Philadelphia Phillies Rumors: Once Hot for A.J. Burnett, Team Seems to Have Backed Off

By Mike Gibson
Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

When it comes to sticking his toe in the free agent pool this offseason, Ruben Amaro acts like the water is in Antarctica.

The water is either too cold or the Philadelphia Phillies GM is worried about hypothermia, but Amaro always seems to back away. Such is the case in the latest rumors involving the Phillies and A.J. Burnett.

A week ago the Phillies were mentioned as “in the lead” for Burnett’s services, but now they seem to have fallen out of the picture replaced by a new leader: The Baltimore Orioles. It certainly makes sense. The Phillies — for some strange reason — have been reluctant to spend money on players this season after spending plenty of money on players for the last decade. For Burnett’s part, he lives in Maryland and signing with the Orioles would be more convenient.’s Peter Gammons tweeted that the Orioles are “all in” for Burnett. , Chalk it up as another disappointment for Phillies fans if Burnett goes to Baltimore.

Baltimore, like Philadelphia, enters this season with question marks in its rotation. Last year the Orioles ranked 12th in AL rotation ERA. Burnett would be a solid addition and answer a lot of questions for both teams. He had 209 strikeouts in 191 innings and had the second-highest ground ball ratio for MLB pitchers.

Yes, he is 37, but Amaro signed a 36-year-old in Marlon Byrd and a 40-year-old in Bobby Abreu. The difference, though, is both of those guys came cheap. Burnett won’t and that means the pool Amaro wants to dip his toe in is a wading one and not Olympic-sized.

Winning does not come cheap, and that’s a hard lesson that Amaro will probably learn come September. It is something Phillies fans probably already know.

Mike Gibson is a Phillies writer for Follow him on Twitter @papreps , “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google.

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