The Phillies are currently listening to offers for all of their players as the team sits at 43-57 and likely out of the playoff race. One pitcher on their staff will likely help a contender without mortgaging the future is A.J. Burnett. He had garnered interest from the Baltimore Orioles and another team is keeping a close eye on him as the July 31st trade deadline looms.
The Philadelphia Inquirer's Matt Gelb reports the Pittsburgh Pirates sent a scout, outside his normal coverage, the watch Burnett pitch Friday night in Atlanta. Gelb cites Burnett's positive impact on the young pitchers of the Pirates staff last season as a reason he is so attractive to Pittsburgh. It was earlier this month the Pirates first expressed interest in Burnett.
Burnett has a partial no-trade clause. He can be traded to the Orioles, Yankees, Red Sox, Pirates, Reds, Cardinals, Mets and Nationals without his permission according to Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.
Burnett, 37, has pitched well for the Phillies this season with a few rough outings skewing his numbers. Overall he is 6-9 with a 4.08 ERA and a 1.36 WHIP in 21 starts for the Phillies this season, his first in Philadelphia. Opponents are batting .244 off of him this year which is five points higher than his .239 career average.
A deal would not likely bring back major talent but it should help the Phillies minor league depth.
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