Phillies Front-Runners for A.J. Burnett?
According to Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe "it’s really looking like a Baltimore-Philadelphia-Pittsburgh runoff" for the services of A.J. Burnett.
A.J. Burnett, RHP, free agent — We mentioned last week that the Orioles could be the wild card for Burnett because he lives in Baltimore. And it’s really looking like a Baltimore-Philadelphia-Pittsburgh runoff for his services. Landing Burnett would be a coup for the Orioles, who need a top pitcher to compete with the Red Sox, Rays, and Yankees. Of course, as in all things Orioles, it comes down to money. It also wouldn’t shock this reporter if the Yankees were trying to get Burnett back.
The 37-year-old right-hander recently decided that he's planning to return for a 16th season, and he has generated significant interest from around the league, but according to the report, it seems likely that Burnett will choose a team located closer to his home in Maryland. In fact, the Phillies could be aided by the fact that assistant GM Scott Proefrock is friends with Burnett and they live in the same neighborhood.
Furthermore, Burnett and Cliff Lee share an agent in Darek Braunecker.
Burnett, posted a 3.30 ERA, 1.215 WHIP and 209/67 K/BB ratio in 191 innings last year for the Pirates.