As wallets creaked shut and the dollars didn't flow nearly as freely as certain free agents hoped this winter, Pat Burrell wound up moving from one World Series team to another.
An "American League player" for, oh, roughly most of his career, Burrell now really is an AL player, having signed with Tampa Bay for two years and $16 million.
It's a noticeable cut from the $14 million he earned for the world champion Philadelphia Phillies last year.
What's also noticeable is that the Phillies long ago replaced Burrell with an older, more expensive left fielder.
Maybe Tampa Bay's gain will be Philadelphia's loss.
Burrell, his lifetime .083 batting average in Tropicana Field notwithstanding (he's 1-for-12 there with one homer and two RBI), is a significant upgrade for the Rays, a left-handed heavy team in need of a righty bat and designated hitter.
Over the past four seasons, he's averaged 31 homers, 99 RBI, 103 walks and 77 runs scored, and he is one of only six major-leaguers to hit 20 or more homers in each of the past eight seasons. Carlos Delgado, Chipper Jones, Vladimir Guerrero, Manny Ramirez and Alex Rodriguez are the other five.
Not bad for $8 million a season.
Meantime, the Phillies gave Raul Ibanez three years and $30 million.
Ibanez, over the past four seasons, has averaged 24 homers, 105 RBI, 63 walks and 90 runs scored. His lifetime OBP is .346.
Burrell is 32 (he won't turn 33 until next Oct. 10). Ibanez will turn 37 on June 2.
While Burrell routinely was removed for defensive purposes, Ibanez is a competent left fielder but is in no danger of winning a Gold Glove award anytime soon himself, either.
Burrell well could surpass the 536 at-bats he reached last summer in Philly because, in the AL, presumably spending most of his time as a DH, he will not be removed in the late innings.
There are never any guarantees in the winter, and if Burrell's weak Tropicana Field numbers continue, then the Phillies could look like geniuses for cutting bait and going with Ibanez.
But that's a really small sample, of course, and odds are that Burrell, in time, will rake at the Trop. And at five years younger than Ibanez and with a price tag that dropped below Ibanez, you have to wonder whether the Phillies, in the end, out-smarted themselves.