Rays send down Burrell. Could Dye be their answer?

After hitting just .202 in 24 games and 84 at-bats this season, the Rays have designated the trifling Pat Burrell for assignment. Of course, “Pat the Bat’s” streak of ineptitude began much earlier, from his Rays debut in 2009 until now. At $18 million for two years, the Rays certainly didn’t get what they paid for in Burrell, but the signing didn’t show any promise in the first place. True, Burrell did hit 33 homers and help the Phillies win a championship in 2008, but he also posted a worrisome .250 average and continued to be an eyesore in the outfield. Is that worth $9 million a year, Tampa? Hell no. As it stands, the Burrell acquisition is the worst move of young GM Andrew Friedman’s career.

Logically, the team is calling up Hank Blalock, who has been tearing it up in the minors, to fill the DH role. Blalock, 29, is younger than Burrell and also offers more upside given his ability to play both third and first base. This gives the Rays opportunity to spell both Evan Longoria and Carlos Pena when needed. The Rays are only on the hook for $925,000 (plus $325,000 in performance-based incentives) with Blalock, so the risk-reward ratio is less frightful than Burrell’s.

Nevertheless, if Blalock doesn’t pan out (which is likely), why not give Jermaine Dye a shot? All signs point to the White Sox leaving him astray, as Andruw Jones decided he wants to play baseball again instead of spending his days as the Rasheed Wallace of his sport. If Dye can get real and realize he’s not worth more than $3 million a year, he might find a fit with the Rays.

Photo from fOTOGLIF

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