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Pirates GM Neal Huntington will do “everything in our power” to have A.J. Burnett in 2014

Sep 22, 2013, 7:25 PM EDT

a.j. burnett getty Getty Images

Yesterday, Pirates starter A.J. Burnett told the media that he is still mulling retirement, then went out and struck out 12 Reds in a seven-inning performance that put the Pirates back in a tie for the NL Wild Card.

Today, via Rob Biertempfel on Twitter, Pirates GM Neal Huntington said that if Burnett isn’t retiring, he will do “everything in our power” to bring Burnett back for the 2014 season. Burnett turns 37 on January 3 and will have wrapped up a five-year, $82.5 million contract originally given to him by the Yankees. A one-year deal would likely rival the average annual value of his last contract ($16.5 million).

Burnett has been a big reason why the Pirates ended their winning season drought as he currently has a 3.39 ERA with a league-leading and career-high K/9 at exactly 10 in 183 innings.

Biertempfel also notes that Burnett would line up second behind Francisco Liriano in the team’s playoff rotation.

  1. apkyletexas - Sep 22, 2013 at 8:29 PM

    @Bill Baer – “Burnett has been a big reason why the Pirates ended their winning season drought as he currently has a 3.39 ERA with a league-leading and career-high K/9 at exactly 10 in 183 innings.”

    He hasn’t been a big reason for their winning record this season – not from his personal production. He’s lost more games than he’s won (deservedly). He’s routinely given up big innings after 5 innings of work to put the team in trouble mid-way through a game.

    The reason to bring him back is to continue his role as a clubhouse leader, and as a pitcher who will pitch his heart out to stop a losing streak, like he did yesterday. But, you don’t pay $16.5 million for those qualities. If he wants to come back, I’ll bet the Pirates would only do it at a substantial discount. He’s clearly not a #1 guy anymore, and I don’t see any way the Pirates (or anyone else) would pay him like one.

  2. bosoxfan15 - Sep 22, 2013 at 8:49 PM

    Maybe the Yankees will sign him long term then trade him while paying most of his salary… Oh wait

  3. blynch67 - Sep 23, 2013 at 1:02 AM

    Looking forward to his enshrinement in the Hall of So-So….

  4. henrymolyneux - Sep 23, 2013 at 3:15 AM

    I build $82h whereas i am traveling the planet. Last week I worked by my laptop computer in Rome, Monti Carlo and at last Parisâ?¦This week i am back within the USA.
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  5. sfm073 - Sep 23, 2013 at 4:15 AM

    What a bizarre career he’s had.

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