Philadelphia Phillies starter A.J. Burnett prefers to join the Pirates as his next club, Ken Rosenthal reports. Burnett would be welcomed back into the clubhouse as players are said to be lobbying for Burnett to return, per Rosenthal.
However, is Pirates management on board with a return?

A significant player option and a complex contract with deferred money is believed to have Pirates management on the fence. Not to mention Burnett has not pitched particularly well this season.
  • Burnett’s player option for 2015 is $7.5 million ($1 million buyout) and increases based on starts for this season. It’s only set to rise in the coming weeks.
  • Burnett is currently at 21 starts for the Phillies. Option value is $8.5 million at 24 starts, $10 million at 27 starts, $11.75 million at 30 starts and a maximum $12.75 million at 32 starts.
  • As part of his 2014 salary, Burnett is also owed a $2.75 million deferred signing bonus due January 1, 2015, and a $3.75 million deferred signing bonus due June 1, 2015 that takes his total earnings for the 2014 base of his contract to $15 million.
  • The Pirates, Orioles, Red Sox, Yankees, Mets, Reds, Royals, Nationals and Cardinals are nine teams Burnett would approve a trade to. Three teams in the NL Central. The Brewers are not on his list.