According to Jim Salisbury of CSNPhilly.com, the Phillies and RHP A.J. Burnett have reached an agreement on a one year pact for $16 million. The Phillies, along with the Orioles and Burnett's former team, the Pirates, had been rumored to have interest in Burnett throughout the offseason.
Burnett experienced a strong year last season as he threw 191 innings with an impressive 2.92 xFIP and 4.0 fWAR. He was unsure going into the offseason whether or not he would return for the 2014 season, but he decided in the last couple of weeks to return. He immediately became the best starting pitching option on the free agent market given his small contract demands compared to other free agent starting pitchers and the fact that he was not tied to draft pick compensation.
Given the high salary that he eventually agreed to and the fact that the Mets did not want to block any of their up-and-coming pitching prospects, Burnett was never viewed as a realistic acquisition, even though he would have greatly bolstered the Amazins' rotation.
Burnett will now form a formidable 1-2-3 punch in the Phillies rotation along with Cole Hamels and Cliff Lee. However, Burnett does not appear to be the final piece that will be able to salvage the Phils from their eventual rebuilding process as they feature many other holes and have only added another veteran to their aging squad.