With spring training just two weeks away, most clubs have their expanded rosters set for the upcoming season. But good organizations are always looking to add more depth to their teams.
Ruben Amaro Jr. has made it very clear several times that he’s always looking to add veteran arms that can help the ball club.
As of now, starting pitcher A.J. Burnett remains a free agent.
Burnett expects to pitch in 2014; however, he intends to do so close to his home in Maryland.
The expected teams in on Burnett: Orioles, Rays, Phillies, and Pirates
Recent reports from Peter Gammons expect Baltimore to be “ALL-IN” for the righty.
The projected Starting rotation for the Phillies:
- Cole Hamels
- Cliff Lee
- Kyle Kendrick
- Roberto Hernandez
- Miguel Gonzalez/Jonathan Pettibone
[Although the updated depth chart on Phillies.com has Gonzalez listed as 3, Kendrick listed as 4, and Pettibone listed as 5. With no Hernandez in the rotation or bullpen.]
Ruben Amaro Jr. has to figure out a way to get this deal done. Burnett has the second-highest groundball rate in the majors over the past two seasons. With Citizens Bank Park being relatively known as a hitters park, Burnett is a no-brainer.
Sure he’s 37 years old but who cares? This team is already known as an older team. If they’re looking for one last parade from this core, then they need to put the best possible team out there on the field. There’s nothing to lose here. If Philadelphia can sign a one year deal they HAVE to pull the trigger. Burnett is a perfect piece to add to this rotation. Whether it’s for right-handed depth, or to split the two lefties if Ryne Sandberg decides to go that route. No matter, what he’s a proven vet who produces outs by missing bats and keeping the ball primarily on the ground.
If the team falls out of contention then they can trade him to Baltimore, even if its for a career minor-leaguer.
At least take the damn chance…