Phillies starter A.J. Burnett pitched through pain for five and a half months, suffering an inguinal surgery in mid-April. It turned out to be a poor idea, as Burnett finished the season with a league-high 18 losses, 96 walks, and 108 earned runs allowed. Burnett racked up 34 starts, which increased his 2015 player option to $12.75 million, up from a baseline of $7.5 million.
The 37-year-old will undergo surgery next week to repair his inguinal hernia, but remains undecided about whether he will actually exercise that player option to return to the Phillies next season. Via MLB.com’s Todd Zolecki:
“There are too many things to name right now,” said Burnett, when asked what will go into his decision. “Off the bat, my family. It’s ultimately going to come down to me. I had the same thoughts last year. Then I woke up and I wanted to compete. So I can’t just shut that down if it’s still there. But then again, my youngins, they have a say in it.”
Burnett had two terrific years with the Pirates before signing with the Phillies. Some of his success was due to the Pirates’ comparatively better defense and emphasis on utilizing spray charts and shifting batters individually, but he also never pitched through a hernia. Burnett told the media he wishes he had taken care of the injury earlier in the season.