Jim Salisbury of CSNPhilly.com reports that, even though A.J. Burnett has a player option that stands to make him $12.75 million next year, he’s leaning toward retirement:
The ball is completely in Burnett’s court — or should we say wallet? — because his deal is a player option. If the 37-year-old right-hander comes back for a 17th season, he gets the money. If he packs his baseball memories in a duffel bag and takes it to the house, he doesn’t get the money.
So, is Burnett going to pitch next season?
“I have no idea,” the pitcher said after taking the loss Tuesday night. “Probably not. But we’ll see.”
It’s been a pretty bad year for A.J. He’s 6-14 with a 4.42 ERA. He also leads all of baseball with 76 walks. Playing for a losing team and, at times anyway, appearing frustrated, it’s not hard at all to see why he might want to hang it up. And if he does, he does the Phillies a financial favor.
The Reds picked up outfielders Mason Williams and Rosell Herrera on minor league deals, MLB.com’s Mark Sheldon reports. Both Williams and Herrera will receive invites to spring training and could compete for backup outfield roles behind Adam Duvall, Billy Hamilton and Scott Schebler.
Williams, 26, completed a three-year track with the Yankees in 2017. He has yet to see a full season of playing time, however, and went 4-for-17 with two stolen bases during a five-game span with the club in 2017. While not a power hitter, his speed and steady contact rate produced a .263/.309/.318 batting line over 437 plate appearances in Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, including two home runs, three triples and 19 stolen bases.
Herrera, 25, has yet to make his big league debut. After seven years in the Rockies’ system, he finally reached Triple-A Albuquerque in 2017 and slashed .278/.351/.394 with three home runs and 20 stolen bases in 363 PA. He looks most comfortable in the left field corner, but has some experience at shortstop and third base and should give the Reds a nice utility option come spring.