Jul 18, 2014; Atlanta, GA, USA; Philadelphia Phillies starting pitcher A.J. Burnett (34) throws a pitch against the Atlanta Braves in the second inning at Turner Field. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

AJ Burnett trade rumors: Royals, Phillies talking deal

The Kansas City Royals have spent a good portion of July scouting outfielders, but with such a high premium on sub-par talents, they’ve understandably backed off and refocused their energy elsewhere.

That energy is apparently been shifted to starting rotation help as according to Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports, the Kansas City Royals are in trade talks with the Philadelphia Phillies regarding pitcher AJ Burnett.

Why exactly the Royals have interest in Burnett is unknown considering he’s likely to struggle more in the tough American League and he comes with a gnarly $14.25 million dollar option for next season if he makes 32 starts, but they still seem to be intrigued with the aging veteran.

It’s previously been reported by Jayson Stark of ESPN that the Philadelphia Phillies are telling teams interested in AJ Burnett that the pitcher plans to retire at season end, but would you leave over $14 million dollars on the table? That would be the decision Burnett would be making if he does indeed make 32 starts and considering he’s already at 23, it’s a very obtainable goal.

Currently at 54-52, the Kansas City Royals only sit 5 games behind the American League Central leading Detroit Tigers and Burnett isn’t likely to cost much in the prospect department. So he’s certainly a worthwhile addition if he doesn’t make his required 32 starts for his 2015 option to kick in, but he’s best to be avoided if you plan on having him make nine more starts.

Could it be that the Royals would eventually move AJ Burnett to the bullpen to avoid such, assuming they were to acquire him?

Tags: A.J. Burnett Kansas City Royals Philadelphia Phillies

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