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Kyle Kendrick
A.J. Burnett declines $12.75 million option with Phillies

After spring training started last February and A.J. Burnett remained unemployed, the veteran right-hander said he sought a deal with a contending team near his Maryland home. The Phillies offered Burnett a large sum of money. That yielded a hernia injury, 18 losses, and a league-leading 96 walks. So, Burnett rejected another $12.75 million from the Phillies on Monday by electing free agency over that lucrative player option. For the Phillies, it is a blessing from the baseball overlords. They are a rebuilding team, and rebuilding teams do not pay a pitcher who turns 38 in January that sort of money. Burnett can sign with another team Tuesday, the official start of free agency. Or he...