A.J. Burnett becomes free agent after declining 2015 player option with Phillies

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According to Jim Salisbury of CSNPhilly.com, the Phillies just announced that right-hander A.J. Burnett has declined his $12.75 million player option for 2015. He’s now a free agent.

This decision comes as a surprise, but it’s one the Phillies have to be pretty happy about. As Jayson Stark of ESPN.com notes, Burnett could have made as much as $14.75 million in 2015 with incentives.

Burnett, 37, posted a 4.59 ERA and 190/96 K/BB ratio in 213 2/3 innings across 34 starts this season. While he has talked about the possibility of retirement, CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman hears that he turned down the option because he wants to pitch for a contending team.