The Rays cut ties with 33-year-old designated hitter (and former outfielder) Pat Burrell last weekend and now he is free to sign with any club. Here’s a short round-up of the interested and uninterested teams:
- Mychael Urban of CSNBayArea.com writes that Burrell will “NOT” be joining the Giants.
- The Red Sox don’t have room for another “one-dimensional” player like Burrell, or so says Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe.
- Ruben Armaro Jr., GM of the Phillies, told MLB.com’s Todd Zolecki that his club is not interested in bringing back Burrell either.
- FOXSports.com’s Ken Rosenthal hears that the Padres have “sniffed around” on Burrell, and it seems they are the only team with any amount of real interest.
And that’s it. That’s all. Burrell, still a .253/.362/.473 career hitter, has taken a sharp dive from grace since inking a two-year, $16 million deal with the Rays in January of 2009. He was batting just batting 202/.292/.333 with two homers and 13 RBI over 84 at-bats when the Rays cut ties with him last Saturday.
Update (6:48 PM EST): Topkin reports the contract will be of the major league variety.
Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports that the Rays and free agent reliever Shawn Tolleson are close to finalizing a contract.
Tolleson, who turns 29 years old on Thursday, had an ugly 2016 season, finishing with a 7.68 ERA and a 29/10 K/BB ratio in 36 1/3 innings. He was one of the Rangers’ best relievers in the two seasons prior to that, however, which included saving 35 games in 2015.
The big presidential pardon news today concerns the commutation of Chelsea Manning’s sentence. We’ll leave that aside. For our purposes, know that someone in the world of baseball was pardoned: Willie McCovey.
Yes, Hall of Famer Willie McCovey, who in 1995 pleaded guilty to income tax fraud related to the non-reporting of income received from memorabilia and autograph shows. Duke Snider pleaded guilty alongside McCovey. They were given two years probation and fines of $5,000. Snider died in 2011. McCovey still works with the San Francisco Giants as a senior advisor and goodwill ambassador.
President Obama’s release of McCovey’s pardon was pretty succinct. But it’s enough to scrub the record of one of the greatest sluggers of all time.