A.J. Burnett Will Pitch In 2014

According to Travis Sawchuk on Twitter, a source has confirmed that A.J. Burnett will pitch during the 2014 season and he is open to pitching for another team besides the Pittsburgh Pirates. There have been rumors that both the Baltimore Orioles and Philadelphia Phillies would be interested in Burnett if he decided to return and now it seems like they will have a chance to make him an offer. There is also the possibility that more teams could be interested now that his return has been confirmed.

The Pirates have maintained the stance that if Burnett wishes to return they would have the money and desire to sign him, despite reports that they have turned the page. They haven’t made any moves in the meantime, so there still should be a spot for him if he wants to return to Pittsburgh and a deal can be worked out.

  • He is a tool – I’m sick of hearing about him – adios.

  • AJ played this like a virtuoso. Had the Pirates offered the QO he likely would not have accepted it- not a single player who was offered it has in two years. No team would be willing to sign him with a draft pick attached. I suspect he asked the Pirates not to make the offer and they complied in hopes of getting him on the cheap. NH crapped the bed on this one, big time.

  • Pat Lackey at WHYGAVS had a really good point… of the reportedly interested (admittedly, every contending team with payroll space *should* be interested) teams, Balt, Phi, and Pit, Pit is probably the best team and gives him the best chance at a WS.

  • PiratesFan1975
    January 28, 2014 10:29 pm

    11GS 62.7IP 69H 35ER 10HR 18BB 51K 5.03ERA 1.39WHIP 1.44HR/9IP

    AJ’s career numbers @ Camden Yards.

    AJ may need Pittsburgh even more than Pittsburgh needs AJ.

  • i bet he signs with the pirates for 16 mil.

    If he signs for more than the 14, it doesnt mean that the process wasnt the right one. the process made sense. “we have a very emotional fellow here who might get pi**ed if we give him a qo, and we want to see if we can sign Loney and Josh Johnson for like 16 million before we commit that 14.1.” (Tim Dierkes from MLBTR tweeted that players like Burnett can get offended if given a QO on the night of the non QO).

    They won the Karstens bet last year by saving a few million, and they may end up losing this bet by a few million.

    But until he says “i wouldve signed the QO if they offered it” and signs with another team for less than 17 million or so, i will refuse to be annoyed. Too many variables right now.

    Plus it’s not like the “report” was that he was set on playing for another team. he is “open” to playing for another team. hardly a death sentence.

    • If NH’s reasoning behind not offering the QO was because 14M was too steep, then how do you figure he’ll agree on a 16M deal? NH has also said that if any FA wants market value then they wont be playing in Pittsburgh. So it sounds like they wont entertain a Burnett contract over 13.9999M/year, and bigger market teams throw those types of deals around all the time. It’s going to come down to whether or not Burnett wants to play in Pittsburgh or if he wants to get paid.


      • He said that it was about putting a competative team around him. My guess is that they wanted to at least try for the ~10 mil deal and try for loney as well. Now that Loney, Josh Johnson, etc are gone, the 14.1 and few million above is no longer earmarked.

        The situation is not the same now as it was then. I will not be surprised if they pass the 14.1 in any offer they make. They were bidding against themselves before. Since that’s no longer the case (reportedly), the valuations can change.

  • risefromtheashes89
    January 28, 2014 10:17 pm

    If he signs for a reasonable amount, good for the Bucs. If he wants a mint, thanks for the service. He is a good pitcher still but as last season showed, he is losing stamina over the season. No same with the innings pitched and the years on the mound. Pirates were right in not guaranteeing 14 mil for this year.

  • I would like to thank the FO for the joy that I have experienced from the team that was put on the field the last two years. I would also like to thank the players as well since they did the actual playing. That includes AJ as well as all the other players that have moved on from the organization regardless of the reason.

    The 2014 season has not started yet but I have confidence in the team as it is constructed at this moment. I know the FO will add and subtract players as the season progresses so that success will continue upward. The future is extremely bright for our team.

    I am however, saddened by the numerous fans who have stated these many negative comments about any person not under contract at this moment. If our team fails on the field it is not because of any one player. Winning is accomplished by a group of 9 teammates on the field.

  • I could care less. Brunette is not irreplaceable, l have no actual facts about this case that would lead me to make a proper decision on this issue. No matter how it turns out the Pirates are now one of the best organizations in baseball and the Brunette issue is not going to change that. I also think that Pirate management is a tad smarter than anyone on this blog site.

  • It would be interesting to archive this article for review at this time next year. I am on a short list of people who actually think the Volquez signing was a good one, and I expect him to make up for a lot of Burnett’s production. I am also not writing off Burnett returning to the Pirates as I take this article as a positive sign…but I am fine either way.

  • “…..because NH and Nutting made a bad decision”. What bad decision was that Moose ? Has AJ signed with,or about to sign with another orginization ? Do you have inside information that NOBODY else does ? Or would it be just better to sit back and see what happens first ? I can tell you this much : if he happens to re-sign with the Pirates,there are going to be a whole lot of embarrased folks around these blogs ! You can take THAT to the bank !

    • I think the only embarrassed folks are the one that thought he would either retire or play for the Bucs. AJ will do whats best for AJ. For those that think he was loved by all I don’t buy it. I know for a fact that the Pirate management was non to happy that he would not go on rehab assignments. I know the Pirate management was not happy with the way he reacted when he was passed over for game five. AJ is a heck of a pitcher but he is not a guy that builds harmony. He is an awesome team mate when things go right for him. Not so much of a team mate when things go bad. Thats why the Pirates got him for nothing in a trade with the Yankees where they were willing to pay the Bucs to take him off of there roster. I also think thats why the Bucs did not offer a qualifying offer. They were afraid he would take it.

    • By failing to make a qualifying offer, they, NH and ultimately Nutting, removed the possibility of acquiring a draft pick should Burnett suddenly change his mind about pitching here. Now they have to compete in a free market against teams with much deeper pockets, and Baltimore has actual playoff aspirations which they can offer Burnett. So now there is an actual risk to lose Burnett and get nothing for it. I don’t know about you but I think 14 mil for a pitcher of AJ’s ability, background, and experience is not an overpay, especially when you consider that the QO hedges your risk in case he decides to leave by giving you another draft pick. It was a mistake to not make that investment because someone else will, so AJ couldn’t be had for less like they thought and now they lost a pick in the process as well.

      If AJ misled them, then that isn’t AJ’s fault, it’s business. He has the right to determine his market value, and NH gave him leverage when he didn’t make the QO.

  • AJ Burnett will pitch for the Baltimore Orioles in 2014, and I won’t be mad at all. He did a lot of great things for the Bucs the last two years, but the last two months of 2013 he was abysmal, 5.49 ERA, and isn’t worth what he’ll get on the open market. No way I pay more than $10 million for him and he’ll get more than that.

  • I’m not going to pretend to know what was happening behind the scenes or what everybody intended to do. What I am going to say is that the FO screwed up by not offering the QO. You ensure that you keep an asset or you get another asset, that being a draft pick. It’s not about personalities or being pissed off about being passed over in the playoffs. It simply should have come down to what is best for THIS team.

    This team, no matter how you look at it, is better with AJ than without whether you like him or not. After 20 years of frustration, it would have been nice for the FO to act responsibly this offseason instead of rubbing nickles together again.

  • I think this is a bullet NH and Nutting have to bite. Burnett has had an excellent impact of the younger pitchers and the pipeline is about to produce quite a few quality prospects (Taillon, Kingham, hopefully Locke, and Cole) that could use the lessons in grit and leadership AJ provides. NH has made so many good moves in recent years that it would be a shame if he let his own ego get in the way of signing a good pitcher and team leader. At this point, NH should just chalk it up as a lesson learned, fix it, and move on. Why should the quality of the team suffer because NH and Nutting made a bad decision

  • I’m surprised that someone isn’t claiming they heard through a clubhouse friend that the players didn’t like AJ. I have no such “inside info” either way but in my experience playing and following sports guys like AJ are respected for their desire and passion for the game. I would be willing to bet his team mates don’t think he is a jackass or a head case.

  • I don’t totally agree that AJ lied. He said things to the public but we don’t know exactly what he told the team. We also don’t know what the team told him.

    So I fall on the side that says not making the qualifying offer was a mistake. However, the team may not consider it a mistake because they had already decided that if AJ was going to cost $14 million they didn’t want him.

    From the outside that looks foolish, especially with signing of Volquez for $5 million. Why not spend the extra money for AJ? I think AJ does bring a lot of heart and fire to the team and hope he still ends up back with the Pirates.

    • So what he said to the public doesn’t count ?
      The last I heard if you tell an untruth to anybody it is called a lie.

  • It’s not like we nurtured him thru the minors and he gave his heart and soul to the organization. Face it, he played us we played him and now he plays us again. He made a few pals over the last couple of years in the clubhouse and talked with his heart briefly. Now his agent brought back the real AJ, not that he is the exception, he’s the norm. Doubt if elected to the HOF he’d of selected a Pirate hat. It’s just business and those of us who value the integrity of the game get another punch to the gut. Sorry Fredo.

  • I didn’t see where the 8.5 came from Perroto. I saw where he was supposedly offered that amount. Now that I know it came from Perroto, I question the validity. However I stand by I’ve said. This was handled badly by both sides and the Pirates should have protected their interests with a QO.

    • Kerry,I don’t want to be argumentative,but don’t you think everyone ought to chill out,let it play out to see what happens before anyone on either side is condemned ? Holy holy,this is getting ridiculous ! There isn’t one poster here who has any idea of what really happened,if anything DID happen. Or what has been or will be said. So to paraphrase that very player,why don’t we all just shut up till we see what happens ?

      • I could care less if you want to argue about it or not. By your standard, not a word should be muttered about the off season until it’s over. For the most part, I subscribe to that theory. All this chatter could be over nothing, but to come out in late January and say you’re pitching this year and open to offers isn’t reassuring if you’re a Pirate fan. Otherwise, the announcement would have come with the word of a signing. I felt they should have extended the QO and forced the issue. If they offended him with it, that’s too bad.

        • Not Say a word ? What makes you think you have any idea what went on or will go on ? I was asking a simple question,but if you are determined to prove you are one of the enlightened,go for it. But I will bet you really don’t have any idea.

          • I’m not enlightened in any way shape or form. Never have claimed to be. I am allowed to have an opinion on what may have happened. These are comments in a blog. I’m not selling my opinion as gospel, it’s just my opinion. I’m in the middle of BFE and don’t claim to be an expert like yourself who has seen every player in the system a hundred times or more. I’m just a lifelong buc fan in Indiana who likes to follow the team and who also believes there are motives behind this activity that led to where it is now. I don’t base that on any inside knowledge of the subject. Just my own opinion.

  • What I really find fascinating here are the number of people who seem to know EXACTLY what,why and how everything has gone down here ! Truly amazing

  • weltytowngang
    January 28, 2014 7:06 pm

    I think the Pirates played it exactly right. Each party has to do what is right for him/them, with no hard feelings.

  • I have a different take on this. First I really always thought AJ would sign somewhere else no matter what he said or what the Pirates said. 2nd I really don’t think the Pirates wanted him. I think the reason they low balled him was because they wanted him to go somewhere else. I think AJ had run his course here. He is a heck of a pitcher but he can be a real jack###. The Pirates would have been OK if he had taken the low ball offered but they knew Burnett had to much of an ego to do that. This will work out the way the Pirate organization wanted it to. I don’t think the Pirates were being cheap here I just don’t think they wanted him. I predicted the Os way back in October and I will stick with that. I still think AJ wants to be close to home. I am sure he would consider some other NE teams as well but I get the feeling the Os will give him what he needs to continue. I do find it kind of funny that a lot of people thought he would give up millions just to pitch in Pittsburgh because he loved it so much.

    • IC Bob – only problem with your logic is that they lose the draft pick – which is worth $7-10M. Given they committed $5 to Volquez – AJ’s marginal cost is ! $9M for one year. Seems like they did not think this through..

      • i doubt the draft pick is worth 7-10 mill… remember it’s the 27th pick.

        but it definitely does have *some* value. for comparison, the 33rd (or whatever it was) pick fetched Gaby Sanchez. that’s what they might miss out on. not 7-10 million.

  • Everybody is jumping on the Pirates.
    Who said I will retire or pitch for the Pirates? …..Burnett.
    Who brought up retirement?……. Burnett.
    Did Burnett say I will pitch for the Pirates if they give me X amount or I will become a free agent ?…. No.
    If AJ was honest he would have said ” I am contemplating retirement but if I return my first choice would be the Pirates….. if they offer me the right amount……. otherwise I will become a free agent”.
    It looks to me like AJ was using the Pirates all along as a bargaining chip.
    Now AJ is looking like a scorned lover and the Pirates are looking again like a cheap owner and the usual “Nutting is cheap crowd” will rally behind this. Any respect I had for AJ is gone.

    • Questions for all of you “but AJ said it was the Pirates or the kids” folks…

      1. Did he pitch well for the two years he was here
      2. Did he provide leadership to the pitching staff.
      3. Did he play at least some small role in Locke’s All Start first half last year – and did that not save the season for the Bucs.
      4, What was/is his market value for 2014 – remember that the Pirates think Edson Volquez is worth $5M and they were
      prepared to spend $7M on a mediocre first baseman who will likely deliver a WAR of around 1.0.
      5. Was it not reasonable for him to assume the Pirates would be “fair” and treat him “fairly”.

      Respect is a two way street – I think this will go down in history as one of the stupidest moves by the Pirates FO EVER!

      When he said it is the Pirates or retirement he did not know that the Pirates would low ball him and try and get him
      for less than he is worth – THAT IS NOT FAIR – I personally hope he pitches two more years and has a WAR of 6+ for those two years.

      • 1) Yes. Fantastic.
        2)Presumably yes, but can we quantify the benefits of leadership? we scoff at leadership when we talk about Brandon Inge, but it’s different for Burnett?
        3) Ehhhhh maybe he gave him some workout tips, but i’m going to guess that luck had more to do with that 1st half. and bad luck the 2nd half. he’s a #4 pitcher and the fielding independant stats of ALL OF 2013 support that.
        4) Remember, retirement was still an option (and even the most likely outcome) when they signed volquez and the Loney talks happened. They had to at least put offers out there for Loney and try to replace Burnett’s innings in the event that he retired too.
        5) Yes absolutely! But who knows? Maybe he said “don’t give me the f***ing QO or i’m going to throw a fit”.

        “Respect is a two way street – I think this will go down in history as one of the stupidest moves by the Pirates FO EVER!” come on man. that’s a little extreme. Just because they might miss out on a comp pick? come on.

        • Jay gray : you are making WAY too much sense here. We either have to join the torch and pitchfork line or be shunned !

        • The fact of the matter is that AJ lied.
          It doesn’t matter what he did with the Pirates in 2012 and 2013.
          Why didn’t he go publicly and say that he would play if he was offered the right amount of money?
          Why are people not criticizing AJ?
          He is the one who lied.

          • Absolutely agree Mike and I could care less if he signs elsewhere. I appreciate what he did here for 2 years but I think he is at the end and not worth 14 mil. Especially when i don’t even think his heart is in playing anymore.

        • The comp pick is only part of the equation – if you look at were other teams are in the off season – the Pirates pitching is about the same as Milwaukee after they signed Garza – AJ gives them +2 to +3 in WAR – makes them a 90+ win team. And yes – Locke may have been just catching a lucky run – but they were in really bad shape with McDonald and Sanchez in the rotation. I watched pretty much every game – and saw a lot of AJ sitting next to Locke and maybe I am wrong – but think that may have helped. And yes it was not going to last – all my “regress to the mean” friends warned me so – but the contribution of Locke to getting them to the playoffs – whether it was luck or skill is pretty hard to dispute – AJ may have had nothing to do with it – but then again.

  • I have to think that it was a little disingenuous to take a stance that it’s the Pirates or retire, say nothing else for nearly four months, and now say he will test the market. Certainly he can do whatever he wants but I am a little disappointed. Just hope this isn’t a smidge of vindictiveness on his part for not getting the nod in Game 5 against the Cardinals

  • You’re right Stephen. There should have been an open line of communication. I hope they haven’t reached the point where they feel they can plug in the next rehab project.

  • I’ve been giving NH and FC the benefit of the doubt on Burnett Watch ’13-14, but now his sure feels like a misplay by the front office. This is a team that was willing to commit 12M to Volquez+Loney to address their two greatest needs – and they still haven’t spent the money earmarked for Loney/as-yet-unknown 1B solution.

    For 2 million more, they would have had Burnett under a cost-certain contract or a supplemental pick. This is a team that looks prepared to go into the season standing pat at 1B, so it’s not as if signing Burnett would have prevented them from fulfilling their offseason agenda.

    Instead, they have no pick, a lesser pitcher where Burnett could have been, STILL no 1B upgrade, and will have to outbid other teams for the right to sign him. Well, there is that 9 million they saved by signing Volquez instead of AJ…

    I’ve seen this before in other industries, particularly entertainment, and it almost always comes down to really bad communication. You have to wonder if NH and AJ’s agent were ever on the same page…

    • Stephen ~ Perhaps there was miscommunication. But I do not think that’s the case. Rather, this may be a parting of the ways.

      AJ must have known the Pirates’ offer at season’s end. He then told the club (and fans) that he would decide, basically within a month, whether he would retire or sign.

      He said he would only sign with the Pirates, were he to come back for another season. Now, we hear differently from a media source, that AJ may take offers from other clubs.

      IMO, this is a case where two parties may part, on reasonable terms, I assume (all things considered, such as the decision to sit AJ for game 5, team chemistry, the salary offer, and all other speculation).

      At this point, I’m not comfortable with either decision that will be made by AJ. But this uncertainty and lack of comfort is the nature of the business. I wish he would have signed for a decent price (but not the rumored $14M).

      So be it, I’m ready to move on, as evidently is this F/O, as well as AJ.

      • No matter how you spin it, it still looks like the Pirates messed this one up by not offering the QO. At least, had Burnett decided not to take it, the Bucs would have walked away with a pick. We know that the team could afford the 14M QO, since they were prepared to offer Loney + Volquez 12M, and Burnett > Loney + Volquez. And that is coming from someone who likes Loney and thinks EV has upside. And I have a really hard time believing the Pirates would rather not have AJ and his 190-200 innings of 3.50 ERA as they try to make it back to the NLDS. Jerk or not, the guy can pitch everywhere except St. Louis in the humidity.

        I’m perfectly ok with Aj pitching for someone else in 2014. He’s earned that right. But the CBA gives teams a rare chance to benefit from losing a free agent – a gift that is almost exclusively reserved for high revenue teams. And for reasons that are still unclear to me, the Pirates said no thanks, we’re good.

  • Where is the mob forming at?

  • They absolutely should have extended the QO. The Pirates only concern should have been what was in their best interest. If you are so worried about ruffling A. J. ‘s feathers then who’s running the team. That’s just like the decision to go with Cole over Burnett. If that decision forced this scenario then I really wouldn’t want him back. I understand pissed off and competitive, but it was the right decision.

    I’ll accept whatever the outcome is, but this whole situation was handled very poorly.

    • Yes, I think that they should have extended the QO. Even if nothing came of it. Just to at least send the message to Burnett they still want him. The QO is below his market value.

      • Agree…qualifying offer was the way to go.

      • Am I the only one who viewed the tweet as positive news?

        Status went from “Retirement” to “Maybe a bucco.” The probability of him being a Pirate went up today. And if the two main competitors for his services are the Phillies and the Orioles? The Phillies aren’t competing and the Orioles aren’t in the NL.

        Honestly, who cares if he goes to the Orioles?

        • Can I get an amen for Brother Jaygray ?

        • I don’t see the good news. If the Pirates sign him it’ll be for at least the 14 million they could have had him for in November. They effectively negotiated against themselves by turning a captive market into a free market.

          If he signs elsewhere, the Pirates miss out on the pick they would have had if they’d offered the QO and he had rejected.

          • “If the Pirates sign him it’ll be for at least the 14 million they could have had him for in November. They effectively negotiated against themselves by turning a captive market into a free market.”

            No, the qualifying offer doesn’t work that way. Had the Pirates made the qualifying offer, Burnett would not have been required to accept it; he would still be a free agent, able to negotiate with any team (including, but not limited to, the Pirates) for whatever he could get. However, the team would have been required to pay him the $14.1M if he accepted the QO. What the Pirates would have gotten for making the qualifying offer would have been that compensatory draft pick if Burnett were to sign with another team.

            The following I’m a bit less sure about, but my understanding is that if Burnett had retired, they would have gotten nothing even if they’d have made a QO. Also, I’m not sure, but believe that if he were to sit out until after the draft and then play for another team, I think the Pirates would still get nothing, QO or not.

            • Also, if they’d made a qualifying offer the Pirates would have tied up $14 million they couldn’t use for other purposes until AJ decided what he was going to do (I think).

            • Also, if they’d made a qualifying offer The Pirates would have tied up $14 million they couldn’t use for other purposes until AJ decided what he was going to do (I think). Their budget is not unlimited.

            • You’re right – my mistake was in assuming that, if AJ wanted to pitch for the Pirates, he would have been happy to do so for 14.1M, and that’s not necessarily the case. Napoli and Kuroda rejected their QOs and re-signed with their original teams for more. It could be that, had the Pirates made the QO offer, AJ would have wanted a similar outcome.

              Still, the QO does put a drag on his FA value by attaching the loss of a 1st/2nd round pick for the signing team. The situation could have played out exactly as it has with one difference – that QO. And the Pirates’ worst case scenario would then include compensation, whereas now it does not.

              To Lino, the Pirates clearly had 14M to commit, since they made competitive offers to Josh Johnson and James Loney, who signed for a combined 17M. As for “other purposes,” well, how has that worked out? They’ve committed 5M to Volquez and from all outward appearances are content to go into the season with in-house solutions for 1B and RF. So really the only change if AJ accepts the QO is you have him in the rotation instead of Volquez and 9M less for a 1B trade or mid-season acquisition. And as a reminder, the primary 1B trade candidates linked to the Pirates (Moreland, Davis, Smoak) are all in the 3-4M range, so they still could have fit under the same 17M they were willing to commit to Johnson + Loney.

              I just don’t see any scenario where making the QO wouldn’t make sense.

        • Well, the Pirates do play four games against Baltimore this year! (April 29 & 30 at Camden Yard, May 20 & 21 at PNC)

  • Where is MattInMD now, he insisted that the Pirates would have sent the wrong message and said they didn’t believe Burnett if they had given him a QO.

    • I’m here and flattered that you remember me.

      If PP provides a way to find my previous posts I don’t know about it, and I don’t have the time to go back through every article on the site to see where I commented. So I can’t review the exact statement you are referring to.

      However, I don’t think I ever “insisted” that giving the QO was sending the wrong message. I believe I said it *might* send the wrong message. I’m not the only – or first – to say that. I don’t know Burnett personally, so don’t know what would or wouldn’t upset him.

      Nothing in this news proves that making a QO would – or wouldn’t – upset Burnett. To be honest, I’m in the camp that thinks he’s rather volatile and he might have taken offense no matter what the Pirates did. In such a circumstance, taking him at his word seems to me the least likely way to offend him.

      The strategy of taking Burnett at his word does leave the team open to the possibility that he’ll pitch elsewhere and the team will miss out on the compensation pick. However, making the QO would open the team up to the possibility that he takes the offer and age catches up with him and he goes 5-15 with a 5.5 ERA. I expect the front office weighed all this when they decided that a QO wasn’t going to be offered … unless they were told that $14.1M was not in the budget.

      If he pitches for another team and does well, I’ll be disappointed; if he pitches for another team and does poorly I’ll be glad the Pirates let him move on.

      In spite of the negatives above, if he has pitched his last game as a Pirate, I appreciate his efforts for the team and his part in bringing the team its first winning season and playoff appearance in twenty years.

  • A. J. Burnett has every right to sign wherever he chooses. If the reports are true that the Pirates only offered 8.5 million, can’t say I blame him. I have never been a Nutting is “cheap” guy, but there should have been a fair respectable offer made. Expecting him to return for 50 to 60 percent of his market value is a bit much. There comes a time when you do need to go above your comfort level and find common ground to settle on. Obviously 8.5 wasn’t it. Now maybe the front office felt that this relationship had ran it’s course, but the PR hit they’ll take if he signs elsewhere will be large. They’d better win a lot to avoid this storm.

    • I hadn’t seen those reports, KW. I know the Pirates paid out a net 8.5M for him last year (with the Yankees paying the other 8 of his 16.5M salary), but I hadn’t heard anything about an offer for 2014.

    • Kerry,and do you really believe they truly offered him Perrotto’s $ 8.5 ? I do not,not for 1 minute.

  • Wow ! You people are clueless ! Sell the team ! Declare bankruptcy… fire everyone ! Hilarious. He is the only pitcher available that could make the Phillies ages look relevant. And Baltimore !!!! He might not pass their physical if he wants too much money.

    • Good luck with Edson Volquez then – ZIPS projections have AJ and Cole at roughly the same place – and are probably a bid conservative. There is NO way this can be spun into a “good thing” for the Pirates.

      • First of all who cares what Zips projections are? They are nothing more than projections. What did they have projected for Liriano last year, that’s right garbage. A lot of people, including Tim go way too much by these projections. It’s fun to discuss in the off season but it doesn’t mean jack. My own projections are often closer than the so called experts as I am sure a lot of others are as well.

        Second, Burnett screwed around for 4 months after publicly saying retire or pitch for the Pirates. He wasn’t even responding to messages from Searage.

        3rd, he is near the end and not worth 14 mil a year in my opinion. He pitched in a very good pitcher’s park (PNC) with a very good DE behind him and the best pitching coach in baseball helping him. Let him go back to the AL east in Baltimore where he will get lit up like a Christmas tree.

        • “A lot of people, including Tim go way too much by these projections.”

          I post the projections for entertainment, but also as a guide. If you read the 88 wins article, you’d see where I pointed out how certain factors could change the projections.

    • I do want to acknowledge the “won’t pass their physical” comment – that was good, buster.

  • Pirates need to sign this player because of his veteran presence…he is just as valuable to us on days he doesn’t pitch than on days he pitches….

    • why? By showing the younger pitchers how to throw tantrums? or get angered by the shifts that surely lowered his ERA? by publicly arguing with the manager? What exactly is worth 15m of burnett when he is not pitching again? Im lost on this one.

    • Worst reason I can EVER think to spend 14+$M on a player. Im’ totally fine if AJ goes to Baltimore for a last hurrah . The bottom line will not be the cash but the commute IMHO.

      Burnett gave us two terrific years but he is going to fall apart sooner than later so let someone else deal with that. He already fell apart once in NY so he’s throwing on borrowed time. I wouldn[t be surprised if that’s NHs opinion either. Whatever the case, the Pirates are equipped to handle this and I am not going to lose any sleep regardless.

  • I told you so – he will sign with Baltimore for $30M for two years with a player option for a third year @ $12M

    And he will be worth every penny…

    Heads should roll – all could have been avoided with a QO….

    • “All could have been avoided with a QO.”

      That’s just false. That’s just false. That’s just false.

      • No, it’s not, JG. The QO obviously doesn’t prevent a guy from saying yes or no, but it protects the team on the other side of the equation, the draft pick compensation. The FO irresponsibly bungled this one, if it turns out this way.


        • Yeah but that wording just made it sound like he was required to accept the QO or something. That’s what some guys on the radio were making it sound like, and that made me heated haha. my fault if he meant more what you meant.

      • Agreed. And nobody here seems to want to mention that he said “one week” to decide his future.. thus, his stalling put the Pirates in a bad spot where they had to make a decision. Would the same ppl railing the FO right now still be railing them if they allocated 15m for Burnett in the thought that he would come back then he decided to retire and left the pirates empty handed? The FO is doing a fine job negotiating this pitching staff without burnett following through on his word to let them know a few months ago.

    • PiratesFan1975
      January 28, 2014 6:39 pm

      Might want to check AJ’s home / away splits the last 2 years away from PNC if you think he will be worth every penny @$15M per year in Baltimore. About 4.1 ERA away from PNC. He is not the same pitcher away from PNC.

      • An amen for PF1975 ?

      • He is not the same pitcher without the Bucs defense either. Still, it would be great to have him back. I think most of us sane people don’t wish for him to take a ball off of the head either. Negotiations take place every year on every team and us fans don’t really know what is going on behind the scenes as to why a Burnett deal has not gotten done. Maybe the fo is leaving money earmarked for a huge deadline deal for a top guy or something…I don’t have a clue. I would rather have a solid guy and the depth he provides for a full season than having to deal talent at mid-season for a rental.

    • I told you so, lol – who cares, let him sign with Baltimore then

    • He will get his butt kicked in the AL. He struck out A LOT of pitchers. Shifts and good defense and a giant Left Field made him look a lot better than he was.

      He’s 37, He isn’t worth more money than Cutch.

    • Burnett would never be consistent enough at this age to be worth a 42 mil deal. *See Yankees.

  • Burnett is a real piece of crap. I hope he signs with Baltimore and takes a line drive off the head to end his career.

    • U R blaming the wrong person – this could have been easily avoided – and would have had a net cost of 9.1 M – does anyone think they would have signed Volquez had they known AJ would be pitching – and does anyone really think that he will pitch for the amount of the QO?

      • No I’m not. If he doesn’t say pirates or retire then I’m not mad

        • But the Pirates dissed him – thought they could low ball him because of what he said. He expected they would treat him with the respect he EARNED and do the right thing – make the QO and let him decide if he wants to pitch or not. HELL the Pirates come out fine if he says – look I want to pitch – but I want to pitch closer to my kids – and Baltimore is offering a two year deal for nice money. FINE let him go and take the draft pick.

          This was DUMB – and did not need to happen – Huntington will have a hard time spinning this one…

          • First off, no one knows how much the pirates offered him. Plus with him being the head case that he is, he said he would be offended if they offered him a qo. He is prob still sulking from being skipped in the playoffs. Don’t say it’s the pirates or retire if you don’t mean it. Point blank. That’s why Burnett can take one off the head in Baltimore. I would love to see him yelling at everyone over there when he pitches like a bum in the American league

            • He never said he would have been offended by a QO. That is pure speculation from writers who haven’t spoken to him throughout the offseason.

              • He also said that he would take ONE WEEK to make up his mind…. so then, his statements included “pirates or retire” and “one week to decide if I will retire or pitch”… If he is now thinking of playing for another team he has lied TWICE and would deserve to be vilified. Why is it an insult to offer him his likely worth while taking into consideration his obvious risk? Especially when he has not been a man of his word throughout this process?

        • Right. Cause people shouldn’t be allowed to change their minds. Ever.

      • It didnt have to be Volquez OR Burnett. They had to operate like he was retiring, and signed a cheap 1 yr guy who could eat innings in case Burnett wouldnt be back and was still cheap enough to justify sending to the bullpen.

        I only say this because there is precedent with the Wandy trade (correia to the bullpen).

        • Remember that the first target was Josh Johnson, who signed with San Diego 3 weeks before the Bucs signed Volquez. Reports were that the Pirates were runners up, and since Johnson signed for 10M, we can assume Plan A was to sign AJ’s replacement, not a swingman.

    • ImmortalStyle
      January 28, 2014 6:44 pm

      Tom, I find your post ironic.

      Perhaps you need a mirror.

    • AJ’s commitment was based on the Pirates negotiating in good faith, obviously. Which, by all reports, they haven’t done.

      So……you were assuming that he would play in Pittsburgh for, like, $2 mil or $5 mil or $8 mil? No, he never said he would take half of what he’s worth to stay here, and the Pirates knew that. The Bucs botched this from day one, big time.

      If it’s accurate that they only offered up to $8.5 million, then please fling your “crap” at the FO, who deserve it for mismanaging this so badly.

    • should be mad at GM and ownership group. Not giving him a QO was a joke. A 1st rd pick is waltzing out the door better hope AJ does not sign with cards.