But after struggling in his last two seasons in New York, going 21-26 with a 5.20 ERA, Burnett thrived in Pittsburgh and helped guide the Pirates to their first playoff appearance since 1992 last season.
"I found who I was again," Burnett said. "I went (to Pittsburgh) and, I'd never put myself as a (Roy) Halladay, but as far as a mentor and player-relationship-wise, that's what I became over there. I never really looked at myself as that guy, but as soon as I walked in that door, that's who I was. I had no say in the matter, and it showed me who I could have been for a long time, and wasn't. And it brought out a lot of me that wasn't there (before)."
Burnett will wear No. 34 for the Phillies, the uniform number that Halladay had with the team for the last four seasons before retiring in December. Burnett and Halladay were teammates for three seasons in Toronto (2006-08).
With his new contract, Burnett gets a $7.5 million signing bonus, of which $1 million is payable Dec. 15, $2.75 million next Jan. 15 and $3.75 million on June 30, 2015.
Burnett has a $7.5 million salary this season, and the contract includes a $15 million option for 2015 with a $1 million buyout. Burnett would receive the buyout only if either party declines and he fails to make 30 starts this year.
If the mutual option isn't exercised, Burnett would have a $7.5 million player option for 2015. The option price would increase to $8.5 million with 24 starts this year, $10 million with 27, $11.75 million with 30 and $12.75 million with 32.
He can earn an additional $1.75 million annually in performance bonuses: $500,000 each for 24 and 27 starts, and $750,000 for 30.
AP Sports Writer Ronald Blum in Tampa contributed to this report.