Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro said yesterday that he expects A.J. Burnett to return next season.
Burnett has gone back and forth, sometimes talking about retiring, sometimes talking about coming back. But the $12.75 million option he has would be hard for him to walk away from. He had a bad 2014 — he posted a 4.59 ERA and 190/96 K/BB ratio over 213 and two-thirds innings — but those 200 innings have value, especially for a team like Philly who, at the moment, you don’t figure to be terribly competitive next year.
The Blue Jays announced on Monday the signing of lefty reliever Marc Rzepczynski to a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training. “Scrabble,” as he’s affectionately known, spent the first two and a half years of his career with the Blue Jays in 2009-11.
Rzepczynski, 34, hasn’t appeared in the majors since July 2018. He struggled across 44 2/3 innings with the Reno Aces, the Diamondbacks’ Triple-A affiliate, last year. He posted a 5.04 ERA with 36 strikeouts and 28 walks.
While lefty relievers are always high in demand, it seems likely that Rzepczynski will begin the regular season in the minors and serve as organizational depth for the Blue Jays.