Report: Phillies “Very Much in Running” for Burnett – Phillies Nation

Report: Phillies “Very Much in Running” for Burnett

According to a report from Todd Zolecki, the Phillies are still “very much in the running” for right-hander A.J. Burnett. Exactly one week ago, it was reported that the Phillies were in a three-team race with the Baltimore Orioles and Pittsburgh Pirates to acquire the services of the veteran pitcher. Just a few days ago, Jim Salisbury reported that Ruben Amaro Jr. was content on going into Spring Training with what the team had, stating the team was still looking for potential bargains but would be fine going into camp with what they had. According to Zolecki, it looks like those plans have changed.

Analysis: Burnett would be an instant upgrade to a Phillies rotation full of question marks. Beyond Cole Hamels and Cliff Lee, the Phillies have a number of question marks, including Kyle Kendrick, Robert Hernandez, Jonathan Pettibone, and Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez. Burnett is one of the few remaining impact players left this late in the offseason.




  1. Rick Sanson

    February 10, 2014 at 11:52 pm

    Do we really need another aging veteran pitcher?

    • raltongo

      February 11, 2014 at 3:03 pm

      the farm system doesn’t exactly have much to offer alternatively…Personally, I’d like Ubaldo Jimenez on a multi-year deal, particularly because his value is dropping below what his actual value on the field will be and he’s only 30…

  2. Ron Cori

    February 11, 2014 at 12:06 am

    Are you sure it is not Carol Burnett?

  3. Bruce

    February 11, 2014 at 12:06 am

    I’m all for signing Burnett although he would be very expensive ($17 million for one year?). Pluis he is 37 years which should eliminate any idea of a multi-year contract.

    This is the direction and approach I wanted the Phillies to take prior to 2014. After all, as mentioned,by PN’s Ian Riccaboni, there are more question marks in pitching (particularly in starting rotation) than any where else on the team.

    If the Phillies are unable to get Burnett, why not go for a low cost (minor league deal?) gamble to sign Roy Oswalt if available as free agent? I know he has had health problems (back and elbow) in recent years but if he can pass a physical test and does well in spring training, it would be nice to welcome him back.

    • George

      February 11, 2014 at 1:19 pm

      Oswalt announced today that he is retiring.

      They probably should take a gamble on someone, though. They don’t have any real rotation depth.

  4. Rob 311

    February 11, 2014 at 12:16 am

    This means Mag will not be a starter.

    • raltongo

      February 11, 2014 at 3:06 pm

      not necessarily…if MAG outperforms Hernandez in Spring Training, which is well within the realm of possibility, then Hernandez will likely open the season as the 6th starter/long man…signing Burnett is a depth move

  5. bacardipr

    February 11, 2014 at 12:18 am

    Much prefer on a 1 year deal. Though i know he’ll get the 2 so thats probably out the question.

  6. Abel Ruiz

    February 11, 2014 at 5:16 am

    If they can get him for a one year deal with some kinda team option for the next year that would be great and if the phillies is out of it by the dead line he could be good trade bait

  7. Lefty

    February 11, 2014 at 5:30 am

    I don’t really believe the Phils are a contender this season considering the level of the competition in the NL. Dodgers, Nationals, Braves, Cardinals, Giants, Dbacks. Pirates, Reds- All have made major moves or were playoff teams the last two seasons, it just looks overwhelming. Even the young Mets and Marlins will be tough I think.

    But since the Phils think they are contenders, this move would make complete sense to me. As Ian stated, Burnett would be an instant upgrade and a strong number 3 for them. I am hopeful that I am wrong and they are right.

    • Chuck A.

      February 11, 2014 at 6:05 am

      BINGO, Lefty! I said last week that they should definitely make him a strong offer that he would have a hard time refusing. Like I said, Ruben has been trying to convince us all offseason that the Phillies are contenders. Well, there is no way they even come close to that if they go into it with a rotation of Hamels, Lee and 3 question marks. Ruben is banking on this core having one last gasp…and we all doubt him. Ok…so give the core a boost by signing this guy. Maaaaaybe they scratch out a playoff spot by doing so. But they have no chance if they don’t.

      • raltongo

        February 11, 2014 at 3:11 pm

        Good point! and nice to see at least 1-2 other people who have some optimism!…even if its a very cautious optimism…Ruben thinks the team can contend, so you are exactly right, you would think he should add another NAME guy to complete a 1-2-3 rotation at least…I personally think this offense has one more run this year, just need another pitcher…Burnett on a 1-year deal or jimenez on a multiyear deal…get it done, Ruben!

    • Mike B

      February 11, 2014 at 10:17 am

      Exactly. If RAJ thinks this team has a chance of contending (and it does, IF a lot of things go right), this is exactly the type of move he should be making. Burnett came pretty close to retiring; I doubt he’ll want more than one year, maybe plus a mutual option. A short deal doesn’t hamstring them in the future, and he is a solid #3.

  8. Manny

    February 11, 2014 at 6:44 am

    DO IT ALREADY. Our rotation is very mediocre as it stands (think of how dreadful it could get watching roughly half of the games).

    • Manny

      February 11, 2014 at 6:45 am

      This move could also “save” our bullpen…

  9. Rabbi

    February 11, 2014 at 3:01 pm

    Some pitchers “figure it out” later in their careers. It appears Burnett has done that, both with his high ground ball percentage and his high K-per-9-innings numbers. Strikeouts and ground balls play well in CBP. Yes, signing him to 2 years would probably be the case, and it will allow both Gonzalez and Pettibone a year to develop more in 2014. The thinking is they will be ready in 2015, when Kendrick’s and Hernandez’s contracts expire and won’t be re-signed. By next year, Biddle should also be in the mix for the #4 and #5 slots in the rotation. After Burnett’s 2-year deal expires in 2015, it’ll finally be the time for MAG, Pettibone and Biddle to be slotted into the rotation.

  10. Mike in NJ

    February 11, 2014 at 4:14 pm

    I don’t think this is a playoff caliber rotation as it stands. KK is *not* a number 3, Hernandez stinks, and Gonzalez is a total unknown. If they don’t sign AJ, they better find *someone* that is a legit number 3, or 40%+ of the games are going to be unwatchable

  11. Abel Ruiz

    February 11, 2014 at 6:12 pm

    If they do pick him up i think kk goes back to pen let the young guy battle for the last two spots

  12. David

    February 11, 2014 at 11:33 pm

    I guess its worth a shot. It’s not my money. Burnett was great last year for the Pirates. I think the Phillies can pay him more. The big problem for the Phillies is what do you do if you don’t get A.J. Burnett. Yes, he is old. But maybe he has another year or two left in him.

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