Results tagged ‘ Mark Teixiera ’

Hooray for the Rays…We got Pat the Bat !!

 


The last time Tampa Bay Rays fans saw Philadelphia Phillies outfielder Pat Burrell was right after his double off J P Howell to put himself in scoring position to score the Phillie’s winning run in Game 5.5 of the 2008 World Series. But Burrell did not get to have that honor as Phillies Manager Charlie Manuel sent out pinch runner Eric Bruntlett, who slide into home after a few spotty hits to produce the winning run, and the World Series title for the Phillie’s. This plays upon a well known fact that Burrell loves the pressure of a situation, and is usually the first person to act upon it for the betterment of the team.

 


So you can imagine the turn of events that have brought this consistent and powerful bat to the lineup for the Rays. Burrell was thinking that the Phillies might offer him arbitration in 2009, or at least make an attempt to try and sign him to a small deal. He had played his entire career in the Phillies system and was loved and adored by many of the Philly faithful. But in his spot in the lineup pretty much helping protect Ryan Howard the last few seasons, he has seen his number pretty much decrease, but not below acceptable levels.

 

 

 

Now, with a new ring on his finger, and a future bright in the Florida sunshine, Burrell is happy to be a Ray. Considering he still owns a home in Clearwater was not a factor in the negotiations, but it did not hurt matters at all. Speculation has been brewing for months that he was the target out of the corner of the Rays managements’ eye. Because remember, he was also the guy in the 2008 World Series who was fighting a monster slump,  and like Evan Longoria and  Carlos Pena, came alive in that last contest. He has earned the reputation in Philly as a guy who can get you that timely hit or run to set you up to win a game all by himself.

 

 


Burrell was a combined 0-13 before hitting that monster off the wall in center field to set himself up at second base. I can guess without a doubt that he wanted to pull a ” Roger Dorn” and refuse to come off the base because of the significance of that hit. Burrell had to know that the next run would win it for the Phillies, and he wanted to be the guy to cross that plate. But instead, he got the front float for the World Series parade. So there he was perched on the Budweiser/ Clydesdale wagon with his dog, Elvis waving to the millions of adoring fans…………for the last time.

 

 


Now this signing by the Rays pushed the estimated payroll for 2009 to about  $ 60 million dollars. This is the highest payroll of the Rays in their short existence, but will it be enough to get them back to the playoffs and beyond in 2009.  Considering Statistic guru Bill James had predicted that the 3-pronged attack combination of  Longoria, Pena and himself is projected to hit a staggering 100 homers between them in 2009.  And also considering that James also has put current New York Yankee Mark Teixeira’s home run total at 36 for the season, Burrell’s  2009 numbers of 32 home runs look like a huge investment in power for the Rays.

 


Considering that Teixeira’s 180 million dollar contract comes out to about $ 22.5 million per season, the 2 years at $ 16 million dollars that Burrell signed for look like a major bargain for the Rays. Tex’s will have to make those 4 additional homers in 2009 a spectacular event to even equal Burrells possible damage in the Rays lineup. This signing also effectively gives the Rays a huge right-handed bat that actually hits lefties well.  But considering that Burrell has been called slow and prone to slumps during the season, is this a wise move for the Rays?

 

 


Burrell was once pictured in a poster by the Phillies players with the caption, ” Man or Machine”.  That brings to mind the physical presence and powerful ability of Burrell to work to extremes to perfect his craft. With the Rays, Burrell will not have to have his glove handy to go out and play right field for the Rays, except maybe in the Inter league games in a National League park. But the one trademark of Burrell during his entire Phillie’s career has been consistency.

 


The guy is pretty predictable at the plate, with a few surprises, but mostly you can pencil him in for a .250 average for the year with about 100 RBI’s. With that, you can also estimate about 31 homers and a huge bunch of strikeouts.  The Rays might be putting Burrell in the number 5 slot right behind Pena, who is also prone to the strikeout during the past few seasons. But on the plus side, Burrell has been up in the top of the pile in walks the past few seasons in the National League. In 2008, he was 3rd in the NL with 102 walks.

 

 


But another plus for Burrell, which has become a staple of the Rays type of players is his involvement in the community. Burrell will again be one of the Rays players’ who will be giving to the Rays Foundation with a slice of his contract, but that is a minor set back to him. He is a well recognized team chef in the Phillies clubhouse and has been known to volunteer his efforts to charity to cook or even entertain at cooking events while in Philly.  This will be very useful as the Rays faithful are just beginning to truly understand the art of baseball tailgating. Hey Rays Foundation, maybe a Pat Burrell cookout after a Spring Training game might be a great Fan Fest auction item………just trying to help here.

 

 

 


Most people view this signing as a guy who fell into the Rays hands via their first and second most desired selections coming off the board with other teams. I actually had him up in the top 2 for the Rays to even consider for 2009. I had Jason Giambi at the top slot, while Burrell was slotted number 2 based on his consistent number’s. Either player would be a huge plus for the ever evolving Rays franchise. But Burrell is a guy you can pencil in every night knowing that he will bring his “A” game every night.

 


The Phillie’s fan will get their first look at Burrell in the Rays jersey during their Spring Training game at Brighthouse Networks Field in Clearwater on March 12. It is also a “Thristy Thursday” game and will have an extra factor of being one of  only 3 games played by the Rays in Pinellas county before the season begins in April. The other two will be played against the Toronto Blue Jays in Dunedin on March 1st and 10th. And with the Rays not retaining Rocco Baldelli, the number 5 jersey is currently available for Burrell if he wants to keep the same uniform number he has had for years with the Phillies.

 

 


But do not fret Phillies fans if you can not make the afternoon game on March 12th, because you can again cheer or jeer at Burrell in your home ballpark in Philly as the Rays usher in the last two Spring Training games up in Philadelphia on April 1 and 2 in Citizen’s Bank Ballpark.  So, the signing of Pat Burrell will be felt in the Rays clubhouse for the next two seasons. This is a great signing of a guy who can bring some consistent hitting to the Designated Hitter spot in the Rays’ lineup. But, best of all, we got a guy who has shown he already has the Rays mentality of getting hits and runs when the team needs them in a game…….and you can not put a price on that kind of consistent action.

  

Explanation of Type “A” and “B” Arbitration Senarios

 

With Arbitration days starting on Monday December 1st, MLB’s GM’s have other things beyond the Holiday Season to think about on this date. Not out of their minds is the fact that several MLB free agents will be looking for their own types of Christmas presents either from their current clubs, or a new suitor for 2009.

 

On Monday, teams will be making major decisions regarding their Type “A” and Type “B” arbitration eligible free agents and/ or roster babies. These decisions will not be made lightly, and sometimes a teams’ June Draft can be effected by the results, both positively or negatively with their decisions.

 

The Tampa Bay Rays are lucky enough to not have a single member of their 40- man roster sitting in either of these categories in 2009. With Rocco Baldelli and Trever Miller being offered contract buy-outs before this period, the team is not responsible or can reap any advantages to them signing for another team. Cliff Floyd and Eric Hinske also are free and clear free agents able to talk and sign with any team in the MLB they desire, with no compensation for the Rays.

 

Most MLB players tend to wait until December 1st to get a realistic view of if their  2008 team does in fact, have them in the team’s future by offering arbitration, or letting them go as free agents.  There are many players’ throughout the majors this off season who are waiting anxiously to get the positive or negative word on their current teams’ desire for them for the upcoming season.

 

 

            

 

Some players like Chicago Cub’s ex-closer, Kerry Wood could be offered arbitration, but the team will have to gamble that he will not accept it. Wood has already been replaced as the Cubs closer by former set-up guy, Carlos Marmol.

So the chess game will begin, and the Cubs would offer, but they will need a solid statement that Wood will want to go elsewhere in 2009. But some of these players come with baggage. Not injury or even a agent like Scott Boras, but a Type “A” or “B” designation that will give their old squad a type of  draft rebate if they are signed by another club.

 

For some teams this rebate system has helped them in the past get an extra prospect or two who could help in the long run for their franchise. The Type “A” guys are pretty easy to find this off season, they are the guy that are being tossed around for examination by almost every competing club in baseball. They are the top tier free agents that have been drawing the most attention, and will command the most in return for their services.

 

I am going to take an example from the list of Type “B” arbitration eligible players to try and illustrate the process. The list of potential Type “B” guys include such  field players as: Milton Bradley, Ivan Rodriguez, Gregg Zaun, Paul Lo Duca, Casey Blake, Ken Griffey Junior, Luis Gonzalez, Frank Thomas, Garrett Anderson, Mark Grudzielanek, Mark Loretta,Juan Uribe and Jeff Kent.

 

Not to outdone is the list of potential pitchers also eligible for arbitration: John Smoltz, Brad Penny, Jon Garlend, Randy Wolf, Paul Byrd, Alan Embree,Randy Johnson, Brian Shouse, Brendan Looper,  Dave Weathers, Jason Isringhausen,Brandon Lyon, Arthur Rhodes, Joe Beimel, Denny Reyes, Rudy Seanez, Luis Ayala and  Eric Gagne.

 

You might notice that I left 2 people off this list because it is generally thought that they will retire quietly before Spring Training in 2009. Former Mets outfielder Moises Alou and outstanding pitcher Greg Maddux are considered by many to take a bow out this off season and pursue other avenues in life.

 

 

                               

 

Okay, for the sake of arguing, let me take one  Type “A” Arbitration player to put him through a series of  possible arbitration events to see what might happen starting tomorrow morning. I will select currently LA Angels first baseman Mark Teixiera as my example of an Type “A” candidates. He is one of the diamond being shined bright by his agents and fellow MLB teams as a cornerstone to a lineup and a star for years. 

 

To start off, let’s consider that the Angels do want to retain his services in 2009, they would start by offering him arbitration after the December 1st date.  If Teixiera accepts the arbitration offer, he will get his 2009 salary determined by the  arbitration process.  He earned a salary of $ 12.5 million dollars for 2008, and had a typical year at the plate and in the field. This would result in a  higher salary for 2009. Now, he can still sign with the Angels before his hearing and would be the property of the Angels for 2009, thus ending his other suitors’ pursuit of him.

 

Typically, a team will sometime offer arbitration to a player thinking they might not even respond. This was not the case in 2002 when the Atlanta Braves tried to fake their interest in Gregg Maddux as a front for a trade. Maddux accepted their offer and went on to post a huge 2002 salary.

 

                                             

 

So with that in mind, if the Angels do not offer any arbitration to Teixiera, it he becomes a free agent with the Angels not getting any compensation for him. Players are considered for their status as “A” or “B” type arbitration candidates based on their statistics the prior 2 seasons.

 

Teixiera would fall into the “A” category based on his Plate Appearances, Batting Average, On-Base Percentage, Home Runs, Runs Batted In for all players in his position classification. Since he played mostly first base this year, his arbitration ranking will come from the final statistics of every player in the MLB who played first base in 2009.

 

If the Angels offer arbitration, but Teixiera would rather play somewhere else and decides to sign with another franchise, the Angels would receive 2 picks in the 2009 Amateur Draft in June for Teixiera’s signing elsewhere. And so the chess match will begin on Monday as to the desires of the MLB’s clubs and their players for 2009.

 

Okay, let’s spell this completely out so there is no misunderstanding here.  Let’s say his old team, the Atlanta Braves want to get Teixiera back into a Braves’ jersey for 2009.  The Angels will then receive 1 draft pick from the Braves’ 2009  Amateur Draft selection.  Let’s say they have the 22nd pick of the 2009 draft. The Angels would get that draft pick and also another additional pick as compensation for the Braves taking back Teixiera into their organization.

 

The Angels would also get another draft pick sandwiched between the first and second rounds if he was a Type “A” eligible candidate.  The Angels can only get the First Round pick of the team signing Teixiera if it falls between pick number 16-30. If the Braves had one of the first 15 picks, they are protected and  it can not be taken from them for arbitration supplemental picks.

 

If the Baltimore Orioles’ decide to take Teixiera, they would not have to give up their high First Round draft pick to compensate the Angels for the Teixiera signing. Instead, the Angels would be rewarded the Orioles’ second round pick and a “sandwich pick’ between the first 2 rounds of the draft.

 

 

 

Now onto the second case in point. Let’s say that the L A Dodgers offered current third baseman Casey Blake arbitration and he turned them down and signed somewhere else. The Dodgers would not get that team’s First Round pick as compensation, but the Dodgers would get a supplemental pick between the first and second rounds. Also to be taken into consideration is the fact that the “losing” team can receive draft pick compensation without arbitration if their free agent   is signed before December 1st.

 

If a player is not offered or even offered arbitration, the cycle of draft picks ends and the team will not receive any other compensation if he leaves his 2008 club for another team in 2009. I know all of this sounds confusing and might be better suited for an advanced Algebra class, but in the next few days we will be hearing these senario and phrase more and more.

 

I thought this might be a nice way to show the possible results of players switching clubs after the December 1st arbitration starting period. Hope this helps dissect the madness and makes the whole process seems bit easier to digest and understand……………So where is Teixiera going, and what will it cost the team signing him?

 

 

  

 

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