It’s officially time to move on.
The saga between the Pittsburgh Pirates and free-agent starting pitcher A.J. Burnett finally came to a close Wednesday afternoon when the veteran inked a one-year deal with the Philadelphia Phillies.
That news comes according to Jim Salisbury of CSNPhilly.com.
Phillies have a one year deal with Burnett, source confirms.
— Jim Salisbury (@JSalisburyCSN) February 12, 2014
According to a local television report from A.J. Burnett’s hometown in Arkansas, the Phillies have signed the right hander to a one-year, $16 million deal, although that has yet to be confirmed.
Burnett was outstanding in his two years in a Pirates uniform, winning 26 games, pitching to a 3.41 ERA while being an innings-eater, hurling 393.1 frames over his two years in Pittsburgh. His ground-ball rate also soared to 56.7 percent in that two-year span.
After being acquired from the New York Yankees, Burnett was a major factor in the Pirates’ turnaround, but tension mounted between Burnett and the organization toward the end of the 2013 season and continued into the offseason.
Burnett once stated he would either come back to the Pirates or retire, but ultimately the Pirates couldn’t make that happen. His line of thinking likely changed when Pittsburgh declined to make him a $14.1 million qualifying offer and then reportedly only offered him $8.5 million to return.
Burnett will be missed both on and off the field, but as for his new team, give Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro a lot of credit for getting a deal done that very few would have envisioned early in the offseason.