At The Risk of Sounding Insane, Pat Burrell to Atlanta is a Risk Worth Taking

Written by Ben on May 18, 2010 – 7:04 am

Most around the Braves blogosphere are very against the idea of bringing Pat Burrell to Atlanta. He’s in his thirties, he has had a poor year and a half outside of Philadelphia, and he is simply awful defensively.

Not much has gone right for Pat since his departure from the NL East. He hit just 16 home runs in almost 600 plate appearances while with the Rays. Simply put, he was a wasted free agent signing for a team that has a limited payroll.

Burrell was recently released by the Rays, and the team who signs him, if any, will only have to pay a pro-rated league minimum contract. With the season nearly a quarter of the way through, it would be roughly $300,000 if a team wants to take a flier on him.

Pat is far from a team or offensive savior, but with Matt Diaz recently put on the disabled list, I simply ask why not? Sure, Burrell has looked awful in the past year and a half there are many claims about his bat speed slowing drastically. Even so, at such a small price he could bring value to a lineup which has struggled against left handed hitters, and which has no current platoon partner for Eric Hinske.

Prior to signing with Tampa, Burrell posted four straight seasons with a wOBA over .374. His lowest home run total in those three seasons was 29, in a season in which he played just 144 games. He was at the peak of his career, and most of all he was consistent.

He, for whatever reason, hit a wall once he left Philadelphia. This is eerily similar to the fall of Andruw Jones as he had an abysmal 2007 season in Atlanta followed by an even worse 2008 in Los Angeles. The following year the Rangers decided to stick their neck out and give Jones a chance without giving him a starting role and he was relatively productive. Prior to this season, he signed with the White Sox and appears to be back to being a productive hitter.

Of course, this is just one player of the thousands that have eventually fallen off in their early thirties, but good things have come out of making these low risk and high reward moves.

I’m not vying for Burrell to get every day action or even to be the regular platoon partner with Eric Hinske, but with a bench spot open for the time being and Pat Burrell available on the market, he could end up hitting some homers, drawing some walks, and killing the Mets as he did in Philadelphia. If Burrell fails and his at bats look awful, then simply release him and we are back to where we are now. If he reverts back to his form prior to his days with the Rays, then the minimal risk we took has paid off.

Posted in General | 12 Comments »

12 Responses to “At The Risk of Sounding Insane, Pat Burrell to Atlanta is a Risk Worth Taking”

  1. By KentCovington on May 18, 2010 | Reply

    If the Braves were desperate for offense, in particular… corner outfield offense… I could see picking up Burrell. But under current circumstances, I can't see it at all. When Diaz gets healthy and starts swinging, he's one of the best hitters in all of baseball vs lefties and he's better defensively and on the basepaths than Burrell.

    And if the Braves are open to sending Melky away sometime soon, Jordan Schafer may be the guy to supplant him within the next couple months.

  2. By I hate the Mets on May 18, 2010 | Reply

    Pat the bat was a real mess in TB.

  3. By josh on May 18, 2010 | Reply

    I think Hinske is going to be starting every game and deserves too. Dude is crushing the ball for us right now. Dont see the Burrel thing working here.

  4. By Mike on May 18, 2010 | Reply

    Tampa made s huge mistake, not in signing Burrell but by using him as a DH. As a Phils fan I know that Burrell was no good coming of the bench. He is not a defensive liability, he led the league in outfield assists one yr and never cost the Phils a game due to an inability to play his position. The Braves could do worse than picking up Burrell.

  5. By I hate the Mets on May 19, 2010 | Reply

    Maybe they could do worse, but I don't think he is a game changer. And since it looked like he forgot how to hit in Tampa Bay, why take the risk?

  6. By bduronio on May 19, 2010 | Reply

    My question is what is the risk? He won't cost much, and if he does not hit you can release him. Hinske has a career .296 OBP against lefties, he should not play against them.

  7. By josh on May 20, 2010 | Reply

    Anybody going to the day game today?

  8. By Jonathan on May 20, 2010 | Reply

    Unfortunately not. I'll be sitting at work, watching online and wishing I was outside. It's a gorgeous day for baseball.

  9. By josh on May 20, 2010 | Reply

    Thats why I am going.. Such I great day out! Winning record after today's win.

  10. By josh on May 21, 2010 | Reply

    WOW!!!!!! That is all I got!!!!

  11. By blake on May 21, 2010 | Reply

    Is there anyway you can watch the game from a blackberry without paying

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