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A.J. Burnett isn’t retiring and is open to leaving the Pirates

Jan 28, 2014, 4:44 PM EDT

A.J. Burnett AP

For the past several months the assumption has been that A.J. Burnett would either retire or return to pitch for the Pirates, with calling it a career at age 37 seemingly being in the lead of late.

However, according to Travis Sawchik of the Pittsburgh Tribune Review the free agent right-hander “will return to pitch in 2014” and “will be open to pitching for a club other than the Pirates.”

As both Ervin Santana and Ubaldo Jimenez would attest to the free agent pitching market was already very well-stocked for this late in the offseason and Burnett was one of the best starters in the NL last season, throwing 191 innings with a 3.30 ERA and 209 strikeouts.

It’ll be interesting to see if teams are willing to make a multi-year commitment for big money and/or if Burnett is even looking for multiple years considering he apparently gave strong consideration to never pitching again. And because the Pirates didn’t make him a $14.1 million qualifying offer they won’t receive draft pick compensation if he signs elsewhere.

  1. musketmaniac - Jan 28, 2014 at 9:41 PM

    And patience, chestergunn. instead of spending too much on a two year rental in right, they wait on polonco. I severely question why they brought back Snyder, but I would like to see Gaby get a look as a regular again. Plenty of negativity from these so called journalist and fans.

  2. musketmaniac - Jan 28, 2014 at 10:02 PM

    embarrass me, nice. If you would go back to may you might find another Snyder gem. two games he mattered, 50 games a liability. a liability that didn’t make the play-off roster. a liability that they found an injury to keep him off the 25. I do agree with you that a fan has the right to scrutinize management. Snyder is my fight, not keeping up with the jones, in a player friendly market.

  3. benrob99 - Jan 28, 2014 at 11:15 PM

    God the Pirates are an embarrassment. Sure they “want to win” in the sense that if it happens great… but they will make SURE that it doesn’t interfere with priority number 1. Making money. They’ve had the EXACT same priority number one ever since Nutting has been involved. If AJ signs a low ball contract offer… great. If he wants near market value… sorry Pittsburgh, we have the bottom line to think about. What a joke.

    • byjiminy - Jan 31, 2014 at 6:40 AM

      Hard to defend the team here — otherwise why not make him a qualifying offer? The (sometimes) ace of your staff isn’t worth 14.1 million, with only a single year commitment? Hard to say they’re serious about trying to reach the playoffs if they won’t offer that. And now their caution could cost them a draft pick.

      There is still the possibility he will sign in Pittsburgh though. Suppose he wanted to go back all along. If you were his agent, wouldn’t you say, I’ve got to announce you’re open to other teams, if you want them to pay market rate. If I announce you’ll come back but only to Pittsburgh, they’ll offer $4 million. If I announce it’s an auction, they might offer $14. And who knows, they might.

  4. thepittsburghkid - Jan 29, 2014 at 8:19 AM

    Would be nice to have him back but we are stacked with young pitching. We will contend with or without him.

  5. thepittsburghkid - Jan 29, 2014 at 8:24 AM

    Also, those of you talking about making the Pirates being worried about making money first. Yes it true, all teams want to make money to think otherwise is insane. What matters is that our payroll has increased the last four years. Sounds like many of you have zero idea how a successful small market team operates. See the Rays and Pirates as examples.

    • eddiek77 - Jan 29, 2014 at 8:38 AM

      Listen, if you want to talk small market success stories, by all means let’s focus on the Rays. Or the A’s. But please, don’t place the Pirates into the equation after one season.
      Miserly. Greedy. These are the words you use when you talk about the Nuttings. Or the McClatchy’s.
      They are not looking for the next level of talent which is affordable, ala Billy Beane.
      They are just looking for someone who is cheap, period.
      They dropped the ball with A.J. No, the pitcher is no man of his word if he signs anywhere else but
      please, the idea of honor and integrity in sports has been gone since Roberto played.

      What’s truly funny about all of this is that this incredible array of talent down on the farm is heading towards Pittsburgh or is already here. Cutch, Marte, Cole, Polanco, Taillon, Heredia and others. How will the money hoarding Nuttings keep more than one of them?

      This is no small market wonder. Give it ten years and come back to me.

    • byjiminy - Jan 31, 2014 at 6:42 AM

      successful teams don’t give away #1 draft picks, out of caution they may have to pay a key payer market rate for, one year.

  6. thepittsburghkid - Jan 29, 2014 at 9:54 AM

    The pirates have steadily improved and are in position to compete down the line with the talent they have stockpiled. Nutting has made significant strides in the time he has taken control, it’s not about past management. I agree the success has been short lived but success is being/staying competitive and or improving each year. AJ will not change this team drastically one way or the other, thinking that way is simply overlooking player value.

  7. thepittsburghkid - Jan 29, 2014 at 10:00 AM

    About keeping players, what small market team does? You hope a star player signs a team friendly deal early in his career that buys out his arbitration years. You flip a player like Alvarez for two or three players and start all over again at that position. The keeping players argument doesn’t hold weight with a small market team. You maximize value as best you can under the constraints of low payroll and then move on from that player.

  8. joewilliesshnoz - Jan 29, 2014 at 11:58 AM

    See ya A.J. , don’t let the door hit you in the ass.

  9. TheBirdsAreBackinBmore - Jan 29, 2014 at 12:23 PM

    He’s playing for the orioles this year. Hes local and has always wanted to play in a beautiful city. He says pitt and ny are such dumps he needs something beautiful in his life. ALAS CAMDEN YARDS! Pittsburgh in general is a joke. But i must say. I enjoy the pirates being competitive much more then them steelers. Anyways, eat it you inbred $&%, enjoy losing seasons with both teams in the 2014 :)

    • TheBirdsAreBackinBmore - Jan 29, 2014 at 12:24 PM

      atleast you gotta good hockey team ey?

  10. musketmaniac - Jan 29, 2014 at 4:38 PM

    my final thought. The offer of 8.5 million is around 7 million more than we paid him the last two. Thanks Yanks

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