Monday, December 7, 2009

What Would the Cubs do with Pat Burrell?

If you believe the immortal Peter Gammons, then the long rumored Milton Bradley for Pat Burrell swap should be consummated rather soon:
"The Chone Figgins signing with Seattle should be announced Monday, and sometime here the Cubs should get Milton Bradley to Tampa Bay for Pat Burrell. Then they'll figure out where to place Burrell."
I'm sure the Cubs are absolutely thrilled to move the headache that is Milton Bradley, but this deal opens up a whole new can of worms for the Cubs: what do they do with Pat Burrell?

Can the Cubs afford to play Pat Burrell everyday? If his bat comes around, then maybe, but the fact is that Burrell is a tremendous defensive liability in the outfield, and the Cubs, who already have Alfonso Soriano in left field, would be having two of the worst defensive corner outfielders in baseball playing on the same team. That doesn't seem like a good situation. Under no circumstances right now should Burrell be trusted to play a significant amount of time in the outfield. In addition, Burrell would make the Cubs lineup even more right handed and offers little balance, which is a problem if the Cubs face right handed pitching day after day.

Can the Cubs stick Burrell at first base? I guess in theory if the Cubs wanted to play Burrell everyday in someplace other than the outfield that it would be at first base. But with Derrek Lee set to play first 150 times for the Cubs in 2010, there probably won't be much playing time for Burrell at first.

Can the Cubs have Burrell come off the bench? This would seem to be a good option. Burrell is a streaky power hitter, who can put fear in the pitcher's eyes in the late innings of a ball game. Burrell would struggle to obtain consistent at bats, which is a problem for a guy, who has started for his entire career. Also, do the Cubs really want to pay a pinch hitter $9 million dollars in 2010?

So what other options do the Cubs have left? They can release Burrell. Or the Cubs can try to trade Burrell back to the AL (where he can DH) for a bad contract that is similar to Burrell's. The following deals all make some sense (I hope):
  • Pat Burrell (1 year/$9 million) for Scott Linebrink (2 years/$10.5 million)
  • Pat Burrell (1 years/$9 million) for Nate Robertson (1 years/$10 million)
I dunno about you, but I still think the best fit for Burrell is in Tampa.

******What do you think? Where will Burrell wind up?********


Anonymous said...

Atleast Pat Burrell won't turn to the fans and throw the fly ball that he caught with one out. Burrell may not be the answer but aleast he should be able to count..

Jorge Says No! said...

Yes, that did bring a smile to my face.