Tough to tell with A.J. Burnett, who can opt out of his contract and appears likely to do so. Buster Olney says the Braves are quite interested:
Heard this: The Atlanta Braves have been scouting Burnett very closely, and they are said to have tens of millions of dollars at their disposal to spend on pitching, and will bid on Burnett, Derek Lowe or others.
Burnett won 18 this year and struck out 231 in 221 innings. That last number is most impressive, but it's not the first time he's surpassed 200 IP. He's done it twice before, though he's also missed significant time over the years with injuries. In the two years prior to this one, Burnett combined to pitch 300 innings.
He'll be 31 when the season starts, and among the free agent hurlers only Sabathia ranks higher as far as stuff. Burnett may be a late bloomer, he may be an perennial underachiever. A tough call, and an expensive one.
What do you think? I'm tempted.