By Michael Terrill @MichaelTerrill on July 22, 2014
Since A.J. Burnett has a partial no-trade clause, many believe he will be sticking it out with the Philadelphia Phillies this season. However, there has been some serious interest in the right-hander over the past couple of weeks. Even though Burnett has stated he would prefer to stay with the Phillies, he’s also open to the idea of a trade if it’s a right fit for him. Here’s a look at the top five landing spots for Burnett at the deadline.
The Boston Red Sox are looking to add a starting pitcher to their rotation. The main concern is how serious they are about doing so. There’s speculation that the only reason the Red Sox are putting word out there that they want an additional starter is to re-ignite contract talks with ace Jon Lester. Nonetheless, names like Burnett and Cole Hamels have been thrown around.
The New York Yankees seemed to cool off on the idea of a reunion with Burnett. However, the team is definitely in the market for a starting pitcher. In fact, they are determined to land one prior to the trade deadline. If Cliff Lee doesn’t pan out as expected, the Yankees may just settle for Burnett with the hope that he can return to his stellar self and give them a spark down the stretch.
Like the Yankees, the Toronto Blue Jays’ interest in Burnett has been somewhat of a rollercoaster ride. There are times when they appeared eager to acquire him, and then there are other times in which they seem content with what they have. Regardless, the Blue Jays would like to add a starter to the rotation so that they can stay competitive in the AL East. Along with Burnett, Lee is someone they have kept an eye on.
Many were surprised to see Burnett sign with the Phillies in the offseason instead of sticking with the Pittsburgh Pirates, a team that has a better shot to contend. It would certainly be something if Burnett ended back with the Pirates as the organization is interested in bringing him back. Pittsburgh is clearly the best place for Burnett as this point if he does get traded. The Pirates scouted Burnett’s last start.
It’s really a tie between the Baltimore Orioles and Pirates as far as interest in Burnett is concerned. At this moment in time, the Orioles appear to be further along in discussions with the Phillies, which is why they are the favorites to land Burnett at the deadline. The reason why I believe this trade could actually happen is because Baltimore had interest in Burnett in the offseason before he inked a deal with Philadelphia.
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