Jul 4, 2014; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Pirates assistant to the general manager Jim Benedict (L) greets Philadelphia Phillies starting pitcher A.J. Burnett (R) at PNC Park. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
A.J. Burnett‘s lone season with the Philadelphia Phillies has many believing his best days are certainly behind him.
Although Burnett didn’t exactly prove himself worthy of the money he made with the Phillies, he did prove that money doesn’t buy happiness.
The veteran right-hander turned down his $12.75 million player option to become a free agent. It didn’t take long to find out he’d be staying in Pennsylvania. The Pittsburgh Pirates signed Burnett to an $8.5 million, one-year deal.
Clearly Burnett wanted to pitch for a contender in the twilight of his career, but as FOX’s Howard Eskin reports, chemistry was an issue in Philadelphia:
Burnett has plenty of Pirates fans excited for his return, but Burnett may have been anticipating said return when he was still with the Phillies.
For the Phillies, Burnett declining his option is a chance to explore other pitching options and clear out some negativity in the clubhouse. Not to mention, they’ve got more money to play with.