On Wednesday morning it was reported that the Philadelphia Phillies have signed free agent pitcher A.J. Burnett. The contract will be a 1-year $16 million deal, which could give the Phillies a record payroll. Burnett gives a questionable Phillies starting rotation much more stability.
Before the signing of Burnett, the Phillies had Cole Hamels and Cliff Lee at the top of the rotation with a lot of question marks at the 3, 4 and 5 spots. Now that the Phillies have a solid top 3 starters, it takes pressure off the bottom two starters of the rotation and allows for some real competition. Kyle Kendrick, Roberto Hernandez, Miguel Gonzalez and Jonathan Pettibone will be the group of pitchers competing for the last two spots in the rotation.
A big question that comes up with this signing is, how much will this help the Phillies? I think this is a great signing by the Phillies. Especially considering the fact that Cole Hamels will not be ready for Opening Day. Now, there were complaints about how much money he cost, but look at the Phillies payroll. It’s not like they are trying to save money. If a team is spending a lot of money they might as well put themselves in a position to win. Right?
This signing stabilizes a team with many questions heading into a make or break season. Burnett will add a right handed presence that they will miss with Roy Halladay’s recent retirement. He definitely makes the Phillies rotation better and I think their rotation will be able to compete with the other rotations in the NL East. Ultimately, the success of the Phillies will depend on if their core of players can stay healthy and produce.