CLEARWATER, Fla. — A.J. Burnett's $16 million contract — officially finalized Sunday morning — includes two interesting clauses: a mutual/player option for 2015 and a limited no-trade provision.
The mutual option is worth $15 million if exercised by both parties. If the Phillies decline the option, Burnett could active a player option for $7.5 million, according to a CBS Sports report.
The total value of the deal is $33.5 million if the mutual option is exercised and Burnett achieves every performance bonus.
The limited no-trade clause is important because should the Phillies fall from contention this summer, they will look to move Burnett. The Phillies typically negotiate no-trade clauses that allow their players to select up to 21 teams to which they would not accept a trade.
Burnett will meet with the media Sunday afternoon after the team's workout. He will wear No. 34, which was Roy Halladay's number for the past four seasons. Burnett and Halladay are friends and former teammates. It is likely Burnett received Halladay's blessing to wear No. 34.
With Burnett's addition, the Phillies' payroll is nearing $189 million as calculated for luxury-tax purposes. That is a franchise record.
"To be able to add a pitcher of A.J.'s caliber at this time of year says a lot about our ownership group’s commitment to winning," Ruben Amaro Jr. said in a statement. "A.J. will complement Cole and Cliff in our rotation and adds another experienced arm to our team."
The Phillies designated former first-round pick Joe Savery for assignment to clear space on the 40-man roster for Burnett. Savery has a career 4.15 ERA in 41 games.
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