PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – Former Pittsburgh Pirates pitcher A.J. Burnett has reportedly agreed to a one-year contact with the Philadelphia Phillies.
The deal has been reported by multiple sports writers, including Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports.
The deal is also reportedly worth $16 million.
CBSSports.com Baseball Writer Jon Heyman joined 93.7 The FAN Morning Show recently and told them he thought the odds were about 50/50 that Burnett would return to the Pirates.
Burnett went 10-11 for the Pirates last year with an ERA of 3.30 while logging 191 innings pitched and leading the National League in strikeouts per nine innings pitched at 9.8.
This afternoon, Pirates catcher Tony Sanchez joined The Fan’s Starkey and Mueller to talk about Burnett signing with the Phillies.
Sanchez said one of Burnett’s leadership qualities was complete honesty.
“He wasn’t gonna beat around the bush or tell you what you wanted to hear. He was gonna tell you what he thought, what you’re doing right, what you’re doing wrong. Especially for a rookie like me, I needed to be told that,” said Sanchez. “Even Gerrit Cole stepped out of line a couple of times, and A.J. let him know. Gerrit and I are better professionals because A.J. told us how to conduct ourselves.”
And though Sanchez would have liked to have Burnett back in the Pirates’ locker room, he says he understands why Burnett moved on.
“We all kind of had this in the back of our minds that we were going into the season knowing that A.J. was gonna be somewhere else,” Sanchez said. “I don’t think many of us were caught off guard. It’s sad to see him go, would have loved to have him come back, but it’s business as usual we have things we need to take care of. We wish him the best of luck, but we got another season to take care of.”