Pittsburgh Emerging as Front Runners for Burnett – Phillies Nation

Pittsburgh Emerging as Front Runners for Burnett

It is looking as though the Pittsburgh Pirates are emerging as a favorite to land Phillies starter A.J. Burnett. Ken Rosenthal of Foxsports.Com tweeted Tuesday that Burnett would prefer to return to Pittsburgh. Burnett, in his first year with the Phillies, pitched for the Pirates during the 2012, and 2013 seasons. Burnett had a great year in 2013 posting a 10-11 record with a 3.30 ERA. Those numbers helped land Burnett a $15 million dollar deal with the Phillies in the offseason.

Tom Gannam Associated Press

Tom Gannam Associated Press

Burnett’s tenure in Pittsburgh ended on a sour note. When Pirates manager Clint Hurdle elected to go with Gerrit Cole instead of Burnett for the series deciding game five NLDS game Burnett was said to have felt disrespected. The game five slight was one of the main reasons why Burnett chose to leave Pittsburgh and not resign. But the bad blood between Burnett and Pittsburgh is said to have been overblown.Rosenthal also said that while Burnett wants to rejoin the Buccos the feeling seems to be mutual with Pirates players lobbying the front office for his return. One snag in the deal could be, and stop me if you’ve heard this before, Burnett’s vesting option for 2015. Burnett has made 21 starts this season for the Phillies. At 24 starts his option would cost $8.5 million. At 27 starts that number gets bumped up to $10 million. At 30 starts it would be $11.75 million and his option would max out at $12.75 million if Burnett were to make 32 starts this season.

Burnett isn’t having the year the Phillies had hoped for this season. He currently has a 6-9 record with a 4.03 ERA. In his last start the righty got rocked, to the tune of six runs in five innings of work. It should be noted that Burnett is pitching through an inguinal hernia this season.

Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.Com tweeted Tuesday that Burnett has left the Pirates off his no trade list. Burnett, like fellow starter Cliff Lee, can reject a trade to 20 teams. Crasnick tweeted that the nine teams that can trade for Burnett without the righty’s permission are; Pirates, Red Sox, Orioles, Royals, Reds, Mets, Cardinals, Yankees, and Nationals. The Orioles are another team that are said to be in on Burnett.

The Pirates currently sit two and a half games out of the division lead, and two games out of a wild card spot. Pittsburgh could certainly use pitching help as their starters have a 3.92 staff ERA which ranks 16th in Major League Baseball. Burnett isn’t going to fetch a top prospect so if a deal does get done don’t expect to hear names like Josh Bell, Austin Meadows, or Reese McGuire.



  1. Frank

    July 22, 2014 at 3:34 pm

    Thoughts on if they could actually get a high upside guy like Jacobs jones?

  2. Double Trouble Del

    July 22, 2014 at 3:39 pm

    Unless Hamels is dealt none of the returning names will be recognizable.

  3. Andrew

    July 22, 2014 at 4:18 pm

    Sterling Marte? A contract they probably want to dump but might be useful for us.

    • Hogey's Role

      July 22, 2014 at 5:12 pm

      What?! are you crazy??

      Marte mccuthen and polanco will be together for a long time in Pittsburgh….

      We’d be lucky to pry josh Harrison away from them

    • Scotty Ingerton

      July 23, 2014 at 8:58 am

      They’re not looking to dump Marte. He’s one of the best young players in baseball.

      • Andrew

        July 23, 2014 at 12:02 pm

        I meant Jose Tabata. Totally botched that one.

      • Hogey's Role

        July 23, 2014 at 12:36 pm

        That’s better, Tabata and a lower level prospect for Burnett and some cash may work

  4. Tracey

    July 22, 2014 at 7:18 pm

    Gameday # ??

    Sandoval practically falls flat on his face running down the baseline and still gets a hit and an RBI. Gawd, we suck.

  5. Lefty

    July 22, 2014 at 7:23 pm

    New website “Phillies Trade Nation” Where we don’t actually care about the games anymore, they’re not important, just 24/7 trade rumors!

    • Tracey

      July 22, 2014 at 7:26 pm

      Yeah, pretty much. If there were a snowball’s chance in hell that a trade would make this team better, I might care. But all it’s going to do is take away any players worth watching. :^P

  6. Lefty

    July 22, 2014 at 7:25 pm

    The Panda is having a difficult time out there tonight. Thats the way to get it started Ben..

  7. Tracey

    July 22, 2014 at 7:26 pm

    Woo hoo! Phils got a hit!

  8. Tracey

    July 22, 2014 at 7:27 pm

    I got out of work late tonight and am following MLB Gameday on the bus home. But they showed video of Sandoval;s tumble.

  9. Tracey

    July 22, 2014 at 7:28 pm

    JRoll is showing a lot more patience at the plate, which is a good thing. Maybe now that he has the record, there is less pressure to get hits.

    • Lefty

      July 22, 2014 at 7:33 pm

      Honestly I thought he was being unusually patient before the record.

  10. Tracey

    July 22, 2014 at 7:31 pm


  11. Lefty

    July 22, 2014 at 7:32 pm

    1-1. That was an odd defense. Utley hit a sure double play ball but the second baseman had shifted way toward first.

    • Tracey

      July 22, 2014 at 7:35 pm

      I’ll be able to see it all at home soon… bus is almost to the parking lot. Back in 15.

  12. Tracey

    July 22, 2014 at 7:33 pm

    Ryan Howard, you are not…

  13. Lefty

    July 22, 2014 at 7:34 pm

    Howard on the other hand …

  14. Lefty

    July 22, 2014 at 7:36 pm

    Grady batting in the Dom spot huh?

  15. c. schreiber

    July 22, 2014 at 7:38 pm

    I see that the Ruffer is up so why is that KO, slow ass base clogger in the lineup and don’t say its because a right hander is pitching. Howard is the same Howard versus either side pitcher, except a tad worse versus leftys.

  16. Tracey

    July 22, 2014 at 8:01 pm

    Back now.

  17. Tracey

    July 22, 2014 at 8:04 pm

    ugh. Brown could have done that.

  18. Lefty

    July 22, 2014 at 8:09 pm

    Rupp is not having a good night at all. Horrible AB and a throw that some how got past both Rollins and Utley

  19. Double Trouble Del

    July 22, 2014 at 8:13 pm

    I haven’t really embraced the analyst Jamie Moyer but he’s right about the “comfortable” AB that Posey just enjoyed after starting 0-2. Ryan Howard on the other hand never has a comfortable AB with two strikes.

  20. Lefty

    July 22, 2014 at 8:17 pm

    3-0 take!!! You got to build the city one brick at a time I guess.

  21. Lefty

    July 22, 2014 at 8:19 pm

    Wow I think I would have swung at that, but I dont make thw big bucks. Good job

  22. Double Trouble Del

    July 22, 2014 at 8:20 pm

    Howard was so fooled on that pitch.

    • Lefty

      July 22, 2014 at 8:22 pm

      So was I and I think maybe the ump too. 🙂

  23. Double Trouble Del

    July 22, 2014 at 8:23 pm

    So much for the risp for tonight.

  24. Tracey

    July 22, 2014 at 8:26 pm


  25. Lefty

    July 22, 2014 at 8:36 pm

    Moyer is getting better. He just has to add more to keep TMAC from talking too much.

  26. Tracey

    July 22, 2014 at 8:43 pm


  27. Lefty

    July 22, 2014 at 8:44 pm

    Pence has really found a home in SF. They love him. And in watching some late night west coast games, he has been playing right field well too. Boy did Fausto hang that one.

  28. Tracey

    July 22, 2014 at 8:45 pm

    Asce is really doing some tremendous fielding

  29. Lefty

    July 22, 2014 at 8:45 pm

    Asche wants to be Brooks Robinson, wow.

  30. Lefty

    July 22, 2014 at 8:48 pm

    Giants announcers pointed out that Asche is not just making the glove plays but bouncing up very quickly to make the throw.

  31. Lefty

    July 22, 2014 at 8:52 pm

    The Giants announcers might be the most entertaining and informative in MLB. They are way better than our guys.

  32. Lefty

    July 22, 2014 at 8:53 pm

    Ben seems to like this pitcher

  33. Tracey

    July 22, 2014 at 8:53 pm

    WOO HOO~~~~

  34. Lefty

    July 22, 2014 at 8:54 pm

    As does Jimmy

  35. Tracey

    July 22, 2014 at 8:56 pm

    of course, I saw this back-and-forth in person last night. It didn’t end well for the Phils….

  36. Tracey

    July 22, 2014 at 8:59 pm

    WOW! Howard from 1st to home on one play? Amazing!

    • Lefty

      July 22, 2014 at 9:07 pm

      I cant remember the last time I saw that. Wow nice catch Byrd.

    • schmenkman

      July 22, 2014 at 9:47 pm

      Howard’s been on first when a double was hit 11 times this year, and it’s only the 2nd time he scored on the play.

      Others also bad at that this year:

      Adam LaRoche, scored from 1st on a double 2 out of 13 times
      Troy Tulowitzki, 2 of 12
      Casey McGehee, 1 of 9
      Adrian Gonzalez, 1 of 8
      Mike Morse, 1 of 8
      Carlos Ruiz, 1 of 8

  37. Tracey

    July 22, 2014 at 9:07 pm

    WOW!!!! Not bad for an old guy

  38. Lefty

    July 22, 2014 at 9:12 pm

    Time for AB to show off for the scouts.

    • Tracey

      July 22, 2014 at 9:20 pm

      Seriously, you’d think the chance to get out of here would bring out the best in our players…

      • schmenkman

        July 22, 2014 at 9:38 pm

        That assumes they all want out.

        It also assumes that if only they tried harder, they would do better.

        Both of those are dubious, IMO.

      • Tracey

        July 22, 2014 at 9:47 pm

        It’s called sarcasm, shenkman. Look it up.

        Seriously, save your stuff for the people who aren’t cheering fo the team night after night.

      • schmenkman

        July 22, 2014 at 9:57 pm

        That was sarcasm? Ok, I misread that — my bad.

  39. Tracey

    July 22, 2014 at 9:19 pm


  40. Lefty

    July 22, 2014 at 9:46 pm

    Giants batters are good at staying alive, working Giles hard.

  41. Tracey

    July 22, 2014 at 9:48 pm

    yeah, shame to see a chink in Giles’ armor.

  42. Lefty

    July 22, 2014 at 9:48 pm

    30 pitches and letting him pitch to the lefty. Hang in there Ken

  43. Tracey

    July 22, 2014 at 9:50 pm

    whew! still winning!

  44. Lefty

    July 22, 2014 at 9:50 pm

    Well done, heck of a battle for the kid that inning. Maybe he’s truly got closer potential.

  45. Lefty

    July 22, 2014 at 10:04 pm

    Here’s your guy Ruf, c schreiber, oops pitching change so maybe not.

    • Lefty

      July 22, 2014 at 10:05 pm

      Yup, they’re letting him hit.

  46. Lefty

    July 22, 2014 at 10:11 pm

    Another three hour game just entering the top of the 8th.

  47. Lefty

    July 22, 2014 at 10:41 pm


    • "Big Ed" Delahanty

      July 22, 2014 at 10:51 pm

      You said it, Lefty! Figures Buster “Ring Around the” Posey would homer of Papatool to tie it. One positive is that we hit and Chase, despite a costly error, won another Heart and Hustle award. Maybe Howard can use them as batting tees with Dom.

      Also, thanks to Ken Bland for recommending Doc’s twitter feed. It is awesome. Let’s win this marathon game.

  48. Lefty

    July 22, 2014 at 10:47 pm

    Great hustle there from Rollins. Come on Chase— yesss

  49. Lefty

    July 22, 2014 at 10:48 pm

    Fly ball Howard that’s all we need.

  50. Lefty

    July 22, 2014 at 10:50 pm

    Ugghh- alright lets end this Byrd

  51. "Big Ed" Delahanty

    July 22, 2014 at 10:56 pm

    Howard strikes out…again. This is where I feel that strikeouts hurt – in a situation just like this, although the Saber guys would argue the opposite. 180 million payroll for the Keystone Cops!

    • Hogey's Role

      July 22, 2014 at 11:10 pm

      Anything can happen with a ball in play… Strikeouts suck!! But teams pay big money for them, we pay Howard 25 million a year to strike out 200 times

  52. Lefty

    July 22, 2014 at 11:21 pm

    Dominic Brown, good AB .

  53. Andrew from waldorf

    July 22, 2014 at 11:50 pm

    Heard Howard may get released.

    I see no reason to have him.

    They aren’t wining this year or next and obviously the 10 million but out will be used in 2016.

    I was way ahead of the curve on him.
    I saw teams pitching to get to him back when many thought he was still a great hitter.

    It is just sad now.
    Openly intentionally walking to get to him.

    Give him his 35 million and move on.

    I don’t even dislike him at all.

    I blame almost all of the decline with the team on the front office and the ownership.

    Its not Howards fault.

    • Scotty Ingerton

      July 23, 2014 at 9:03 am

      They wish they could give him $35 million and move on. He’s actually guaranteed another $60 million after this season (25+25+10).

  54. bacardipr05

    July 23, 2014 at 5:02 am

    Andrew where did you hear that from. I thought that would be a possibility but I didnt think it would happen this year. Amaro will try and make excuses on how he was pressing too much or how he was or how his knees where bothering him or some other BS. I dont think Amaro is ready to say mea culpa i messed up big time just yet. Plus Howard provides a convenient escape for Amaro.

  55. Mike in NJ

    July 23, 2014 at 9:52 am

    Turned the game off after Posey’s homer, because I just knew it would end in a loss. Glad I didn’t stay 5 more innings to watch The human gas can Manship and his 6.65 ERA blow the game open.

  56. Jaron B

    July 23, 2014 at 10:56 am

    A lot of the rotation’s problems stem from lack of run support, resulting in the starters trying to do too much with their pitches like overly precise with location. Mental strain leading to unnecessary adjustments mechanically (i.e. pushing the ball to the plate more). I’m not too worried about the rotation’s near-4.0 ERA b/c the offense is more inconsistent… and a 4.0 ERA is an avg. of 2.5-3 runs per start per pitcher (5.1 IP on avg. per starter).

  57. Ken Bland

    July 23, 2014 at 11:04 am

    Sorry to do this to Pat Gillick, who, in about 20,000 baseball decisions could easily be referenced with lauded material, but this is Pat in April, 2010.

    “I think the thing is, you’ve got to get a player with the right attitude, the right makeup, the right work ethic, and I think [Howard] is that. I think he’s a guy who over the last two or three years has tried to improve himself defensively. He’s improved himself from his body standpoint. You look at his record. He’s played over 150 games a year. There are a lot of positive things there, but there’s always a chance when you sign somebody long term, you just can’t completely forecast into the future what’s going to happen. But I think he’s going to do everything he possibly can to earn this contract. I think it makes sense.”

    Oh well. By the mathematic interpretation of .300 Monty’s Baseball Management for Dummies, the Phils could still go 3 for 9, and be manning up to Monyman’s underlying rule of trade POWER.

  58. Ken Bland

    July 23, 2014 at 11:29 am

    Closing in on my 108th birthday, it’s in association with a feebling memory that I can’t quite pinpoint the exact time of Larry Bow’s remembered line on a then part of the staff MLB Network. It was probably after the Phils lost the 1st round to the Cards in 2011 in what “easily” could have been their 4th WS appearance in a row that perhaps Matt Vasgersian
    (it definitely starts with a V) asked the former Phil for an outlook on the Phils, after they lost, or perhaps before discussing the what ifs of if they lost..

    Bow’s reply was quicker than any throw he ever made to first base from deep in the hole. And that was quick, mind you. All of one word. D-I-S-A-S-T-E-R.

    We’re maybe 25-45% through only a rare equally disasterous sequence could present, to the extent that sports allows, but Bowa nailed that sucker with .400 hitting precision.

    But if you think Bowa’s call was GOOD, with respect to a still good supply of Big Piece moments AFTER the following, how’s this for foresight?

    Then, still, and always, one of the best blog types to ever stroll down Blog Alley.


  59. Ken Bland

    July 23, 2014 at 11:57 am

    Time to switch subjects.

    From how bad Ryan Howard currently is to when we might refer to him as The Baby Piece.

    I’m entertained by the constant reference to the 5 and 10 rights that pop up in many Chase Utley and Jimmy Shortstop stories. People saw this coming in advance, and they rightfully warned of it, citing pro trade ’em believers to take advantage of it before they became effective.

    The entertaining aspect of it is not only do nobody wonder who the 21 teams Howard has a no clause and wonder how scared the other teams might be that their GM might have an Amaro type moment and get talked into a deal, but here we are 5 FREAKING weeks from the now embarrassing point where Howard will be protected by same. You mean to tell me Howard has lasted THAT long with ONE team?

    The eventual Big Piece debuted with the Phils on 9/1/04. Guess what he did in his 1st at bat. Here’s a hint. The ball didn’t leave the park. Here’s another hint. Expect the expected.

    Like I said when Howard ripped a moon shot against the Cards in the ’11 playoffs. “Worth every penny” I couldn’t get the words out fast enough. I love having emotion as a fallback reason for some of the thoughts that go through the alleged human mind.

    • schmenkman

      July 23, 2014 at 1:11 pm

      As of Jan 2014, according to his bb-ref page, Howard only had 8 years and 145 days of service time, so if that’s what’s used for the 10 and 5 rights, he won’t reach it this year.

  60. Double Trouble Del

    July 23, 2014 at 1:11 pm

    We’re riding low on emotion/depression now regarding the outcome of last night’s game. I thought I had reached a point where game day activity in the form of bone-headed defense, inexplicable base running errors, poor plate approach and untimely pitching would no longer affect me. I was wrong, I still care, I’m still angry. Howard’s ABs last evening proved me wrong. That having been said, I do not understand the concept of simply releasing Howard and being on the hook for 60,000,000.00. This is even more questionable when you consider that there is not another player in the minor league organization that is capable of plating 100 or 80 or even 60 RBIs. The team is going to be bad with Howard or without him. I’d prefer to payoff the mortgage. Maybe he turns his career around, maybe they get a prospect or two for him when the salary demands become less significant.

    • Hogey's Role

      July 23, 2014 at 2:16 pm

      I believe there are a few guys in the organization that can plate 60-100 rbi’s just as sporadically and possibly less strike out prone for less money than Howard …..

      I do agree they would be just as bad with or without him however….

      I don’t really care to “pay off the mortgage” so to speak on him, if there are no takers no I would run him through waivers in August and if someone claims him then bye bye otherwise we are stuck with him and his contract…. Oh well, life goes on, another day another phillie loss…..

      Start the trades

      • Scotty Ingerton

        July 23, 2014 at 2:45 pm

        “Howard’s backers cite his RBI total, that he’s driven in 60 runs. Well, so have 17 other major-leaguers. And Howard has had more plate appearances this season with men on base than any player in baseball.

        In 224 of Howard’s plate appearances, one or more runners have been on base. He’s driven in just 14.8 percent of them. More than 175 players have a better rate of plating their baserunners.”


      • schmenkman

        July 23, 2014 at 2:50 pm

        Players with similar %’s of runners driven in:

        Pujols 14.6%
        Utley 14.0%
        Stanton 15.3%
        Ju Upton 13.5%
        Bautista 14.7%

      • Hogey's Role

        July 23, 2014 at 5:09 pm

        18.5 career war in 1275 games….. That’s it

    • Double Trouble Del

      July 23, 2014 at 2:59 pm

      The point is not rehash his foibles. The point is simply to suggest that there is no economic reason to release him, pay him and receive absolutely no return, when, in fact his contributions or lack thereof will not change the three year outlook for this team.

      • DavidE

        July 24, 2014 at 11:21 pm

        I think if the Phillies primarily use him as a pinch hitter and designated hitter in AL road games, he has some values. I think his legs are wearing down. Maybe play him 50 games a year at first base. The big problem is how much he is owed. But I think if you play him less, his production per at bat would improve. He did have some good stretches including where he hit homeruns in back to back games against DeGrom and Niese and he had that great series in the 5 game win streak against St. Louis and Atlanta.

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