Tuesday, May 26, 2009

First to Third: Phils Don't Miss Burrell

We're not even a third of the way into the season, but so far the Phillies signing of soon-to-be 37 year old Raul Ibanez looks like a great move for a team looking to upgrade in left field.

So far, Ibanez leads the league in home runs and RBI, slugging percentage and OPS while former left fielder Pat Burrell is hitting a pedestrian .250 with 1 home run and 17 RBI. Ibanez has also played a solid left field for Philadelphia earning a +1 in the plus/minus system with two outfield assists, as opposed to Burrell's -10 last year (The plus/minus system rates players based on how many plays they would make compared to the average fielder). Burrell has yet to see the outfield grass for the Rays, who have been using Pat the Bat as a DH when he was in the lineup.

Phillies GM Ruben Amaro, Jr. took a lot of heat for giving a 37 year old a three year deal, but for $6.5 million this year, Amaro could have done a lot worse. Like all older ballplayers, Father Time catches up eventually, but since he wasn't a regular until age 30, Ibanez could be very productive for the duration of this contract.

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