A.J. Burnett likely to return, Amaro says
Sep 15, 2014; San Diego, CA, USA; Philadelphia Phillies starting pitcher A.J. Burnett (34) stretches before the game against the San Diego Padres at Petco Park. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports
The Philadelphia Phillies may once again have veteran starting pitcher A.J. Burnett back in their rotation next season.
Amaro told the team’s MLB.com beat writer Todd Zolecki that he thinks Burnett will indeed take his $12.75 million player option to pitch in 2015. Burnett can decide on the multi-million dollar option up to five days after the World Series ends.
Last offseason the Phillies signed Burnett to a one-year $16 million deal with a $15 million mutual option for 2015. Given Burnett’s performance the team is not likely to agree to the mutual option, but he is still eligible to accept his player option to make a cool $12.75 million during the 2015 season.
In 34 starts, which tied a career high, Burnett lost 18 games which was also a career high. He also matched a career-high 109 earned runs for the third season in his career. His 96 walks were the most in the National League and just missed tying his career high by one.
Should he be able to replicate his workload next season and should the Phillies once again be out of contention for a playoff spot, it could benefit the club as they ready younger arms such as Aaron Nola.
The right-hander will turn 38 before Spring Training.