Would You Want Pat Burrell?

pat-the-batThere have been a few rumors floating that the Mets could obtain Pat Burrell from the Rays — possibly as part of a three-team deal that would send Luis Castillo to the Cubs and Milton Bradley to Tampa Bay.

Such a trade may not come to fruition, but “Pat the Bat” is definitely on the trading block, and he fits the description of “power hitting left fielder” that the Mets are so desperate to acquire.

But would you, as a Mets fan, want him?

Forget that his name is Pat Burrell for a moment, and consider whether you would want a left fielder who averaged 31 HRs, 99 RBI, and an .890 OPS in the last four seasons he played in the NL East. Would you take on his one year and $9M in return for a marginal player, in a salary dump deal (from the Rays’ perspective)? Be sure to factor in the player’s motivation — in that he’ll be playing for a 2011 contract.

Granted, Burrell had a poor year in 2009, but it was his first time in the American League, his first time as a DH, and he spent the entire season fighting a neck injury. If the neck is fully healed — and yes it’s a big “if” — and he returns to the comfort and knowledge of NL opponents, there’s a decent possibility he returns to the 30-HR threat he was from 2005-2008.

Before you say “whoa, a lot of his homers came from playing in that bandbox known as Citizens Bank Park”, go check the stats — he hit 21 of his 2008 HRs away from CBP. In 2007 the split was about even (14 away, 16 in CBP) and in 2006 it was 17 away, 12 at home. There is no question he has the strength to hit the ball out of any park (18 in 334 career ABs in pitcher-friendly Shea Stadium helps support that argument).

In addition to his homerun power, Burrell hits the ball into gaps, takes a ton of pitches, and usually walks close to 100 times a year. When he’s on a hot streak, he can put a team on his back and carry it.

On the negative side, his fielding has gotten worse as he’s aged, he is a poor baserunner, and when he slumps, he slumps like no one else — they are massive, horrendous slumps that make him look like he’d be better off serving hot dogs for a living. I doubt the average Mets fan would be able to handle a lengthy Pat Burrell slump without sending a blunt object through the TV set.

Additionally, Burrell has proven to be less than savvy with the media, and often comes off as condescending or bitter when he’s quoted. Combine a bad slump with NYC reporters, and Pat Burrell could quickly become the target of angry Mets fans. Oh, and then there’s that whole history with him mashing homeruns in Shea while wearing a Phillies uniform — he’d be coming in with a reputation not unlike when Tom Glavine first arrived in Flushing.

How do you feel about the possibility of Pat Burrell joining the Mets?

*** UPDATE 11:30am ***

Andrew Vazzano of TheRopolitans has posted a rumor that Burrell has been traded to the Mets.

Joe Janish began MetsToday in 2005 to provide the unique perspective of a high-level player and coach -- he earned NCAA D-1 All-American honors as a catcher and coached several players who went on to play pro ball. As a result his posts often include mechanical evaluations, scout-like analysis, and opinions that go beyond the numbers. Follow Joe's baseball tips on Twitter at @onbaseball and at the On Baseball Google Plus page.
  1. […] Mets Today weighs the pros and cons of adding Pat Burrell. [Mets Today] […]
  2. Andy December 7, 2009 at 10:22 am
    I don’t know. If he were a few years younger, and the price were as low as you suggest, it would be a no-brainer. But, as things stand, how do we know Burrell’s 2009 numbers aren’t just the onset of career decline rather than a painful adjustment to a new role?
  3. isuzudude December 7, 2009 at 10:41 am
    Personally, I’d pass. He’s a hugh risk/reward player, and he very well may have the motivation, familiarity, and talent to put up a strong 2010 campaign. Plus, his contract is somewhat attractive in that it’s only good thru the year, which means if he does continue to struggle, the Mets can cut bait and go elsewhere in 2011.

    Still, if in order to acquire Burrell it takes trading Castillo, all it means are the Mets are filling one hole but creating another. And before you go saying the Mets can just sign Orlando Hudson, I’d say first, don’t be so sure Hudson is being completely sincere when he says he wants to be a Met, and second, don’t think a Burrell/Hudson combo is any upgrade over Pagan/Castillo, or a potential Dye/Castillo or Willingham/Castillo. Burrell very well may have a chronic neck injury, and is brutal in the field, while Hudson lost his starter’s job to Ronnie Belliard at the end of last year. ‘Nuff said.

    I’d say if Castillo is coming off a .245 season in which all aspects of his game were falling apart, then this would be a deal to consider. But Castillo’s value is relatively high right now, considering he’s coming off a healthy and productive 2009. An injured, aging, defensively challenged Pat Burrell cannot be the best the Mets can do in a Castillo trade. And if it is, then just hold on to him and find another way to upgrade LF. There are more reliable and cheaper options available than Burrell.

  4. gary s. December 7, 2009 at 11:57 am
    i would trade castillo for almost anyone..the anyone would probably be burrell.too many question marks about his skills.he would be a disaster defensively.I DON’T WANT HIM!!i was never a big matt holliday guy, but after reading about all the the stiffs we are considering for left field, why can’t the wilnots just write a check for holliday??if he wants a 7-8 year deal, i’d pass.but if a 5 year deal for 80-90 mill could get him, they should write the check.
  5. Timo December 7, 2009 at 2:07 pm
    This deal is another example about how the Mets are playing for 2011 NOT 2010. They want to dump Castillo’s salary for Burrell salary. He’s off the books next year. This way they can tell the Met’s fans they did something to fill our holes this year to sell tickets. i hope pat does what he always did against the Mets while he will be with the mets. However, i doubt it. This trade is another boring Met trade. i’m seriously going to root for someone else this year. Maybe the Seattle Mariners.
  6. isuzudude December 7, 2009 at 3:07 pm
    Timo: you are a bit behind the times. The Burrell-for-Castillo swap has already been refuted, and the Mets have stated they have no interest in acquiring Burrell for anything. It was all made up by a Philadelphia blog.
  7. […] Mets Today weighs the pros and cons of adding Pat Burrell. [Mets Today] […]
  8. Harry Chiti December 7, 2009 at 6:35 pm
    I’d much rather have Willingham playing left than Pat the Bat. Since the Nats want big league pitching I don’t see a match.
  9. isuzudude December 7, 2009 at 7:35 pm
    John Maine for Willingham? Any takers?
  10. gary s. December 7, 2009 at 7:55 pm
    dude, if u can get the nats 2 take john (my arm hurts 4 2 years) maine, u r exec of the year..
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  12. sázkové kanceláre May 25, 2010 at 4:07 pm
    thanks for so many info.wish all the best