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The Nationals could be a late suitor for A.J. Burnett

Feb 7, 2014, 9:55 PM EDT

A.J. Burnett Getty Getty Images

With spring training inching ever closer, the A.J. Burnett sweepstakes gathers more and more intrigue. The Phillies are reportedly very unlikely to land the right-hander, leaving the Pirates and Orioles as the most likely suitors. But as Jon Heyman of CBS Sports suggests, the Nationals could emerge as a late suitor:

Though a person with a Nats connection suggested they’d “most likely” stick with their current rotation unless a “value” materialized, Washington should never be counted out of the mix for another starting pitcher. As Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post pointed out recently, the Nats are known for making late-winter acquisitions.

Burnett says he prefers to stay close to his home in Maryland, which limits his list of potential destinations to four teams, essentially. Nationals Park is only a 75-minute drive away from his home in Monkton, Maryland according to Google Maps.

  1. natstowngreg - Feb 7, 2014 at 10:55 PM

    Not to rule anything out, but it’s hard to see Burnett going to the Nats. Rizzo might not be willing to offer what the market will bear for his 5th starter. Burnett might want to go somewhere in a bigger role than 5th starter (and get paid accordingly). Rizzo can offer the chance to pitch for a contender. So can the Pirates, and they can offer a bigger role–as he had for them last season.

    • apkyletexas - Feb 8, 2014 at 12:21 AM

      He clearly wouldn’t be the #1 or #2 starter in Pittsburgh anymore, so I would disagree that the Pirates can offer him a big role again.

  2. musketmaniac - Feb 7, 2014 at 11:01 PM

    No pressure not having to be the ace. two young pitchers to tutor. And the best checkbook of all suitors

  3. kyleshabram - Feb 7, 2014 at 11:38 PM

    Strasburg, Gio, Fister, Zimmerman, AND Burnett. That would make their rotation SICK.

  4. chucknorrissinspiration - Feb 7, 2014 at 11:57 PM

    He’s a 37 year old lifetime .500 pitcher…no thanks from Nats country.

  5. musketmaniac - Feb 7, 2014 at 11:58 PM

    should point out that as good as Washington rotation is now, young strong. A..j would be the only guarantee to go 200 innings

    • yahmule - Feb 8, 2014 at 11:51 AM

      Because he’s done it once in the last four seasons?

      • beachnbaseball - Feb 8, 2014 at 12:35 PM

        He did 393.1 IP for the Pirates over the last 2 seasons. Before that, with the NYY, he went 207, 186 and 190 IP in his 3 years there. The guy is durable. Washington is close to home; it’s not the AL East; and he has a better shot of post season play than if he was to sign with Baltimore.

    • emdash01 - Feb 8, 2014 at 1:27 PM

      No pitcher in all the world is guaranteed to pitch 200 innings. But Zimmermann got to 213 last year, Fister to 208, and Gonzalez to 195, and even Strasburg with his occasional small injuries to 183. Those are all pretty solid in the modern environment.

  6. Old Gator - Feb 8, 2014 at 9:43 AM

    Based on that quote, Bill, it doesn’t really sound like the Gnats are especially interested in AJ after all. The one anonymous source with a Gnats “connection” (which could mean she’s a concessionaire or the hostess at the lost and found booth, for all we know) says that the team probably won’t be interested “unless a value develops,” which could also mean just about anything and nothing.

    • dirtyharry1971 - Feb 8, 2014 at 12:29 PM

      Go back to bed

      • Old Gator - Feb 8, 2014 at 1:13 PM

        Keep shoveling – once the spring thaw sets in, you have a couple of hundred of hectares to spread.

  7. musketmaniac - Feb 8, 2014 at 4:18 PM

    agreed, there is never a guarantee. However A.j would be the safe bet

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