The Philadelphia Phillies seem more than happy to trade away aging starter A.J. Burnett, who they shockingly signed to a rather large contract this past offseason.
Attempting to pawn him off, there has been reported interest from both the Baltimore Orioles and Pittsburgh Pirates, though rumors recently came out suggesting the Orioles’ interest in AJ Burnett was exaggerated.
That leaves the Pittsburgh Pirates, who have interest in the starter despite the fact he left the franchise last year after he was unable to secure the contract he desired. What the Pittsburgh Pirates don’t have interest in is the player option on AJ Burnett’s contract for next season.
Unable to get confirmation that he won’t exercise the $14.25 million dollar clause, the Pittsburgh Pirates are said to be moving away from a deal for the starter.
Sources say talks between the Pirates and Phillies about an A.J. Burnett reunion in Pittsburgh are all but dead, largely because the Pirates have been unable to get assurances that Burnett won’t pick up his player option for next season, which could pay him as much as $14.25 million if he makes 32 starts.
Burnett has pitched decently for the Phillies this season and would likely benefit from a return to Pittsburgh where he was dominating at times last season. But with that price tag, it’s easy to see why a small market team like the Pirates would prefer to go in a different direction.
As for the Phillies, for now they appear to be stuck with the starter who has hinted at potential retirement, yet again.