A.J. Burnett and the Philadelphia Phillies came to an agreement on a one-year, $16 Million contract on Wednesday January 12th, 2014. On the heels of one of Burnett's best seasons, the right-hander cashed out. Burnett's career numbers, 3.99 ERA, 1.315 WHIP, 8.3 K/9, 2.28 K/BB, are not that of an elite pitcher, which this contract suggests. In 2013, A.J. had career best marks with 3.30 ERA, 9.8 K/9 (which lead the league), and 3.12 K/BB.
Burnett's addition to Cole Hamels, Cliff Lee, Miguel Gonzalez and Kyle Kendrick make for one of the best starting rotation in baseball. The Phillies depth is amazing with having Roberto Hernandez, formally known as Fausto Carmona, and Jonathan Pettibone waits for the opportunity to jump in.
Burnett flirted with retirement this off-season. In the event he did not retire, the Pittsburg Pirates seemed to have the inside track to retain A.J. as he alluded to his enjoyment pitching in front of Pirate fans. The Pirates did offer their 2013 opening day starter $12 Million for one year. When Philadelphia offered 33% more, Burnett accepted. While the amount of the contract is questionable, Burnett has pitched 186+ innings each of the last six seasons. The Phillies fragile stuff, ace Cole Hamels will start the year on the disabled list, will welcome a workhorse like Burnett.
Written By: Nic Amanno
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