Phillies' A.J. Burnett declines player option, becomes free agent

Tuesday November 4th, 2014

Philadelphia Phillies pitcher A.J. Burnett has declined his player option for 2015 and will become a free agent, the team announced Monday

The option was worth $12.75 million. The Phillies and Burnett declined their $15 million mutual option for 2015 on Sunday, for which Burnett received a $1 million buyout.

"We do expect that he will pitch in 2015. For a contender," Burnett's agent told FOX Sports' Ken Rosenthal.

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Burnett spent the 2014 season in Philadelphia. He was diagnosed with an inguinal hernia in April and pitched with it the rest of the season.

In August, the 37-year-old said he would probably retire at the end of the season, but softened that stance a week later, saying it would depend on how he and his family feel. 

In 2014, Burnett went 8-18 with a 4.59 ERA and 190 strikeouts in 213.2 innings. He started 34 games, which was tied for the most in MLB and walked a major league-leading 96 batters. 

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The veteran has pitched in the majors for 16 years and holds a 4.04 career ERA. 

Philadelphia went 73-89 in 2014, finishing in last in the NL East.

- Molly Geary

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