A.J. Burnett will undergo hernia surgery, still undecided about his future

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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.

Rockies, Trevor Story agree on two-year, $27.5 million contract

Trevor Story
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ESPN’s Jeff Passan reports that the Rockies and shortstop Trevor Story have come to terms on a two-year, $27.5 million deal, buying out his two remaining years of arbitration eligibility.

Story, 27, and the Rockies did not agree on a salary before the deadline earlier this month. Story filed for $11.5 million while the team countered at $10.75 million. The average annual value of this deal — $13.75 million — puts him a little bit ahead this year and likely a little bit behind next year.

This past season in Colorado, Story hit .294/.363/.554 with 35 home runs, 85 RBI, 111 runs scored, and 23 stolen bases over 656 trips to the plate. He also continued to rank among the game’s best defensive shortstops. Per FanGraphs, Story’s 10.9 Wins Above Replacement over the last two seasons is fifth-best among shortstops (min. 1,000 PA) behind Alex Bregman, Francisco Lindor, Xander Bogaerts, and Marcus Semien.

With third baseman Nolan Arenado likely on his way out via trade, one wonders if the same fate awaits Story at some point over the next two seasons.