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.
Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reports that the Marlins, Mets, and Yankees have had discussions about a three-team trade in which Marlins catcher J.T. Realmuto would go to the Mets. It’s not known which other players were discussed in the deal, but Rosenthal notes that the Mets wouldn’t be willing to part with Noah Syndergaard if they are only getting Realmuto in return.
Realmuto, 27, was the best offensive catcher in baseball in 2018, batting .277/.340/.484 with 21 home runs and 74 RBI in 531 plate appearances. He has two more years of team control remaining until he becomes eligible for free agency, adding to his value.
The Mets’ catching corps currently includes Kevin Plawecki and Travis d'Arnaud, so Realmuto would be a significant upgrade. Such a trade would be the club’s second big splash of the offseason as the Mets finalized a trade to acquire second baseman Robinson Canó and closer Edwin Díaz from the Mariners earlier this month.
Interestingly, the Mets and Yankees haven’t made a deal involving major league players since December 2004, when the two sides swapped pitchers Mike Stanton and Félix Heredia, Rosenthal points out.