By PATRICK GORDON | Managing Editor
July 28 2014, 4:15PM EDT.
A.J. Burnett hopes to replicate his most recent start tonight when he and the Phillies open a three-game series with the New York Mets at Citi Field.
Burnett tossed eight scoreless innings last Wednesday, scattering four hits and four walks while striking out six.
"I felt solid out there," Burnett said. "I had command and felt comfortable, this is what needs to continue."
Burnett enters Monday with a 3.86 ERA and a 1.34 WHIP. He also comes into the series with scouts keeping a watchful eye as the July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline inches closer on the calendar.
"I've been down this road before, it's nothing new," Burnett said of hearing his name mentioned as a potential trade chip. "If it happens, it happens, but I'm not looking to move on."
Burnett has a limited no-trade clause in his contract, meaning he has say on where he'll be traded. His no-trade clause excludes the Pirates, Orioles, Mets, Yankees, Nationals, Royals, Cardinals, Red Sox and Reds - meaning the Phillies could deal him to any of these clubs without first getting permission.
The 37-year-old right-hander has a mutual option with the Phillies for $15 million next season. If the Phillies decline the option Burnett can trigger an option to remain with the club for $7.5 million.
The Pirates appear to be the club most interested in the veteran, but a source close to Pittsburgh GM Neal Huntington indicated to the Review on Monday the organization is not happy with the details of Burnett's current contract.
"Too rich for us right now," the official said.
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