Phillies Need Burnett

burnettSo it seems the Phillies are interested in A.J. Burnett.

They should be, and if the price is right they should jump on it.

Here is the thing: the Phillies already have committed hundreds of millions of dollars to players like Ryan Howard, Cole Hamels, Cliff Lee, Chase Utley, Jimmy Rollins, Jonathan Papelbon and Carlos Ruiz. You spend that kind of money because you expect to win and fill seats at Citizens Bank Park. But this rotation has question marks following Hamels and Lee. Kyle Kendrick had a 3.22 ERA after his first 13 starts last season, but posted a 6.45 ERA in his final 14 before finishing the season on the disabled list. They certainly need the first half Kendrick to return, or at least something close to it. The Phillies signed Roberto Hernandez to a one-year, $4.5 million deal, but he has a 5.19 ERA over 67 appearances (59 starts) the past three seasons. He pitched so poorly last year the Rays bumped him from the rotation to the bullpen, but at the moment he is a lock for the rotation.

Hernandez was the Phillies’ most puzzling offseason move, in my opinion.

Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez and Jonathan Pettibone currently are the top two candidates for the No. 5 job. Gonzalez is a mystery. The Phillies and Gonzalez agreed to a $48 million deal in July, which meant Phillies scouts and executives believed he was at worst a No. 3 starter. But after an issue with his physical he signed a $12 million deal. And ever since then the Phillies have hit the brakes on any expectations for him. From $48 million to $12 million to competing with Pettibone, Ethan Martin and Chad Gaudin for the fifth spot. He is a huge wild card.

But back to Burnett. If the Phillies have committed hundreds of millions of dollars because they think they can win, why not bring in Burnett? Why not spend a little more? He would stabilize the rotation as a solid No. 3. Kendrick would fall behind him at No. 4, and then you can figure out the No. 5 spot with Hernandez, Gonzalez and Pettibone. The only reason not to pursue Burnett would be if the Phillies recognize they need numerous things to break exactly right to have a chance to win, therefore consider whatever Burnett might cost to be too much of a risk.

In other words, Burnett only makes a difference if A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H, I and J go right this season. And what are the chances of that happening?

But if the Phillies truly believe Howard is healthy and will be effective, Rollins will be more motivated and bounce back, Papelbon can be effective despite diminished stuff, etc., then Burnett will help. And they should get him into camp.

10 Comments

If they can get Burnett to sign a one year deal, it is a no-brainer.

They just need to get Roberto Hernandez to channel his inner Fausto Carmona, and all will be well.

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If the Phillies don’t make a flat out, serious run at Burnet, it calls into question Amaro’s assertion that this team has a shot at the playoffs. Everyone knows about the deal the Phillies signed with Comcast, so hiding behind excuses about money won’t work. Even with Burnett, Amaro’s job isn’t safe. but if Amaro doesn’t sign Burnett, he can start packing his bags.

Why do we still have Kendrick?

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We are back to the old Bill Giles days. Bring in some old timers, some broken down players, and some that some day might be a big leaguer and hope one pays off. I am afraid of Kendricks. He has been jerked around for years but something went terribly wrong at the end of last year. Does rest fix that? I hope so. Burnett looks like a good deal. I mean they gave 12 million to a guy that had problems with his physical and hasn’t pitched in two years and never in the majors. Sounds like they threw away 12 mil. They need some good scouts.

Ruben cuts Gonzalez contract from $48m to $12m and he won’t say why? All I ever here is he’s a mystery–what? Everybody acts like they don’t know a thing about this guy BS!!!!! What’s going on–why the sudden drastic drop in contract? Who does Ruben think he’s kidding? Gonzalez is NOT a mystery to him–why is he acting like this? As far as signing Burnett–Ruben is giving nothing but lip service–he can’t possibly believe we will be contenders with the current roster. The SP, as is, will be one of the,– if not THE worst in MLB–Ruben has to spend some $$$ or he can kiss attendence goodbye and we’ll be lucjy to finish ahead of the Marlins

Todd,
I would also add to the list Bronson Arroyo. I recall in 2013 that on 2 occasions he shut down the Phillies completely. I also recall that the Phillies usually lambasted AJ Burnett. Would you, could you, look up the records and inform, as my memory is not always accurate.

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