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.