Here’s something that could lessen the blow of Cole Hamels missing a few starts this April. CSNPhilly.com’s Jim Salisbury confirms the Philadelphia Phillies have agreed to terms on a one-year contract with right-hander A.J. Burnett.
The Phillies apparently won a bidding war against the Pittsburgh Pirates and Baltimore Orioles to acquire Burnett’s services. He bolsters a starting rotation that was looking unproven at best after Hamels and Cliff Lee at Nos. 1 and 2.
The deal is said to be for $16 million.
Burnett posted a 10-11 record, 3.30 earned run average, and a National League-best 9.8 strikeouts per nine innings with the Pirates in 2013. His solid 1.35 ground ball to fly ball last season ratio should play well at Citizens Bank Park.
He is 37-years-old, which is a concern and means he should fit right in the clubhouse. Despite more jokes about age though, there’s absolutely no harm in giving Burnett one year and attempting one last run at the playoffs with this core.
>> Source: Phillies agree to deal with A.J. Burnett [CSN]
Sixers head coach Brett Brown is in Australia this week, where he has accused longtime friend and former Australian men's national team assistant coach Shane Heal of defrauding him of $750,000, according to the Australian Associated Press.
Brown invested $250,000 into each of three companies for which Heal was the sole director. Brown wasn't given a legal title regarding the companies and didn't know the specifics of how the money would be used.
"I assumed that the money was going to be used for what Shane told me it was going to be used for," Brown said. "Because it was a friend that I had for 25 years."
Heal was charged last year by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission following an investigation relating to alleged misconduct in 2008, 2009 and 2010, according to the AAP.
The sides return to court in Brisbane on July 20.
Heal played in the NBA for the Minnesota Timberwolves in 1996-97 and was with the San Antonio Spurs in 2003.
A day after going 0 for 5 with five strikeouts, Odubel Herrera is leading off for the Phillies in their series opener Friday night against the Reds (see game notes).
It's the first time Herrera is leading off since last Aug. 19, a span of 84 games.
Cesar Hernandez gets the night off. He's been dealing with a groin pull for 10 days, manager Pete Mackanin said Friday.
Andres Blanco bats second and plays second.
Maikel Franco is back in the six-hole after going 1 for 5 with two strikeouts in the cleanup spot Thursday. Tommy Joseph bats fourth and Michael Saunders fifth.
Cameron Rupp, who walked three times in Thursday's win over the Rockies, catches Aaron Nola and bats seventh.
1. Odubel Herrera, CF
2. Andres Blanco, 2B
3. Aaron Altherr, LF
4. Tommy Joseph, 1B
5. Michael Saunders, RF
6. Maikel Franco, 3B
7. Cameron Rupp, C
8. Freddy Galvis, SS
9. Aaron Nola, P