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Sunday, December 14, 2008


When you're watching the replay of the WS Game for Burrell in the tunnel to the clubhouse after he's pulled for Bruntlett. Definite tears/sadness in his eyes there...he knew it was his last hurrah obviously.

Best of luck, Pat. It was a pleasure watching you work for the past 7.5 years.

It's a shame they had to offer arb before he had a chance to really look around. They might have reached an agreement and there would be a RH bat in the line-up. If he cuts his asking price he could end up in Oakland. I could see Billy Beane loving his skill set.

Maybe this wouldn't be the best time to point out the fact that Burrell still hasn't made an all-star team. He was advertised as a star, and he never became one.

Not that I disagree that Burrell was by many measures a successful player in Philadelphia. It's fairly relative, I guess. You look at picks like Jeff Jackson and Trey McCall, and maybe you're thrilled with the 250 homers they got from Burrell. But even though he'll far exceed the total for his career, 250 is a kind of a telling number. Halfway between zero and 500, halfway between bust and star. To me, that's Burrell's legacy as a Phil.

I'm happy for him that he got to lead a World Series parade at the end, which provides a kind of ultimate redemption and positive association which I think he deserves.

There's plenty of good sluggers that never made it to 500.

What made Burrell's final season here seem better than the previous ones was most of his HRs seemed to have an impact on the game. Nice that he finished his Philly career that way.

Maybe his departure is a good thing when you consider how the Phillies endured long stretches last season where they didn't score. Burrell's inconsistency and strikeouts played a role in that.

NEPP: Apparently RSB's definition of a "star" is someone who's in the HOF. If you don't hit 500 HRs you're not a star? Yipes!

You guys are acting like Burrell wasn't the 1st overall pick.

Baxter...there are PLENTY of #1 overall picks that didn't work out...Take Matt Bush for example...just to name 1.

Brien Taylor

Burrell is mediocre. Even when measured against non-steroid era players.

119 OPS+ for his career now equals "mediocre"

Quite the high threshold.

no, cloutarooni - my definition of a star is someone who makes an All-Star team once or twice in eight seasons. Fair enough?

On the whole "clutch" thing, Burrell's career splits show that his batting average is higher with men on and RISP than it is yes overall for his career he has done better with men on base.

Burrell was a good (not great) player. If demand really does for through the floor, then the Phils look smarter for not offering him arbitration but if that is the case wouldn't the Phils been better off signing Burrell to a 2 yr/$13M deal (again if the floor totally falls out) then offering Ibanez 3 yrs/$30M and having to give up a 1st round pick?

Would have given the extra money to go after the supposed pitching they wanted to upgrade this offseason?

oh, come off it, RSB. Burrell would have been an All Star this year if Milwaukee hadn't stuffed the boxes for the actually mediocre Corey Hart. he would've been a deserving All Star in 2005 when he was second in the NL in RBI and finished 7th in the MVP balloting. same in 2002, when he was third in the NL in RBI.

rating players by whether or not they make the ridiculously subjective and highly imperfect All Star team is absurd.

The "icon" talk or other stuff is nonsense about Burrell. Maybe he didn't quite live up to his contract extension but he certainly was a better player than Gillick's ridiculous "40 good swings" year comment a few years ago.

In fact, Phils have seemingly tried to move Burrell for the past 3 years and only were unable to do so because of the no-trade clause. My money is that if the Phils would have moved Burrell they would likely have gotten the their usual stellar returns when they trade a big-name and turned around to use that freed up money on a some mixed FA signings.

no, cloutarooni - my definition of a star is someone who makes an All-Star team once or twice in eight seasons. Fair enough?

Posted by: RSB | Sunday, December 14, 2008 at 09:54 PM

So, RSB, you're saying that you let the fickleness of fan voting and ballot box stuffing, among other factors, influence whether YOU think of a player as a 'star'?

If the economic downturn is preventing a guy like Burrell from being signed to larger dollars, a savvy team could come up with a real bargain. Burrell would make a great DH for a team like the Rays if they could snag him for 2 yrs/$12-$13M.

AWH - jeez, forget fan balloting. He's never even been selected as a reserve. I know he came close last year, but then again, did that look like an all-star season to you?

Look: Burrell is not a star player. He's above average offensively, but he's an afterthought in most circles. He was the first pick overall, and while his career has been fairly solid, it's fallen short of the potential he suggested as a young player. I don't see how you can get too far in refuting that much, even if you want to get into loggerheads over what constitutes 'stardom'.


Are you saying 2 years for a total of $12/13m or $12/13m per year? I think there is a team in the American League that could use Burrell as an OF/DH.

Manny is the big chip, once he falls, I think Dunn and Burrell are next in line. It would not surprise me if Pat ends up in Texas.

I always wondered where the monster contract he was looking for was going to come from. I was never a big Burrell fan. And the numbers people were throwing around for this one tool player amazed me. Now that we're seeing there is essentially zero market for him, reality is finally sinking in. He is only an okay player who was in the perfect situation. Hitting in the Phillies lineup, in CBP and following Howard with either Vic or Werth behind him. It may not sound perfect. But on reflection, it was.
I was in favor of offering him 8mil/season for 2 seasons and going after Lowe to replace Moyer. Now, we paid a lot more for another lefthanded hitter, and we're probably downgrading by getting Moyer back.

I'm not impressed. But it's about time Burrell finds out just what his worth is to a team. And he should be kicking himself he didn't accept the reported 2 year 22 million offer he got during the season.

it was easy for all the antinumerical Abreu haters to justify their dislike when the Phillies won the NL East shortly after pulling off the great CJ Henry coup.

I wonder how the Burrell haters will rationalize, given that the Phillies kind of won the World Series despite having the millstone of Pat Burrell around their necks.

aksmith - I am still pretty dubious that the Phils even offered a 2 yr/$22M this season. Might have talked about it but an actual offer?

One thing that is that is evidently clear is that the Phils had almost ZERO interest in bringing Burrell back in any form.

Oh yeah, RSB......and the selection of reserves isn't political either, is it?

How many times have we heard the complaints that a manager selects 'his guys' over more deserving players?

If that's what your criteria are then I give you this recent group of players who, by your definition, must be "a STAR":

Cory Hart
Kosuke Fukudome
Cristian Guzman
Dmitri Young
P LoDuca
G Matthews
Scott Posednick
Cezar Izturis
Morgan Ensberg

I could go on, but you get the idea.

119 OPS+ for his career now equals "mediocre"

Quite the high threshold.

Posted by: NEPP | Sunday, December 14, 2008 at 09:46 PM

Danny Tartabull had a career OPS+ of 133. So let's not throw that stat around like it's some sacred number.

AWH - I understand all that, but we're talking about eight seasons of being an afterthought. Not one or two. Burrell's a not-quite all-star. And that's not quite what was expected of him.

"Danny Tartabull had a career OPS+ of 133. So let's not throw that stat around like it's some sacred number."

However unwittingly, I think you just demonstrated that Danny Tartabull was a very fine offensive player in his day.

bap: Here's BBref's 10 most comparables for Tartabull:

Matt Stairs (939)
Hank Sauer (926)
Jay Buhner (918)
Geoff Jenkins (916)
Pat Burrell (915)
Cliff Floyd (911)
Roger Maris (909)
Richie Sexson (907)
Torii Hunter (907)
Eric Davis (905)

Kind of ironic, I suppose. And yes, he was a hell of a hitter in his day; unfortunately, his day was past when the Phils got him.

Burrell showed more emotion and personality in the final two months of his final season than he did in the all of the years that made up his tenure in Philadelphia.

I will always remember him for his love - him - or - hate - him reputation with the Philadelphia fans and of course as a guy who owned the New York Mets (46 career homeruns).

Two seasons ago Billy Wagner criticized Burrell for only being able to hit a pitch if thrown in one particular zone (or something to that affect). For most of Pats' at bats, Billy's critique seemed exactly on point. Yet that comment came after Burrell hit a game tying 9th inning homerun of him.

I know Burrell drove me nuts swinging at outside breaking balls and backing off inside fastballs. I also know he was a lock for 30 homeruns and 90 rbis.

See you around the field Pat

One last point - If you go back and look, Burrell has posted very similiar numbers the past 4 seasons but it was really only the last 2 seasons that he became so feast/famine at times.

Ibanez has been more consistent the past two seasons but he is also prone to power droughts too although he generally keeps his average at a decent level. When Burrell would go into one of his funks the past 2 seasons, he would hit near the Mendoza line and his power would disappear because his ability to drive the ball would disappear as his swing got out of whack.

Its funny how MG gradually comes to the conclusion that Burrell will get a 2 year 13 million dollar contract. Two weeks ago he was calling anybody who thought he would get less than 3 years 40 million, an idiot.

Unfortunately, it is the sad state of the last 15 years of Phillies baseball that a nothing like Pat Burrell could be considered an icon . If Burrell rates that status, a player like Bobby Abreu, who was better in almost all phases, should get Hall of fame votes.

To all you Burrell haters, take an overdose after you go f**k yourself.

Mike - Where did I ever say that Burrell was going to get $40M over 3 yrs? I thought he would get 3 yrs and still just through out the 2 yr/$13M as absolute floor example.

Maybe Burrell doesn't get the 3rd year but I bet he gets more than than around 2/$16-18M with incentive upside.

You just have an irrational bent on arguments and have since the whole Ibanez/Burrell came up. Act as if the Ibanez signingg was some kind of masterful stroke while Burrell is a washed up hasbin.

BTY - I thought Burrell would get 3 yrs/$30M+. If he doesn't get that 3rd guaranteed year, then it obviously won't be close to $30M but I would be surprised if he get at least $8M/year.

MG, you notice that about Mikes, too? :) He has clout's social grace wrapped around far less understanding of the game. Like the guy at the end of the bar you wish would just shut the heck up already so you can watch the game.

RSB: He should have been an all star this past season.

If the Phillies did offer a 2 year, $22 million deal at the beginning of the offseason, Burrell will probably live to regret not taking the deal. Now here is the thing though. Right now Amaro's biggest nightmare could be Burrell getting a lower year/money contract than Ibanez and having a better 2009 than Ibanez. If Burrell signs a similar/lesser contract than Ibanez and has a better year then Amaro will never hear the end of it and it could define the beginning of his GM tenure.

I have the solution to address Ibanez defensive liabilities and bringing in the additional revenue to make a run at Lowe - move in LF sections 140-147 at least 15 feet.

1. Ibanez's limited range becomes much less of a problem and he actually might be play LF for the next 3 years.

2. Extra 300-400 seats X at least $50/revenue per attendee X 81 games = $$$$

3. shorter LF = more runs/HRs = longer games = more concessions = more revenue!

Who doesn't love the prospect of 12-10 games that creep past 4 hours come June?

Len39 - Plus the swing of the 1st round picks. Phils having multi-picks in the 1st round has helped them to restock the system. Now, they go to not having a single one next year when they could have had their own and the 2 compensation picks for Burrell.

In all fairness, MG, if the Phillies were going to give up their 1st round pick then this was the year to do it.

Lazarus - Yeah but not really the point. Wasn't one of the reasons that Wade was severely criticized in this town was for giving the Phiis' high draft picks to sign aging veterans in an attempt to make the playoffs?

Still I was more interested to see what the Phils do about acquiring another starter. That was arguably the most important thing going into the offseason and remains their No. 1 priority.

Also, I wonder if they are going to get the Park deal done. This team doesn't have much in the way of MLB-ready prospects but their really isn't a pitcher who ended the season at Reading or Allentown that really is ready to step into the pen.

The Phils did Burrell a huge favor not offering him arbitration. There isn't a market for him now, imagine what that market would be if the team had to give up a 1st rounder?

Problem is he probably would have excepted arbitration and then make about $17M next year. Burrell is not worth $17M.

Click here for a chance to enter a contest to win the DVD "The Perfect Season".

Let the record show that RSB is one of the posters who wanted Burrell dumped when he began 2007 with a slow start. I think there's some strong bias here. Declaring that "Halfway between zero and 500 HRs, halfway between bust and star" is the measure of whether someone is a star is a bit ridiculous.

ae: Good point. Some obvious All Stars get squeezed out each year because of the rule that every team have one player and because of ballot box stuffing. I think MG's assessment is a good one: Burrell isn't a "great" player but he's a very good one.

Anyone who's ranked in the top 5 in the league in RBI, XBH, walks and in the top 10 in HR, OB, Total bases, doubles and HR per AB at various times in his career is certainly a "star." Conversely, history is littered with guys who made All Star teams, but couldn't be considered stars.

I loved Burrell. Don't care where he was drafted. He didn't draft himself.

whiskey: And your point is? Tartabull was certainly a star. He hit more than 30 HRs 3 times, had 100 RBI 5 times, led the league in SLG, was in the top 10 repeatedly in cetagories like HR, SLG, OPS, etc. Oh, and also made an All Star team if you agree with RSB that is the sole criteria for being a star.

It's going to be amusing to see the response of all the posters who are saying there's no market for Burrell, he won't get an offer, he'll settle for less than Ibanez got per year etc. etc.

There are obvious reasons why Burrell, not to mention Milton Bradley and the other top OF FAs, haven't signed yet, reasons listed repeatedly on this blog but ignored, as usual, by the resident dopes.

I think most teams are simply adjusting their views from a few years ago. It is increasingly becoming recognized that top-hitting bottom-fielding corner OFs aren't as valuable as some once thought. As one astute sportwriter wrote last year, defense is the new market inefficiency, whereas it was once walks. Unfortunately, as more and more teams become statistically and electronically inclined, the windows that the inefficiencies exist for become smaller and smaller.

Tartabull also ate a donut with a knife and fork and got hitting tips from George Costanza...

dave X: Then a starting job awaits Kevin Roberson, no?

BENTZ: Excellent post.

I see Burrell's value on this board has fallen in a few short weeks from $15/million/3 to $8 million/2. It's a good thing BLers aren't GMs.

Free agency always has a trickle-down effect. Sabathia set the market for pitchers, so everyone else (Burnett, eventually Lowe) can now sign. The hitting market hasn't settled yet because Teixeira is still out there. More importantly for the OFs, nothing has happened with Manny. Unless people are truly avoiding him, he'll set the market for Dunn, Burrell, Bradley, etc.

Interesting fact, it looks the Yankee payroll will likely DECREASE from 2008. Hard to believe they had $88 million come off the books.

curt: What do you think he'll sign for?

"Tartabull was certainly a star. He hit more than 30 HRs 3 times, had 100 RBI 5 times, led the league in SLG, was in the top 10 repeatedly in cetagories like HR, SLG, OPS, etc. Oh, and also made an All Star team if you agree with RSB that is the sole criteria for being a star."

Signed Danny Tartabull Photograph - (Kansas City Royals8x10

List Price: $49.87

Our Price: $46.25

I guess have 1 break out year doesn't leave you a "star" legacy. The public and memorabilia collectors maybe should base on stats and then it will be worth triple that.

Manny might take a while. His salary demands are so absurd that he is going to take a while to sign... he even said he might retire instead. Of course he won't retire, but it will take a while in all likelihood.

Beats me. I'm not a GM either. I've never tried to guess what kind of money players are worth or what they might get paid.

PtB will end up on one of 4 teams.

NL: Reds/Nats
AL: A's/Mariners

He will end up on the Reds/Nats at a reduced price, but those teams will end up overpaying for what PtB is legitimately worth in the new market, because everyone other FA will spurn them and they will have to sign with someone.


He will end up on the A's because the market is SO bad, that he takes a 1 yr cheapo deal with the A's who will value his OBP, while his $ value is underestimated.

curt: I predict that Pat does better than the 2 years, $22M the Phils offered.

Yo, new thread.

Dave X: The new focus on defense by front offices around the game is what makes the Ibanez signing so puzzling. We heard for the past couple of years that the Phillies wanted to get younger and more athletic. Let's face it, if Gillick had had his way, Burrell would have been shipped out soon after the Abreu trade.

Now, when they finally have a chance to make a change, they get older, just as slow and with a worse arm (which is surprising, since Ibanez started out as a part-time catcher). So yes, I agree, GMs are starting to give more credit to defense -- which utterly fails to explain Ibanez.

RSB: I agree with your assessment -- the #1 pick comes with high expectations that Pat never lived up to. I posted about a year ago on the various #1 picks. Surprisingly few of them turn out to be Alex Rodriguez, or even Phil Nevin. Burrell turned out like a lot of good-hit, bad-body-type sluggers drafted in that spot, notably Bob Horner.

Burrell was an ok player, but that's all he was. I am seeing a lot of revisionist history writing here. The guy would just completely disappear for 6 weeks at a time at least 3 times a season. Don't get me wrong, when he gets hot he is a great hitter, but when he's cold he is just a nightmare to watch play. That isn't even bringing up the fact he may be the slowest baserunner in history. I could never figure out how a guy that was in such great shape could be so freakin slow.

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