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we_offered_five_years | December | 2008 Articles

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We Offered Five Years?

on .

The NY Daily News reports: "Just as they were finalizing a trade for Javier Vazquez, the Braves were preparing a five-year offer for A.J. Burnett, according to sources."

I'm afraid this doesn't make me very happy. Yeah, Burnett's a fine pitcher when he's healthy, but he ain't healthy all that often. There have only been three times in his career that has made as many as many as 28 starts, 2002, 2005, and 2008.

2002: 29 starts, 12-9, 204 1/3 IP, 203 K, 90 BB, 12 HR, 3.30 ERA, 122 ERA+.
2005: 32 starts, 12-12, 209 IP, 198 K, 79 BB, 12 HR, 3.44 ERA, 115 ERA+.
2008: 34 starts, 18-10, 221 1/3 IP, 231 K, 86 BB, 19 HR, 4.07 ERA, 105 ERA+.

See the pattern? In 2003, he pitched 23 innings, and 120 innings in 2004, setting up his great contract year in 2005. After that, he pitched 135 2/3 in 2006 and 165 2/3 in 2007, just in time to get healthy for great another contract year performance. (Also, you'll note that his contract year performance is declining. He's no spring chicken at 31, and this is the best he'll ever be. 5 years from now, he will have declined substantially from his peak.) Whaddaya wanna bet he won't be totally healthy after setting career highs in IP, batters faced, and strikeouts?

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