A.J. Burnett, no stranger to retirement speculation, put a line in the sand. He said, “I got one (season) left,” reports Travis Sawchik of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. Burnett declined a $15 million mutual option for 2015 with the Phillies on November 1, then signed with the Pirates on a one-year, $8.5 million deal two weeks later.
On his decision to return to the Pirates, Burnett said, “I wanted to make sure I went somewhere where I was happy but also had a chance to win.”
The 38-year-old right-hander finished the 2014 season with a disappointing 4.59 ERA, leading the league with 18 losses and 96 walks in 213 2/3 innings.
The Marlins have announced that they have inked manager Don Mattingly to a two-year contract extensions. There’s a third year in the form of a mutual option.
Mattingly is finishing up the final year of the four-year contract he signed with the Marlins prior to the 2016 season. He’s 272-364 in that period and the club has lost 99 games already this season. The current bad run, however, obviously corresponds with a massive rebuild the team began undertaking following the 2017 season and the team’s change in ownership. Mattingly has not had much to work with over the past two seasons but he has likewise, largely, kept the team on as even a keel as one could hope under the circumstances. He has certainly impressed the Marlins’ brass enough to take the unusual step of keeping on a manager they inherited from a previous ownership and front office group.
In other news, the Marlins also announced a two-year contract extension for shortstop Miguel Rojas valued at $10.25 million. There’s a vesting option for a third year. The deal buys out Rojas’ final year of arbitration eligibility and one year of free agency, plus that option.
Rojas, 30, is hitting .285/.335/.383 (OPS+ 92) this year.