The Philadelphia Phillies won the A.J. Burnett Sweepstakes in a two-team battle with the Baltimore Orioles over the then free agent in the offseason, and now it appears the Orioles are about to win Burnett back.
First, though, there is the not-so-minor matter of compensation and, for that, the Phillies should demand catcher Chance Sisco. The demand would not be an outrageous one because Sisco currently is not ranked in the top-10 prospects of the Orioles. Heck, he isn’t even the team’s top catching prospect (that honor goes to Michael Ohlmann, currently playing for the Orioles’ Class AA affiliate in Bowie, MD), but the Phillies do need a catcher for the future and Sisco would currently fit that bill.
Sisco is currently playing for the Orioles’ low Single-A affiliate in Delmarva, MD. He is hitting .352 with four home runs and 50 RBI in 76 games. Last year, he was the team’s second-round draft choice and No. 61 overall in the June MLB draft. He was immediately sent to the Gulf Coast (FL) rookie league, where he hit .371.
For their part, the Phillies know Carlos Ruiz is getting up there and probably has no more than two good years left. Ruiz currently is in rehab from a concussion and his absence demonstrated the need for the team to restock its farm system from the catching position since none of the Phillies’ farmhands have the kind of hitting pedigree that Sisco has. Sisco can go to Double A next year, Triple A in 2015 and be ready for the big club in 2016.
Burnett can help the Orioles in their drive for the postseason. The Phillies should hold out for Sisco or tell them that Burnett is off the table.