Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Burrell to Rays: They're Even Scarier

Pat Burrell is going to DH for the Tampa Bay Rays next year.

That's some nice righty pop to compliment Carlos Pena, Carl Crawford and new young bopper Matt Joyce. Evan Longoria, B.J. Upton and Burrell will be their Northpawed counterparts, terrorizing the league's lefties.

And I'm in good company in thinking this makes their offense scary. Buster Olney said as much, too.

Edwin Jackson is being replaced by David Price in the rotation, who I expect to be scary good, if not totally so this year then definitely in the near future. And after seeing him strike out J.D. Drew with the bases loaded in ALCS Game 7 this year, I felt pretty sure that he was ready.

Joyce is an underrated return for Jackson, who is mediocre with great stuff. He will hit 20-30 home runs next season. My best guess is right in the middle with 25. And Burrell will hit 30. And I bet B.J. Upton hits 25-30 in '09, back toward his 2007 total and away from the 9 he hit last season. A full season of Longoria and Pena puts this team in position to MASH. They will hit many more home runs, score many more runs, and have a better rotation. Ouch.

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