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Blue Jays' Burnett, several Yankees file for free agency

The Sports Network
11/5/2008 6:27:53 PM
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New York, NY (Sports Network) - Toronto Blue Jays pitcher A.J. Burnett topped a list of nine players, including four Yankees, filing for free agency Wednesday.

Burnett opted out of the final two years of a five-year, $55 million deal he signed with the club before the 2006 season. The right-hander was scheduled to make $24 million over the final two years of the contract.

The 31-year-old posted a 4.07 earned-run average in 2008, setting career-marks in wins (18), games started (34), innings pitched (221 1/3) and strikeouts (231), which was also an American League-best this past season.

The New York Yankees' Jason Giambi, Mike Mussina, Carl Pavano and Damaso Marte also filed on Wednesday.

Giambi finished off his seventh year in pinstripes with a .247 average, 32 home runs and 96 runs batted in. Mussina was a 20-game winner for the first time in his 18-year career last season, posting a 3.37 ERA in 34 starts. Mussina, who turns 40 in December, needs 30 wins to reach 300 for his career.

The oft-injured Pavano returned from reconstructive elbow surgery this past August and went 4-2 with a 5.77 ERA in seven starts down the stretch for New York. Marte, acquired from the Pittsburgh Pirates as part of the Xavier Nady trade last season, was 1-3 with a 5.40 ERA in 25 appearances after coming to New York.

Atlanta Braves hurlers Tom Glavine and Mike Hampton will also test the market this off-season. Glavine returned to Atlanta after a five-year stint with the New York Mets but was hampered with injuries all season, making just 13 starts, and underwent season-ending elbow surgery this past August. The 42- year-old ranks 21st on the all-time wins list with 305 over a 22-year career.

The injury-plagued Hampton made just 13 starts for Atlanta last season after missing all of the 2007 and 2006 seasons with a variety of ailments. He had his 2005 season cut short after undergoing Tommy John surgery and then had season-ending elbow surgery in April of 2007.

Los Angeles Dodgers infielder Jeff Kent and Tampa Bay reliever Trever Miller rounded out the filings.

Kent, 40, was limited with injuries last season and underwent arthroscopic knee surgery to repair torn cartilage in September. He finished the campaign with a .280 average, 12 homers and 59 RBI in what was his 17th Major League season.

Miller made 68 appearances for the Rays last season out of the bullpen and went 2-0 with a 4.15 ERA in 43 1/3 innings of work.


A.J. Burnett (Photo: The Canadian Press)


(Photo: The Canadian Press)
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