11 months ago

Guillen is gone for sure. Ross will probably stay. Rowand will stay unless the owners finally get the balls to DFA him and eat the cost. Torres will stay as well.

giantsfan4life
4 years 11 months ago

I could see the Giants 2011 outfield being LF=Burrell, CF=Torres, RF=Ross with Rowand riding the pine.

BLB25
4 years 11 months ago

I’d be a bit surprised if they brought Ross back. He’ll be due around 6 mil in arbitration and he and Rowand are fairly similar players. Ross is better but I doubt the team is very interested in investing 18 mil total in two righty hitting outfielders who are above average on defense but probably shouldn’t ever be asked to face right handed pitching. Rowand is a sunk cost, but I can’t see them cutting him and investing another 6 mil for a minor upgrade. Renteria’s 9 mil comes off the books this offseason, but many of the pitchers will be due raises and Huff, Uribe, and Burrell will all require pay increases to be re-signed. That won’t leave a lot of payroll room to fill that last starting corner-OF/1b spot, but I don’t really think they’ll just hand it to Belt, Ishikawa, or Schierholtz. I’d be happy if they resumed trade talks with the Royals about DeJesus. Supposedly that deal was almost done around the deadline before DeJesus got injured. Adding a lefty bat who gets on base consistently, has a little speed, can give Torres an occasional break at the top of the lineup, and plays strong defense would be a good thing. Basically he’s a left handed Cody Ross who gets on base more and without the severe platoon splits plus he’ll cost about the same amount of money. Sure, they’ll probably have to give up a decent prospect to get him, but he’s a much better fit than Ross. I’d then expect Ishikawa, Schierholtz, and maybe Belt to compete for the one or two backup OF/1B 25 man roster spots.

4 years 11 months ago

The Mets should sign him in the off season as a cheap bench bat 1 year 2 mil and incentives with power and have him compete with Bay for left field and maybe learn first base and rest Ike Davis once in while

4 years 11 months ago

He loved playing against the Mets. He was a met killer and maybe that will translate into success.

inkstainedscribe
4 years 11 months ago

Braves need a LF and might even be willing to put up with Burrell’s defense (especially if they could get him for less than Diaz would get in arb).

malcolmec
4 years 11 months ago

Why wouldn’t some team just reteach him how to play first base? Burrell was a first baseman in the minors, so he already has some idea of what the position involves. And his problem in left field was never that he couldn’t catch the ball–it was that he’s slow as sin and can’t get to anything, which wouldn’t be a problem at first. He doesn’t want to DH, and based on what he did in Tampa Bay it seems like he doesn’t hit well when he’s sitting on the bench most of the game, so why not try and make him into something useful?

Will_Clarks_Gauchos
4 years 11 months ago

Very cogent argument. I’d say that Uribe has disappointed this season and will not be due a raise. I also don’t like the idea of DeJesus; I just don’t like the injury he sustained, especially for a player who depends fairly strongly on speed both in the field and on offense. Stat boys, don’t flip out – I’m not saying he’s a base stealer, but speed IS part of his game.

I’d obviously like to see Torres back: he’s been nothing short of phenomenal this year. Rowand departs on a salary dump. Burrell comes back, while Guillen finds his 11th team in 15 years. Ross, I could take him or leave him. It will be interesting to see who is available via trade, or who will step up in Spring Training.

Will_Clarks_Gauchos
4 years 11 months ago

This is in response to BLB25

ykw
4 years 11 months ago

He has, however, faced lefties a disproportionate amount of the time.

He’s faced RHPs in slightly more than 74% of his PAs. SFG has faced RHPs in slightly less than 75% of the team’s PAs. If that’s “disproportionate”, it’s so by less than a single percentage point.