Tuesday, January 6

Rays Sign Burrell, Continue to Quietly Improve

The Tampa Bay Rays may not be getting the same amount of ink that the Red Sox and Yankees are, but they are quietly getting better and filling their holes this off season. Yesterday, the Rays signed outfielder Pat Burrell from the Phillies. The deal is worth 16 million over 2 years, fitting right into the Rays payroll limitations and could be considered a discount over the current market rate of outfielders with power.

Burrell played mostly left field for the Phillies in their championship run last year, but figures to be the Rays full time DH in 2009. Burrell hit .250 with 33 homers, 33 doubles, 86 RBIs and 102 walks in 157 games in 2008. The increased pop will surely deepen an already explosive Rays lineup, although it remains to be seen how well Burrell hits against tough AL East pitching. Regardless of your thoughts on Burrell, the Rays are undoubtedly (on paper) an improved team after reaching the World Series last year.....

Projected Rays 2009 lineup:
1. A. Iwamura
2. B.J. Upton
3. C. Crawford
4. E. Longoria
5. C. Pena
6. P. Burrell
7. M. Joyce
8. D. Navarro
9. J. Bartlett

...I was hoping they would end up with a declining Jason Giambi....but it appears he'll be headed to Oakland.......The AL East will without a doubt be the best division in baseball (as usual), and incredibly fun to watch.....

.....a little less than a month until pitchers and catchers report......


Tim Murphy said...

Pat Burrell is a terrible fantasy player. He always suckers someone into drafting him.

That has nothing to do with anything, nice pick up for the Rays. He'll certainly see better pitching in AL, I would expect him to duplicate his numbers of the last few years.

Anonymous said...

Very savvy move by the Rays, I think.

D Vicino said...

I should also mention that Crawford will finally be healthy in 09' (although we'll see for how long)...add that and Burrell to a team mostly full of kids getting one year older, smarter and stronger, and there is no reason to think the Rays won't be right in the middle of things all year long again this season.

Anonymous said...

BJ Upton in the playoffs was at times better than anyone in baseball.

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