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There has been recent talk about the Red Sox looking to sign free agent pitcher A.J. Burnett. The Sox are seeing if they can improve the starting rotation with the flame-throwing righty who was 18-10 last season with a 4.07 ERA. He lead the A.L in strikeouts with a career high 231, which was the 3rd highest total in the majors behind N.L. Cy Young winner Tim Lincecum and free agency’s best pitcher, CC Sabathia.
On paper, Burnett seems like a great fit. He is only 32 years old and has most importantly proven that he can pitch well in the A.L. East by being a solid #2 starter in the Blue Jays rotation for the past three seasons. It’s too bad that Boston is putting their bid in for an overrated starting pitcher.
This signing would be a HUGE mistake. Burnett had a fluke season in 2008 in the sense that it was only the 3rd time since 1999 that he started 30+ games. He won a career high 18 games last season, when he never had topped 12 wins in a single season for his career. The man has already had Tommy John Surgery and has never played in a major market. He is a serious injury risk (10 DL stints in his career) and would be eaten alive by the Boston media.
The 18 wins last season are deceptive anyway. Even though he had three good months, he had three really bad months.
Burnett is scaring off potential employers because he is demanding a five-year deal. He knows his body won’t hold up and he wants to make sure a team will stay be paying him when he is nursing one of his numerous injuries.
The Sox would be morons to sign A.J. Burnett. The rotation is already full and the only way to accommodate Burnett would be to go to a six-man rotation (thanks KC) and that just won’t happen. Burnett’s overpriced, surgically repaired arm can leech off another team’s bank account.
Let the Yankees have him.