The Pittsburgh Pirates were still on A.J. Burnett until the very end but Burnett bolted western Pennsylvania for southeast Pennsylvania. CBS Sports' Jon Heyman reports the Pirates offered Burnett a $12 million deal but Burnett turned it down to accept the Phillies one-year, $16 million offer.
Pittsburgh declined to make a one-year, $14.1 million qualifying offer at the end of the season. Had the Pirates made the offer, they would've received draft pick compensation if Burnett signed elsewhere. The 37-year-old went 10-11 with a 3.30 ERA and a 1.21 WHIP with the Pirates in 2013. He had a great season for Pittsburgh in 2012 going 16-10 with a 3.51 ERA and a 1.24 WHIP. Burnett has won 10 or more games every year since 2005.
The Phillies need starting pitching help and Burnett should be able to provide some depth behind Cole Hamels and Cliff Lee. He has been a solid No. 3 starter for years and on a one-year deal it should benefit the team. The $16 million brings the Phillies right up against the $189 million luxury tax.
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