Updates from Tuesday, July 22
Jerry Crasnick of ESPN reports on the teams that A.J. Burnett could be traded to without consent:
The Philadelphia Phillies signed right-hander A.J. Burnett to a one-year deal worth $16 million in guaranteed money over the spring, but the pitcher hasn't quite lived up to expectations.
In 21 starts this season, Burnett has a 6-9 record, an ERA of 4.08 and a 1.36 WHIP, allowing 128 hits and 70 runs while striking out 113 batters. Needless to say, he hasn't been able to replicate the success he had with the Pittsburgh Pirates in 2013.
Despite some struggles this year, Burnett has still garnered the interest of contending teams looking to bolster their rotations before the July 31 trade deadline.
According to a tweet from Jon Morosi of Fox Sports, the Baltimore Orioles are one such team:
Phillies and Orioles have had very preliminary talks on a trade that would send A.J. Burnett to Baltimore, sources tell @FOXSports1.— Jon Morosi (@jonmorosi) July 19, 2014
Even though the Orioles currently boast a 53-43 record and hold the top spot in the AL East, the team's total 3.85 ERA is only good enough to rank 17th in the majors.
Baltimore appears to be strongly considering adding Burnett, as Morosi tweeted initial talks with the Phillies have already begun:
No substantial progress made yet in the Orioles-Phillies talks on Burnett, but there has been initial dialogue, sources say.— Jon Morosi (@jonmorosi) July 19, 2014
It could be speculated that Burnett would welcome the move, as Mike Axisa of CBSSports.com notes the pitcher's wife is from Maryland and the couple live there during the offseason.
The New York Yankees find themselves with pitching issues due to a rash of injuries, and according to a report from George A. King of the New York Post, the team could consider filling the void with Burnett:
With Samardzija and Hammel off the market, trade options are slimmer. The Rays aren't likely to deal David Price within the AL East and Cliff Lee of the Phillies has to prove he is healthy. The Phillies would move A.J. Burnett, but the Yankees don't have a strong interest in bringing back the right-hander. With Samardzija and Hammel gone, the price on secondary starters such as Ian Kennedy likely has risen.
Jim Salisbury of CSNPhilly.com also weighed in with reports surrounding Burnett:
The Yankees and Blue Jays are both looking for starting pitching, but sources say they are cool on Burnett. Baltimore and Pittsburgh could be possibilities, but first there might have to be more movement on the starting pitching market as teams wait to see what happens with Lee and David Price.
That may be a long shot, as New York's interest doesn't seem to be elevated; however, it's certainly something to keep an eye on.
Burnett recently told Todd Zolecki of MLB.com that he's not looking to be traded anywhere this season:
I signed here to play here. 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.
The pitcher may end up having some say in the matter. According to Spotrac.com, he has a limited no-trade clause in his current contract. But, Burnett's fate may still be decided by which team ultimately pursues him.
As for the Phillies, the team currently holds a 43-54 record but isn't offloading players just for the sake of doing so. Philadelphia hasn't made an attempt to trade Cole Hamels, and Cliff Lee is still rehabbing from an elbow injury.
The Phillies hold a team ERA of 3.89, which is lower than several of the league's contending teams, and the team's future looks bright with prospects such as Jesse Biddle, Ethan Martin and Adam Morgan developing.