What would it take to get A.J. Burnett?
July, 7, 2014
By Jim Bowden | ESPN Insider
AP Photo/Charlie NeibergallWe may see A.J. Burnett suiting up for a former team again by the end of this season.Over the course of July, Jim Bowden will be looking at a number of high-profile trade candidates and explain what it would take for certain clubs to acquire that player.
Player: A.J. Burnett | RHP | Philadelphia Phillies
Possible destinations: Pittsburgh Pirates, Baltimore Orioles, Cleveland Indians
Why? The Pirates' rotation has been given a boost of late by Vance Worley and Jeff Locke, and the team is hoping Francisco Liriano not only returns from the disabled list soon but is more like the Liriano of 2013 than the one with a 4.60 ERA this season. However, the Pirates would feel better about their rotation if they could add one more veteran starter for the stretch drive, and Burnett could fill that void without a huge return. Burnett was well-respected in the Pirates' clubhouse, and viewed as a leader by their young pitchers. After a rough May, Burnett has thrown six consecutive quality starts, increasing his trade value.
Who? A package of 19-year outfielder Harold Ramirez and right-hander Clay Holmes should get the deal done from a player perspective, but the Pirates won’t even consider the deal unless the Phillies send back a significant amount of cash to help with the salary and buyout of the mutual option year on Burnett's contract.
Will it happen? Baseball-wise, this is a good fit for both teams.