According to the Associated Press, via the Philadelphia Inquirer, the Phillies and veteran right-hander A.J. Burnett have each declined their halves of a $15 million mutual option for the 2015 season.
It was an expected move. Now we’ll see whether Burnett exercises his $12.75 million player option for 2015. The deadline for that decision is Monday.
Burnett talked about retiring last offseason and went on to post a rough 4.59 ERA (81 ERA+) across 213 2/3 innings in 2014, but it doesn’t make much sense to leave nearly $13 million on the table. Phillies GM Ruben Amaro Jr. said last month that he is expecting the option to be exercised. Burnett will be 38 years old at the start of next season.
Phillies outfielder Andrew McCutchen would have opened the regular season on the injured list if it had started on time. Now, with the start of the season pushed back at least a few months due to coronavirus (COVID-19), the veteran five-time All-Star says he will be “ready to go” whenever the season begins, he told NBC Sports Philadelphia.
McCutchen, 33, tore his ACL in early June, ending his 2019 campaign. To that point, he had been quite productive for the Phillies, batting .256/.378/.457 with 10 home runs and 29 RBI over 262 plate appearances. If and when the 2020 season does begin, he will likely reprise his role as the leadoff hitter, this time under new manager Joe Girardi.
2020 marks the second year of McCutchen’s three-year, $50 million contract initially signed with the Phillies in December 2018. The Phillies also hold a $15 million club option for the 2022 season with a $3 million buyout.