|2014 Chachi Transactions #18|
The move instantly makes the Phillies a better team. But just how much better remains to be seen. Burnett, 37, will be entering his 16th season in 2014 and his best season was back in 2008 when he went 18-10 with 231 strikeouts and a 4.07 ERA for the Blue Jays. With the Yankees, he started two games against the Phillies in the 2009 World Series. He pitched the Yankees to a Game 2 victory, but the Phillies knocked him out after just two innings in Game 5. He's spent the last two seasons with the Pirates and he went 10-11 last season with a 3.30 ERA.
Manager Ryne Sandberg was particularly excited about the signing:
Ryne Sandberg, on A.J. Burnett: "He’s the belated Christmas present and Valentine’s Day present that I've been waiting for. "Burnett has worn #34 since the 2002 season with the Marlins, and he'll assume that number with the Phillies in 2014. This in spite of the number originally being unofficially set aside for the season to honor the recently retired Roy Halladay. Lefty reliever Joe Savery was designated for assignment to make room for Burnett on the 40-man roster. I would hope to see Savery to be back in camp shortly as a non-roster invitee.
— Todd Zolecki (@ToddZolecki) February 16, 2014
Here's the latest list of offseason moves, and I'd have to think this list is pretty much complete at this point. Let's play some ball!
Wil Nieves (12/5/13) - Signed as a free agent formerly with the Arizona Diamondbacks.
Kevin Munson (12/12/13) - Selected in the Rule 5 draft from the Arizona Diamondacks.
Roberto Hernandez (12/18/13) - Signed as a free agent formerly with the Tampa Bay Rays.
A.J. Burnett (2/16/14) - Signed as a free agent formerly with the Pittsburgh Pirates