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Holy Crap

I don't understand how they pulled this off.

Pat Burrell is leaving the World Series champion Philadelphia Phillies for the runner-up Tampa Bay Rays.

Burrell has agreed in principle to a two-year, $16 million contract with the Rays, sources told ESPN The Magazine's Buster Olney on Monday. The deal is pending a physical.

Going into the offseason, Burrell was one of those slugging corner outfield types I had pegged as likely to receive a retarded contract. Instead, the Rays signed him for less money and fewer years than the Phillies gave the older Raul Ibanez.

Burrell can't play defense, but he's been a +20-25 run hitter for four years in a row, and as a DH, he's due to be worth somewhere at or around two wins. Even with a skillset that doesn't age particularly well, he's a good bet to earn his deal, with the potential to do quite a bit more than that.

Real solid deal for Tampa Bay. And if this is what the market looks like, then suddenly I'm a little warmer to the idea of pursuing Adam Dunn. He's no Milton Bradley, but he'd be the best hitter in the lineup, and should he be willing to sign a reasonable contract, then that mitigates a lot of the presumed risk.


Matthew's superior take:

The Rays have, or are about to, ink Pat Burrell to a two-year, $16 million deal. He's probably going to DH most of the time. That actually improves his value as with the positional dock that left field gets (-7.5), Burrell was costing the team about 20.5 runs by playing the field. Moving to DH negates the poor defense and only incurs a 17.5 run penalty. With his offensive projection, that makes Burrell between a 2 and 2.5-win player and worth $9-$11 million per year.

Raul Ibanez signed a three year, $31.5 million deal to continue playing left field. Ibanez projects to be worth around $5 million as an outfielder. The Phillies forfeited three draft picks by refusing to offer arbitration to Burrell and signing Ibanez instead. 

The Mariners used to be the Phillies. They are now the Rays.

Graham's take:

Don't be silly I never write anything.