Nationals' Fifth Starter Battle Update: A.J. Burnett Signs With Phillies

Greg Fiume

With the report today that right-hander A.J. Burnett signed a 1-year/$16M deal with the Philadelphia Phillies, the possibility of adding another arm to the competition for the fifth spot in the Washington Nationals' rotation seems less likely...

In reporting on rumors of interest in A.J. Burnett on behalf of the Washington Nationals last week, CBSSports.com's Jon Heyman wrote that while you shouldn't count them out when pitching is available, "....a person with a Nats connection suggested they'd 'most likely' stick with their current rotation unless a 'value' materialized." Heyman theorized that Burnett's desire to sign with a team close to his Maryland home could make the nation's capital an attractive destination.

This afternoon, however, there are multiple reports that the Nationals' NL East rivals and neighbors to the north from Philadelphia have signed the 37-year-old, 15-year-old veteran to a 1-year/$16M deal:

FOXSports.com's Ken Rosenthal and Hayden Galvady? had the details on the dollar value of the deal:

Burnett didn't receive a qualifying offer from the Pirates coming off a (10-11) 2013 season in Pittsburgh in which he earned $16.5M in the final year of the 5-year/$82.5M he signed with the New York Yankees in 2008. The veteran right-hander put up 3.30 ERA, 2.80 FIP, 67 walks (3.16 BB/9) and 209 Ks (9.85 K/9) in 30 starts and 191 IP over which he was worth +4.0 fWAR.

The announcement of Burnett's deal with the Phillies followed an announcement this morning from Philadelphia left-hander Cole Hamelswho said he was behind in his throwing program and would likely not be ready for Opening Day after "experiencing discomfort in his pitching shoulder," this winter as CSNPhilly.com's Jim Salisbury reported.

How much interest the Nationals really had in Burnett is unclear. With the veteran righty off the market, the Nationals will have left-hander Ross Detwiler and right-handers Tanner Roark, Taylor Jordan and Ross Ohlendorf in camp battling for the fifth spot in the rotation after Stephen Strasburg, Gio Gonzalez, Jordan Zimmermann and Doug FisterNationals.com writer Bill Ladson wrote Tuesday that Jordan, 25, suffered a broken right ankle this winter that he said won't keep him from competing for the fifth spot. Detwiler, 27, if healthy, is the frontrunner for the fifth spot as Spring Training gets underway.

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join Federal Baseball

You must be a member of Federal Baseball to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Federal Baseball. You should read them.

Join Federal Baseball

You must be a member of Federal Baseball to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Federal Baseball. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9351_tracker