A.J. Burnett not returning to Philadelphia Phillies


Sep 21, 2014; Oakland, CA, USA;Philadelphia Phillies starting pitcher A.J. Burnett (34) comes out of the game during the fifth inning against the Oakland Athletics at O.co Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Bob Stanton-USA TODAY Sports

Veteran starting pitcher A.J. Burnett has turned down $12.75 million and will not return to the Philadelphia Phillies in 2015.

Monday the team announced Burnett would not be back in the starting rotation for next season, just a few days after both sides did not agree on a $15 million mutual option.  The Phillies’ official website reports the club gave Burnett a $1 million buyout since it declined the mutual option.

The Phillies now have much more money to play with on the free-agent market and perhaps the chemistry of the team can improve without Burnett in the clubhouse.  The team’s official website also reports there were claims that Burnett did not always get along with everyone in the organization, namely pitching coach Bob McClure.

Burnett, who turns 38 in January, went 8-18 in his lone season with the Phillies.  He finished with a 4.59 ERA and had control issues throughout the season, as evident by his Major League-leading 96 walks.

Even though he is seasoned and coming off a down year, retirement does not look to be on Burnett’s mind just yet.  According to Fox Sports’ Ken Rosenthal, Burnett is looking to win again.

The Phillies, who don’t expect to be contenders until about 2017, now have more monetary wiggle room.  They could also save the money that would’ve gone to Burnett in the player option and simply wait on prospects like Aaron Nola, should that be a fitting scenario.