The Phillies should have most everybody back to defend their title in 2009. But one piece might be positioning himself to test the free agent market and then depart Philadelphia.
Pat Burrell has reportedly turned down an offer of $22 million over two years from the Phillies. And while he hasn't filed for free agency officially, time is growing short before Burrell officially flees.
I, for one, can't see the Phils re-signing Burrell if the price gets much higher. He's a great hitter, and in a world where on-base percentage only grows in value, Burrell could help a lot of teams with his power and batting eye. But you also saw the down side of Burrell, where his poor defense and small range force the Phillies to remove him late in close games with a defensive replacement.
So if Burrell is looking for more years or a salary closer to say, $15 million a season, the Phillies might be better off letting Burrell go to an A.L. team to DH while filling left by either making a run at Manny Ramirez or perhaps trading for Matt Holliday.
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As for Burrell, while an A.L. team would probably be ideal for him, wouldn't it be hilarious if he signed with the Mets, who need a left fielder and who Burrell tortured over the years at Shea Stadium, to play with them the year after Shea gets torn down?
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Are the Phillies Already Breaking Up? Pat Burrell Turns Down First Phillie Offer originally appeared on MLB FanHouse on Fri, 31 Oct 2008 16:15:00 EST . Please see our terms for use of feeds.