There was some ballyhoo this past July, around the trade deadline, that the Phillies had interest in trading for Blue Jays starter A.J. Burnett to shore up their rotation. Obviously, they went in another direction with Joe Blanton, but now Burnett and the Phils seem to be engaged in courtship of the free agent kind.
Burnett’s arrival in Philly is unlikely. GM Ruben Amaro has said that talks won’t get very far if Burnett is looking for at least four guaranteed years in a deal. Who wouldn’t stammer at a demand like that? Keep in mind, Burnett has had just two seasons of 30+ starts – and one of 29 – in his 10-year career.
Though not as plagued by injury as Carl Pavano, his former Marlin teammate, Burnett still comes with an aura of doubt that is sure to make most GMs wary.
Don’t expect the Phils to be in any serious contention unless negotiations run into mid-December or later. His price needs to come down, and so do the length demands, before Burnett can be considered here.
Other teams known in pursuit: Yankees, Braves, Orioles, Red Sox
Update (8:50 p.m. eastern): Word has it that Burnett and his agent are only considering five-year offers.
Just a sec.
Ok, I’m cool.