A.J. Burnett recently made up his mind that he will return to play in the MLB for the 2014 season. Although the question still remains, who will Burnett pitch for next season? The Philadelphia Phillies have been a team rumored to be interested in the 37-year-old veteran pitcher. Just like in any free agent deal, it is going to take two sides seeing eye to eye to get a deal done. So could Burnett sign with the Phillies?
When it comes down to it, this potential deal is going to come down to if the Phillies are willing to spend a few extra bucks to get Burnett. The rotation is filled with question marks for the Phillies. After Cole Hamels and Cliff Lee, the rotation is not looking too good. An established right handed starter would surely bolster a rotation that needs help.
Burnett is a work horse who has been able to average 200 innings the last six seasons. Burnett’s 9.8 strikeouts per nine innings were the best in the National League. His 3.30 ERA wasn’t too bad either. It is pretty clear that Burnett is a better option than anything the Phillies currently have.
The problem may be with the price. The Phillies have been fairly conservative this off-season. Burnett seems to be seeking a 1 year deal around $16 million. I would love to see the Phillies pick up Burnett. I think he is a missing piece that would greatly help in a playoff push and help bring the pitching staff back to its former glory. Unfortunately I don’t see a deal happening. Ruben Amaro Jr has been playing it safe this off-season and $16 million might not be to his liking. More than likely, he’ll let the last three spots of the rotation battle it out and figure it out from there. Sorry Phillies fans, no deal here.