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The Phillies are “very much still in the running” to sign A.J. Burnett

Feb 10, 2014, 11:59 PM EDT

A.J. Burnett AP AP

Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro, Jr. indicated Friday that he didn’t expect to make any additions prior to spring training, but Todd Zolecki of MLB.com hears that the club is “very much still in the running” to sign free agent right-hander A.J. Burnett.

While it’s unclear if the two sides are close to a deal, Zolecki writes that the chances have improved since Friday. The Pirates are seen as the main competition to sign the veteran right-hander, while the Orioles and the Nationals have also been mentioned as possibilities.

If signed, Burnett would give the Phillies a pretty impressive trio along with Cliff Lee and Cole Hamels. As of now, Kyle Kendrick is slated to be Philadelphia’s No. 3 starter, with Roberto Hernandez and either Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez or Jonathan Pettibone filling the final two spots.

Burnett, 37, had a 3.30 ERA and 209/67 K/BB ratio over 191 innings with the Pirates last season.

  1. toodrunktotastethischicken - Feb 11, 2014 at 12:02 AM

    Would love to see this happen, but would be curious to see what would happen with M.A.G since the rotation would be Hamels/Lee/Burnett/Kendrick/Hernandez

    • AlmostForty - Feb 11, 2014 at 12:23 AM

      Bullpen. Maybe you put him in AAA to give him some innings and see what you have. It’s a good problem to have provided they actually get this done.

    • paperlions - Feb 11, 2014 at 8:17 AM

      Every team needs more than 5 starters over the coarse of a season….and it isn’t like Kendrick or Hernandez are actually good reliable options (especially Hernandez, who has mostly been horrible the last several years).

    • gothapotamus90210 - Feb 11, 2014 at 8:23 AM

      Is the MAG deal like Cepedes, in that after the 3 years he’s a free agent (or 4 with option year), or will the Phillies have him for arbitration years as well? If they have him under control for 6 years, it makes sense to delay his service time.

  2. hisgirlgotburrelled - Feb 11, 2014 at 10:04 AM

    With Gonzalez, Amaro plainly said “we don’t know what we’re going to get.” Roberto Hernandez should not be a starting pitcher in the Majors. Then there’s Pettibone and Biddle. They’re real short on options at SP.

  3. apkyletexas - Feb 11, 2014 at 1:40 PM

    Not sure why the Pirates are continuing to pursue him. With Liriano and Cole in the lineup, AJ would be battling with Wandy to be the #3 or #4 starter in the rotation, but he’s clearly wanting #1 or #2 starter money (relatively speaking for Pittsburgh).

    • Reflex - Feb 11, 2014 at 3:20 PM

      Because as you always point out, the Pirates develop talent the ‘right way’ so that they never ever get injured even a decade after their debut, unlike the horrible mistakes the M’s made with Griffey’s development that obviously led to him being injury prone 12 years after his debut. Obviously signing AJ would help them achieve the goal of developing their talent the ‘right way’ by keeping them in the minors longer.

      (for those who do not know what I’m doing here, read this guy’s ignorant posting history)

      • apkyletexas - Feb 11, 2014 at 8:49 PM

        Ken Griffey? He was never injury prone. I watched him come to Three Rivers Stadium many times with the Big Red machine to play the Pirates in the 70′s – he was always able to play.

        Now, his reckless son on the other hand, not so lucky… Could have been the greatest ever, but crashed into too many walls and tore himself up too many times on the basepaths and sliding in the outfield. Instead, we are stuck with that idiot Barry Bonds holding all those records.

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