Hamels Shoulder Sore; Phillies Sign Burnett to One-Year Deal – Phillies Nation

Hamels Shoulder Sore; Phillies Sign Burnett to One-Year Deal

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Early Wednesday, as Phillies pitchers and catcher opened Spring Training 2014, Cole Hamels announced he will not be ready for the beginning of the regular season. Hamels is dealing with shoulder tendinitis, but declared that it’s not that bad, and he’s only slightly behind schedule.

As Hamels and the Phillies try to spin it in a positive direction, it’s cause for concern. The Phillies ace cannot miss much time, or this season will be a wash quickly.

To combat that, the Phillies have signed veteran pitcher A.J. Burnett to a one-year, $16 million contract. The news was first broken by a young TV reporter in Arkansas, Hayden Balgavy, via twitter.  Burnett pitched with Pittsburgh the last two seasons, posting a 3.30 ERA with a 10-11 record.

This is a no-brainer move, regardless of the Hamels news. The Phillies were in dire need of a third starter and get one in Burnett, who is your second starter while Hamels preps for the season.



  1. Gavvy Cravath

    February 12, 2014 at 12:26 pm

    Nice move. The rotation looks so much better now (assuming the Hamels injury is indeed minor).

  2. Matt English

    February 12, 2014 at 12:27 pm

    16 million? What? For a #3? What?

    • wbramh

      February 12, 2014 at 12:52 pm

      A bargain compared to $175 mil for this year’s designated #3 in the Bronx.
      Smart move.

  3. Mike in NJ

    February 12, 2014 at 12:31 pm

    The rotation is such a train wreck after Hamels and Lee that Ruin had no choice but to overpay for a legit #3. At least it’s only a one year deal, and we can trade him to a contender in July after the wheels fall off the season. LOL the wheels are already starting to wobble if Hamels misses the first month with the shoulder tendonitis.

    • nahroots

      February 12, 2014 at 1:00 pm

      He did not overpay at all. It’s right in line with the market. Pitching is crazy expensive.

  4. Gavvy Cravath

    February 12, 2014 at 12:41 pm

    In 2013 Lee had a WAR of 5.1, Hamels 4.2, and Burnett 4.0. $16 million seems about right, and as long as he’s healthy he’s a tradeable commodity at the deadline. There’s no real downside to this – especially on a one year deal.

    • wbramh

      February 12, 2014 at 1:14 pm

      At the moment, the starting rotation consists of Lee, Burnett and who knows what and that may remain the case heading into June… or September (this front office isn’t known for being forthcoming concerning the status of player injuries).

      Signing Burnett is easily the smartest move of the off-season. It may have taken Hamel’s injury to close the deal but at least management didn’t blow a clear opportunity – or more accurately, a clear necessity.

  5. Bart Shart

    February 12, 2014 at 12:54 pm

    I hope and pray that Burnett has something left in the tank. He has had good years and he has had stinkers. His WAR looks solid from last year. Fingers crossed

  6. FM

    February 12, 2014 at 1:03 pm

    Ah, Pat Gallen… the white Phil from Mt. Airy.

  7. George

    February 12, 2014 at 1:23 pm

    Hamels has biceps tendinitis. That’s not exactly a major shoulder issue, and he’ll probably recover fairly fast.

    Signing Burnett was a good move. It’s too bad Burnett hadn’t announced earlier that he would pitch this year. If the Phils had known sooner that he’d be available, maybe they wouldn’t have signed Carmona, or whoever he is, to a major league deal.

    • Gavvy Cravath

      February 12, 2014 at 1:56 pm

      The devil’s advocate would say that plenty of major arm injuries started out being reported as a minor case of biceps tendinitis. We’ll find out soon enough.

  8. Dave

    February 12, 2014 at 1:25 pm

    Hopefully this pushes Kendrick back to the bullpen.

    • mudmin

      February 12, 2014 at 2:03 pm

      I think Kendrick is a solid #4 starter with the potential to be a #3. Obviously his consistency isn’t always there, but I think we’ve been spoiled from the days Blanton was #5.

      And Frank, this give the Phils a MUCH better shot if they actually do manage to squeak into the playoffs. There can’t be too many teams that would be excited to face our top 3.

      So he gives us a lot better chance to make the playoffs and becomes an exponentially better shot of making a long(er) run in the playoffs if we get there. Good choice. Good signing.

      Way to go Ruben. You’ve gotten a lot of crap from people here, including me, but I think he’s done about as well as anyone could have asked for this offseason. I may just plunk down $10 for Abreu to win MVP. That has to be worth like 5 million easy if he wins.

      • Frank

        February 12, 2014 at 3:23 pm

        So where does that leave Gonzalez? I’d rather see Carmona as the #4 and have Gonzalez win the #5 spot out of spring training. In fact if Gonzalez works out, he should start ahead of Carmona. I’m not a Kendrick fan, but if he has to be on the team I like him in the long relief role.

      • mudmin

        February 12, 2014 at 7:12 pm

        We have 3 decent options (and possibly some dark horse AAA guys) fighting for 2 rotation spots. It’s a good problem to have. The odd man out will end up in the pen (where we clearly need help from last year…I think we were 11th out of 13 nl teams.). Sounds like a win-win to me. Plus we can expect there are going to be injuries and people needed for spot starts.

        No matter what, 2013 Burnett was better than the 2013 version of any of those three…so I’m all in favor with them sliding down the depth chart.

  9. Frank

    February 12, 2014 at 1:58 pm

    Good signing. Now this give the Phillies a good chance of finishing third.

    • Charlie D

      February 12, 2014 at 2:03 pm

      I agree with Frank. We have just surpassed the Mets and put a solid lock on 3rd place. Well behind the Nats and Braves.

      • schmenkman

        February 12, 2014 at 2:17 pm

        And that’s why they play the games. A “solid lock on 3rd” in February very often turns into 1st or 5th by October.

      • Pope Owens

        February 13, 2014 at 10:29 am

        I refuse to conceed that the Phillies will be well behind the Braves & Nats. Play Ball!

  10. betasigmadeltashag

    February 12, 2014 at 2:21 pm

    What did the Nats do last year to make anyone think they are not pretenders. I like this signing gives depth in the rotation and in reality is not much money and will be off the books next year

  11. Dave

    February 12, 2014 at 2:38 pm

    The Nats had alot of injuries last year…of course so did the Phillies…but the difference is the Nats still finished 13 games ahead of us.

    • betasigmadeltashag

      February 12, 2014 at 3:19 pm

      The Phils we holding tryouts for the last month and a half last year. Record is insignificant and the Nats are really unimpressive Gio is good not great as is Zimmerman and outside Harper and Ryan Zimmerman(whom won’t play 100 games) the offense is pedestrian.
      I’m not saying the Phils are a lock for a playoff spot but if the dice roll the right way, and Dom progresses they could win the division

      • c. schreiber

        February 12, 2014 at 3:51 pm

        Really!!! Seriously!!! I’ll have whatever your smoking…..

      • Jay

        February 12, 2014 at 4:10 pm

        Hey now is the time to be optimistic…don’t forget about Fister though

  12. Hogey's Role

    February 12, 2014 at 2:45 pm

    Too bad for hamels, but great news for signing Burnett, I am somewhat surprised given our current payroll and what seems like a desire to stay under the luxury tax threshold but I’m happy with it regardless, Burnett is a very solid and dependable pitcher, I was secretly hoping that we would sign him, I don’t believe this is an overpay, I think it is right in line with what he should be paid… I am also ok with the other pitcher signings we’ve had this year, definately creates some completion at the back end of the rotation with Kendrick,mag,Hernandez,pettibone, with the potentiAl of some others, I’m happy with the way the starting rotation looks, hopefully some of our young bullpen talent can step up and progress enough and solidify the pitching staff as a whole…

    There are still plenty of question marks as far as the lineup is concerned but that’s a discussion for another day…

  13. Ryne Duren

    February 12, 2014 at 3:14 pm

    I’m in! Good signing. 1 year, way to go. Fair market price too. Hopefully Cole will be ok. At least having Burnett won’t cause them to rush Hamels back. If we could put some runs on the board life would be a lot easier on all of us.

    • Chuck A.

      February 12, 2014 at 3:36 pm

      “A lot easier on all of us” ??? We’re just the fans. Think how much easier it would be on the actual players…

  14. Lefty

    February 12, 2014 at 3:24 pm

    Sorry to read the news about Hamels, but I think Burnett’s a good signing.

  15. Brian Sr. of CO

    February 12, 2014 at 3:52 pm

    One of the VERY few good signings by Ruin Tomorrow Jr, which leads me to a slight concern about the otherwise well written article…”or this season will be a wash quickly.” LOL. I wish I had that type of optimism about the season. Over the last few years since Ruin came along he has paid WAY too much for aging talent, for the most part past their prime. Not always the people he signs, but really, the biggest concern with how he operates is the length and cost of the contract.

    The good news is, granted Lee and Burnett stay healthy, once the Phillies get Hamels back, they have a pretty darn good 1-2-3 IMHO. The rest is a crap shoot. Will Kendrick perform like 1st half kendrick? Damn good 1-4 then. 2nd half Kendrick? Wow, we need help. Hernandez…Goes back to RAJ and his signings. Miguel…Could be an X-Factor, but I am not holding my breath.

    • David

      February 12, 2014 at 5:03 pm

      Given the market which seems to be crazy, I think signing Burnett for one year makes sense. If Hamels and Lee come up big and Burnett performs as he has done for the last few years with the Pirates, the Phillies might make a run. Provided, they solve several of their other weak spots.

  16. Ken Bland

    February 12, 2014 at 3:56 pm

    I’m interested to catch up on AJ’s reason for choosing the Phils. It’s more descript, even if left to some level of guesswork as to the Phils interest in him, but he’s not going where there’s a clear chance to win, and the park itself isn’t exactly one that screams friendly invites to pitchers on the whole. The greenback share seems pretty nice, that’s always some factor, but I wonder what told him to go Phils. As a fan, it’s pleasing news…how much…I dunno. Less than jump up and down material, more than many recent acquisitions.

    It’s a silver lining of sorts about Cole. Narrow perspective as it is, and negating the more important big picture playoff chase, this takes any debate out of Hamels or Lee OD in Texas. OD, tremendous day that it is, is maybe more festive than most places in Texas,and it should be cool to see Cliff battle his ex mates in that atmosphere. My sense is he K’s 12 that day.

    • David

      February 12, 2014 at 5:04 pm

      What were A.J.’s reasons for choosing the Phillies? They pay better than the Orioles and the Pirates.

  17. The Original Chuck P

    February 12, 2014 at 4:04 pm

    This is a good low-risk/high-reward signing… part of me wonders if Hamels’ bicep tendinitis was exaggerated to force Rube’s hand. Maybe that’s wishful thinking…

    In this case, the devil we know is not as bad as the devil we don’t know – we know that if we were forced to go with Kyle Kendrick as our #3 starter, we might as well go into full rebuild mode. With Burnett as our #3, you start looking around – our rotation with Lee, Hamels and Burnett as a #3 is not too shabby. The Braves will roll out Medlen, Minor and Teheran… ehh. Most people (myself included) would point to the Nationals with Strasburg, Gonzalez and Zimmerman BUT if you look at WAR totals and subscribe to that stuff, our top three posted a 13.6 WAR compared to the Nationals at 9.8… not even close… and who knows what they get out of MAG. Of course, this is predicated upon Hamels being able to go sometime in April. I guess I’m just happy that we have something to hang our hat on… had to bolster the rotation and now we have to hope that a lot of our “ifs” come to fruition.

  18. Jay

    February 12, 2014 at 4:08 pm

    I agree- it’s a good signing and I can’t believe he did not want 2 yrs but hopefully Hamels is better by April like he says…I hate how we find out about this development the first day they are to start throwing when it has been an issue since Thanksgiving

    • hk

      February 13, 2014 at 7:13 am

      Recent rumors are suggesting that there will be a 2nd year option – and it may be a player option.

  19. wbramh

    February 12, 2014 at 7:09 pm

    This is why there should be serious worry that we haven’t heard the worst of it about Cole Hamel’s tendonitis “rest.”

    “Biceps tendonitis usually occurs along with other shoulder problems. In most cases, there is also damage to the rotator cuff tendon.”

    Source: http://orthoinfo.aaos.org/topic.cfm?topic=a00026

    Anybody want to make odds on Hamels going under the knife by March 1st?

  20. Bruce

    February 12, 2014 at 11:48 pm

    The latest news about Hamels’ issue with his arm puts a damper on my enthusiam for the signing of Burnett. I think that Hamels’ setback gave Amaro a sense of urgency to go after Burnett and willing to pay $16 MILLION or more to get him. That tells me there is a great deal of uncertainty as to when (or if) Hamels will be ready to pitch anytime soon. Obviously, with no spring training prepareness and if he is able to recover the strength in his arm, he will need rehab time in the minors. *sigh*

    • hk

      February 13, 2014 at 7:19 am

      You may be right, but I see it differently. My take is that this ownership group (through Montgomery) would not increase payroll by $16M unless they felt that AJ would be a #3 starter who would help the team contend. I can’t see them getting the news that Hamels is going to miss significant time and saying, ‘Okay, let’s pay Burnett $16M in an effort to replace Hamels’s production” this year on what projects to be an ~80 win team. I can see them saying, ‘All reports are that Cole will start 30 games and adding AJ to a rotation fronted by Cliff and Cole could make us an ~85 win team, which with a little luck could put us in contention.’

      • photoFred

        February 13, 2014 at 11:59 am

        Exactly; I think this signing is evidence that Cole’s injury may actually be minor.
        Fingers crossed!

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