Burnett Not Pushing For A Trade

A.J. BurnettChanges are almost certainly coming for the Phillies.

A franchise-record payroll has not translated into postseason contention this year. The Phillies reached the All-Star break today with a 42-53 (.442) record, their second-lowest winning percentage at the break since 1997, when they went 24-61 (.282).

Jonathan Papelbon made it perfectly clear last week that he would like to play on a contending team, and his limited no-trade clause will be no obstacle for the Phillies. If he can play for a winner, he will happily go.

“Some guys want to stay on a losing team?” he said. “That’s mind-boggling to me.”

Chase Utley, Jimmy Rollins and Cole Hamels have said they have no desire to leave Philadelphia, although each has acknowledged in some way that things can change. The Seattle Times reported today that the Mariners have had serious discussions with the Phillies about Marlon Byrd, who it said was willing to waive his limited no-trade clause. CSNPhilly.com reported last week that he had the Mariners, Royals, Blue Jays and Rays on a four-team no-trade list.

A.J. Burnett also has a limited no-trade clause. He should have value to a contending team needing starting pitching help. He is 6-8 with a 3.83 ERA in 20 starts this season, including a 2.94 ERA in his past seven starts.

“I signed here to play here,” Burnett told a reporter after Sunday’s 10-3 loss to the Nationals. “I’m not a guy who looks for an out or wants to get out because things aren’t going the right way. If that happens, then it happens, but I’m not looking to move on. This is my team. I understand how things work, but I’m trying not to worry about it. I just try to go about my business and enjoy my teammates.”

So Burnett doesn’t know what he would say if Ruben Amaro Jr. approached him about a trade?

“I have no clue what I would say,” he said.

No clue at all?

“I guess it depends on what he says,” he said. “I wouldn’t know until it’s brought to me.”

A lot might be brought to Phillies players before the July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline. Papelbon has said he would go. Cliff Lee, who rejoins the rotation July 21, has said in the past he wants to play for a winner. Byrd is unlikely to stand in the way of a trade. Burnett sounds open to it, though he isn’t campaigning for it, either.

4 Comments

Pingback: Unlike Jonathan Papelbon, A.J. Burnett wants to stay with the Phillies | HardballTalk

When Lee said he wanted to play for a winner, the local media went ballistic with their inferences that he was asking to be traded. However, at the All Star Game shortly thereafter, Lee can be seen on video, in his own words with his own mouth stating he wants to finish his career with the Phillies. Maybe I missed it, but I didn’t see a single mention of that from any Philadelphia reporter. I’m not saying Lee wouldn’t agree to a trade, I just find it interesting how these supposed “journalists” pick and choose what they report.

Trade all assets that are above 27 years of age. If Phillies got to eat big chunks of money on contracts, so be it. Time to make a change.

That means trading Utley, Hamels and every other good player.

The longer Amaro is allowed to prolong this torturous “in-between” where Phillies neither contend nor rebuild, the longer it will take until Phillies are good again.

TRADE PAPLEBON REVERE & KENDRICK TO DODGERS FOR MATT KEMP

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