Things have been quiet so far this winter, but they can't stay that way forever. There are a lot of free agents on the market and they're going to head somewhere eventually. When players do start signing, the Angels figure to be in the middle of it all. They're currently involved in the bidding for CC Sabathia and Mark Teixeira, but if things don't work out there, they have backup plans in place, too.
One of those plans is to possibly sign Pat Burrell and turn him into a first baseman if they can't ink Teixeira, who wants a 10-year deal that the Angels might not be willing to commit to. Burrell should be much cheaper than Teixeira and, though he's not a switch hitter like Tex, he's usually good for an OPS in the .900 range, something that's helpful to just about any team.
The question, of course, is whether or not the famously poor-fielding Burrell could adjust to first base. Sam Miller uses Bill James' defensive spectrum to reason that he can, but I'm not so sure. I mean, can you picture Burrell staying down on a grounder? Or digging a bad throw out of the dirt? He can't do much of anything right in the outfield. It's true that first base is populated by a lot of guys that are bad at other positions and it's hard to imagine Burrell being worse than a guy like Jason Giambi, but asking him to learn a new position seems like a potentially disastrous proposition.
Pat Burrell Could Be Headed for the Angels and For First Base originally appeared on MLB FanHouse on Mon, 01 Dec 2008 14:28:00 EST . Please see our terms for use of feeds.