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Wednesday, 5 February, 2003, 11:47 GMT
Phillies reward Burrell
Burrell hit .282 and cracked 37 homers while driving in 117 runs last season
Burrell has a career average of .267
Philadelphia have signed their big-hitting left-fielder Pat Burrell to a new six-year contract worth $50m.

Phillies general manager Ed Wade said: "Our goal is to draft, sign and develop championship-calibre players.

"I can't think of a single player who better exemplifies that plan and commitment than Pat Burrell.

"Although he has already become a bright light for us, Pat's brightest days as a Phillie are ahead of him."

In just his second full season in the major leagues, Burrell hit .282 and cracked 37 homers while driving in 117 runs.

The 26-year-old's performance at the plate was the best by a Phillie since 1986 when Hall of Famer Mike Schmidt had 37 home runs and 119 RBIs.

Since breaking into the majors in May 2000, Burrell has a career average of .267 with 82 homers and 284 RBIs.

Poised to move into a new ball park in 2004, the Phillies have been busy rebuilding a team that was third in the National League East last season with a 80-81 record.

They have been one of the most active teams in the free agent market this close season.

Already recruited are first baseman Jim Thome on a six-year, $85m deal and third baseman David Bell on a four-year, $17m contract.


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