|Monday, February 3
Updated: March 13, 11:59 AM ET
Burrell agrees to $50 million, six-year contract
Coming off a 14th losing season in 16 years, the Phillies have been one of the most aggressive teams, signing first baseman Jim Thome and third baseman David Bell and trading for pitcher Kevin Millwood.
The Phillies, hesitant to spend money in the past, have committed nearly $162 million to the four players as they try to build a championship team when they move into a new ballpark in 2004.
"I'm glad to be a part of the big puzzle they put together this offseason,'' Burrell said. "With the team we have now, we should be winning.''
Burrell, 26, hit .282 with 37 homers and 116 RBI last year -- the best offensive performance on the Phillies since Mike Schmidt had 37 homers and 119 RBI in 1986. Burrell also struck out 153 times.
He is coming off an $8 million, five-year contract that paid him $1,275,000 last year. Burrell was the first pick in the draft in 1998. He was picked as a third baseman, but the Phillies moved him to first base and eventually to left field.
"This city has taken me in and been really good to me,'' he said, adding that he's looking at buying a home in the area. "I think the organization has treated me better than I ever could have imagined.''
Burrell gets a $1.5 million signing bonus, of which $1 million is payable upon approval, $250,000 on Jan. 15, 2004 and $250,000 the following Jan. 15. He gets annual salaries of $1 million in 2003, $4 million in 2004, $7 million in 2005, $9.5 million in 2006, $13 million in 2007 and $14 million in 2008.
Ed Wade, the team's general manager and vice president, said the deal wasn't the easiest to negotiate, but that he was glad to get it done.
"As we've stated many times in the recent past, our goal is to draft, sign and develop championship-caliber players, bring them to the big leagues and then retain them for the long term,'' Wade said. "I can't think of a single player who better exemplifies that plan and commitment than Pat Burrell.''
Burrell agreed to donate $100,000 during the contract to the Baseball Assistance Team and $150,000 to Phillies Charities Inc. for assisting youth baseball in the Philadelphia area.