Rays sign Burrell for 2 years
Pat Burrell's last swing of the bat in 2008 was a double against Tampa Bay in Game 5 of the World Series.Now, his first swing of the bat in 2009 will be as a member of those very same Rays, having signed a two-year, $16 million contract Monday.
The agreement was first reported by FoxSports.com.Burrell will donate a portion of his contract to the Rays Baseball Foundation, the official charity of the Rays, the team said in a statement. Burrell, 32, is expected to serve primarily as the Rays' everyday designated hitter. He has been the Philadelphia Phillies' regular left fielder for the past eight seasons, but was removed for a late-inning defensive replacement in 100 of the 154 games he started in 2008. And the Fielding Bible assigned him a minus-20 rating for 2008, meaning he made 20 fewer plays than an average left fielder. He did finish fourth in the NL in assists with 12, however.
More from ESPN.com
ESPN.com's Keith Law says the Rays got a big bat at a bargain price. Blog
ESPN.com's Rob Neyer says the Rays took advantage of a buyer's market to make a fantastic signing. Blog
Eric Karabell looks at Pat Burrell's move to Tampa Bay and says that he's a consistently good hitter who is overlooked because of his expectations from Phillies fans. Blog
Possible Rays '09 lineup
|2B||A. Iwamura (L)|
|CF||B.J. Upton (R)|
|LF||C. Crawford (L)|
|3B||E. Longoria (R)|
|1B||C. Pena (L)|
|DH||P. Burrell (R)|
|RF||M. Joyce (L)|
|C||D. Navarro (S)|
|SS||J. Bartlett (R)|
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