So we forgot what Ruben Amaro, Jr. is really like. In the recent criticism of the Phillies General Manager, 2009-2011 seemed to be forgotten. The general manager who convinced us that the Phillies really weren't interested in a Cliff Lee reunion, the one who said that the Phillies were not in on Roy Oswalt, and not interested in Hunter Pence, just could be at it again.
According to Todd Zolecki of MLB.com, the Phillies are still "very much" in on free agent starting pitcher A.J. Burnett:
...sources said tonight the Phillies are very much still in the running for free agent right-hander A.J. Burnett.
It is unclear if the parties are close to a deal, but the chances have improved since Friday when Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. said, “It’s more likely we’ll go (into Spring Training) with what we’ve got.”
Just the other day, Amaro said the Phillies weren't interested in doing anything "major", seeming to directly reference Burnett rumors.
Burnett would be a huge addition for the Phillies, who otherwise would enter the season with two starters who ended last season on the disabled list (Kyle Kendrick and Jonathan Pettibone) and one who has never thrown a pitch in the major leagues (Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez). Yes, the Phillies have Cliff Lee and Cole Hamels, but the team would be putting a ton of stock in free agent acquisition Roberto Hernandez, who could not keep a spot in the Rays' starting rotation last season.
If the Phillies falter, Burnett would be a valuable trade chip towards a rebuild. Stay tuned.