A.J. Burnett’s major league-leading walks total wasn’t the only number that rose in the Phillies’ 5-2 loss to the Seattle Mariners on Tuesday night.

With his 27th start of the season, Burnett passed a plateau that took his contract from $8.5 million to $10 million if he decides to pitch next season.

The value of that contract will swell to $12.75 when Burnett reaches 32 starts. He is on pace for 34.

The ball is completely in Burnett’s court -- or should we say wallet? -- because his deal is a player option. If the 37-year-old right-hander comes back for a 17th season, he gets the money. If he packs his baseball memories in a duffel bag and takes it to the house, he doesn’t get the money.

So, is Burnett going to pitch next season?

“I have no idea,” the pitcher said after taking the loss Tuesday night. “Probably not. But we’ll see.”

For some folks would walk to spring training to come back for $10 million, but Burnett has already made over $135 million in his career. He strongly considered retirement last winter only to be convinced to continue pitching by a $16 million offer from the Phillies on the eve of spring training.

The wisdom of that expenditure now has to be seriously questioned. The Phillies, long on a road to nowhere, have not been better than a fourth-place team since April and Burnett has been inconsistent for much of the season.