OF Pat Burrell to join Tampa Bay Rays

by Keith Hernandez on January 5, 2009 @ 00:00:00 PDT


ESPNews reports the Tampa Bay Rays agreed to terms with free-agent outfielder Pat Burrell (Philadelphia Phillies) on a two-year deal worth $16 million Monday, Jan. 5.

Burrell appears headed to the Rays after helping the Phillies defeat them in the 2008 World Series. The move gives the Rays an upgrade at designated hitter over free-agent outfielder Cliff Floyd. The Rays will also avoid putting Burrell's poor defensive skills in the outfield and receive some much needed help against left-handed hitting.

Burrell hit .250 with 33 home runs and 86 RBIs in 536 at-bats last season. He has never hit for average in his career, with a .257 career batting average over nine seasons. However, he will provide pop. Burrell has averaged 31 home runs and 99 RBIs over the past four seasons.

Burrell is expected to serve as the full-time designated hitter in 2009. The Rays could go with a platoon in right field between shortstop Ben Zobrist and outfielders Matt Joyce, Gabe Gross and Fernando Perez.

Burrell could be a bargain for the Rays, making the American League East division even more competitive. In the fantasy world he figures to be a solid midround option.

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About Keith Hernandez

Keith, an editor with KFFL, joined the team as a Hot off the Wire analyst in 2008 and has been playing fantasy sports since 2005. He is involved in MLB, NFL and NASCAR content. He graduated from the University of California-San Diego in 2005 with a B.A. in Communications and was a four-year starter as a member of the baseball program.

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