During the past offseason, few players were in higher demand than A.J. Burnett. The starting pitcher was coveted by a handful of teams who seemed more than happy to wait for the 36-year-old to make a decision about potential retirement. But Burnett took far longer than anybody would have expected and teams eventually moved on.
That left the veteran arm to sign with the Philadelphia Phillies, a bit of an odd move considering the already elevated salary concerns within the organization. Still, alongside Cliff Lee and Cole Hamels, Burnett figured to be a solid third starter.
So far, that hasn’t worked out well and now the Phillies are said to be interested in trading A.J. Burnett and have had exploratory trade talks with the Baltimore Orioles, this according to Jon Morosi of Fox Sports.
The Baltimore Orioles along with Burnett’s former team, the Pittsburgh Pirates were the two franchises to show the most free agent interest in the veteran arm so it shouldn’t come as much of a shock that the Orioles remain intrigued with the pitcher.
Given his one-year contract whomever acquires Burnett (assuming he’s traded) isn’t likely to have to give up much in terms of prospects, especially if they find themselves on the hook for the remaining portion of his $16 million dollar salary.
There is an additional mutual/player option on Burnett’s deal for the 2015 season, so any acquiring team could keep him for an additional season if they so inclined. However, given his average (at best) play, that seems questionable right now.
A.J. Burnett currently holds a 4.08 ERA through 21 starts.