The Philadelphia Phillies have made another short-term move designed to bolster this year’s team for a possible playoff run.
GM Ruben Amaro signed AJ Burnett to a one-year, $16 million deal today, per the Philadelphia Inquirer. The Phillies were reportedly one of three teams in the hunt but it appears Amaro made him the best offer.
Burnett, who helped the Yankees win a World Series in 2009 over the Phillies, has spent his last two seasons with Pittsburgh, going 26-21 with a 3.40 ERA in that time. In his career, Burnett is 147-132 with a 3.99 ERA. He has performed much better since coming to the National League after two poor seasons with the Yankees in 2010 and 2011.
Burnett figures to be the third starter on a team that now features a lot of starting pitching depth. Although Cole Hamels will be missing his Opening Day start, he will be the first starter, former Cy Young winner Cliff Lee will be the second starter, and Burnett will slide into the 3rd spot. A workhorse who can keep the Phillies in many games this season, Burnett seems to be a good fit for this rotation. Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez, the Cuban pitcher the Phillies signed last year, will likely be the fourth starter.
Say what you will about their signings, it is clear the Phillies are willing to spend money to win.