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Saturday, December 10, 2022

Pirates and Phillies Continue to Discuss A.J. Burnett

Jim Bowden has the latest update on the A.J. Burnett rumors between the Pirates and Phillies.

There’s not really much new information here, as we knew the Pirates had shown interest in Burnett, but didn’t like his salary. The interest from the Pirates has been described as “mild”, and they don’t like his 2015 player option. I guess the news here is that Bowden classifies the talks as alive.

Meanwhile, Jake Peavy is going to the San Francisco Giants, according to Jon Heyman.

The Giants have been one of the teams looking for starters, although Peavy has been struggling this year, so I’m not sure if this completes their search. The Giants and Pirates both had two scouts last night watching the David Price and Jon Lester matchup.

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Tim started Pirates Prospects in 2009 from his home in Virginia, which was 40 minutes from where Pedro Alvarez made his pro debut in Lynchburg. That year, the Lynchburg Hillcats won the Carolina League championship, and Pirates Prospects was born from Tim's reporting along the way. The site has grown over the years to include many more writers, and Tim has gone on to become a credentialed MLB reporter, producing Pirates Prospects each year, and will publish his 11th Prospect Guide this offseason. He has also served as the Pittsburgh Pirates correspondent for Baseball America since 2019. Behind the scenes, Tim is an avid music lover, and most of the money he gets paid to run this site goes to vinyl records.


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Why would the Pirates want a pitcher that wasn’t in their own 2013 playoff rotation! Bring up Kingman or Glasnow.


I still say kennedy is the best option both for this year and a bridge for next, it would take something like a hanson,heredia and either pimentel or gomez to get it done. Alas though it looks like the front office has tunnel vision once again,focusing on aj. Much like last off season when they focused on loney and johnson,when neither of them panned out they had no plan b, finally winding up with volquez as a consolation prize ( yes he’s turned out fine to this point,I’m just sayin’) Bottom line is there are better options available at rates the pirates can afford, however it looks like we are in the bargain bin once again.


IMO, the Pirates don’t need Burnett, but, if something would happen to one of their starters in the near future, life would get tough, no guarantee that Cole is going to last long after two problems, so the question is, if Cole does not make it back, does Burnett fit? IMO, the other issues are that Locke and Worley look like they are treading water to me and neither can pitch without making a mistake killing them, they just don’t have the stuff to overcome bad pitches. IMO, depth is something that cannot be understated, Burnett makes the Pirates much stronger depth wise.

Lukas Sutton

In his last start, it was his defense and not his stuff that let Worley down. He has done nothing to warrant being considered suspect, and Locke even less so. Locke has been our best pitcher of the last 2 months, not having given up more than 3 ER in any start and going at least 6 innings in all of his starts since June. Locke is treading water? I wish all our SP would tread like that.


I know what Locke and Worley have done, I know about the defense, the Post was about the near future, I don’t think those two are good answers going forward.

Lukas Sutton

my point was you base that on nothing. They arent good answers because of what? Cant be stats, cant be projections from any source. Only argument that Locke isnt a good option going forward is “my gut” or “well last year”. Everything points toward Locke maintaining the success of a mid rotation pitcher. His periphs have him at worst a 3.4 pitcher.


is it possible that the acquistion of AJ, allows us to move volquez back into the bullpen? or another SP. With Frieri struggles, maybe that is a way the FO looks to improve our overall pitching.

If the Phillies eat most of his salary (and willing to eat some of it next year as well) he could be a nice bridge into Tallion and Kingham.

It would give us a starting Rotation of Cole, AJ, Morton, Locke, Worley, and then slowly bring along Tallion and Kingham. Not sure how Volquez fits in there… just random thoughts, I have no analysis of the prospects we lose or how much he is really worth $$$

Lukas Sutton

AJ as a bridge? AJ is a 4 ERA pitcher this year! He turns 38! He is a back of the rotation pitcher that would be our 4th best pitcher at most next year. Ill take Cole-Morton-Locke over him for sure. Ill even take Worley over AJ going forward. AJ is not what he was last year.

Lee Young

Why bump Volquez? He has been pitching very well.

Lee Young

So Cole bumps Worley. OK

AJ bumps Edinson (who has pitched to similar if not better results)? Where’s the upgrade?

S Brooks

Presumably, the FO may not believe Eddie will continue to defy his peripherals and/or that Cole is a risk to go back on the DL. And I maintain that looking at Burnett’s season to date stats might be undervaluing him, as he has been a significantly better pitcher the last 6-7 weeks, and the peripherals bear that out.

Of course, that’s just the stats side of the equation. Scouts are seeing him pitch live and will have much richer qualitative data to contribute.


When you look at what other teams are picking up, (Peavy,Capuano) Burnett is a steal compared to those type pitchers. This is more about whether the Pirates need more starting pitching, something I don’t think they do need, but could use if a bargain is out there, bullpen pitching for sure, wish there were a few more good rumors around about the Bucs acquiring a good pen arm.

Simon Weaver

I’ll give you like a Willy Garcia, Jin De-Jhang, and a bag of peanuts to pay for 60% of all salary on those options for games pitched


The way the Phillies operate I think they would want talent closer to Major League ready.

Lukas Sutton

I dont want to give up De-Jhang. Thats how little i feel about the level of upgrade AJ is over our 5 best SP. A healthy Cole makes AJ our 6th best option. Not enough of an upgrade to say “well now we make the playoffs for sure”.

Lee Young

Don’t want AJ back….He’s a #4 pitcher at this point….and we have enough of those already.


I agree Lee!

S Brooks

Sox got the Giants&#8 217; #2 and #8 rated prospects for 2 months of Peavy (Sickels&#8 217; rankings). It&#8 217;s not the best system, but that&#8 217;s a B+ and B- pitching prospect, the equivalent would be maybe Kingham and Stolmy.

Now THAT is an overpay.


Yes, but Escobar’s stock has fallen since pre-season, his results at AAA haven’t been good, he cannot get RHH out. Though Hembree might be more valuable than Pimental as he has a option left.

S Brooks

True, Escobar is struggling, but he’s also 22 and starting at AAA. There’s plenty of time to right the ship.

Lee Young



The prospects would be low rated, and the amount of money paid by the phillies would be significant. That’s the only way. I agree with Tim, I see no upgrade here UNLESS he DOES pick up the player option and the phils are paying 6-7 million next year. in That scenario, it has some value. But you can’t count on Burnett, he has already burnt us once, do we really want to head into another offseason unsure if we have a spot filled or not while other quality players are signed early? No- we don’t


AJ has some value, to this team, this year, but not at a high cost. Bowden may be right (though he mostly is NOT right), the Bucs/ Phils are working on bringing the cost down. The Phils were ready to eat most of Howard’s salary… would do the same for Papelbon, and no doubt would do so for AJ. Why the Phils signed him in the first place is a complete mystery. Made no sense. They suck at self-evaluation.


You are right as to why they signed him. It is arrogance of a big market team for the Phillies and Amaro to think that team was gonna compete this year. Cliff Lee or not the Phillies are a mess. I guess when you have money to blow that’s just what you do.


I just don’t see where NH and CH reacquire a pitcher they both didn’t want back over the winter. NH doesn’t work like that.


Nobody ever said that they didn’t want him. They offered him 12 million.


It’s not that they didn’t want him, they just didn’t want him for $16 million


I think that is overblown. Just look at the recent video tribute and all the comment CH and NH have made re: AJ this summer. No doubt they would welcome him back. That said, I can only see them doing so with the Phils eating a TON of the salary.


You realize teams do things like that for good press, correct?


NO doubt there is a PR component to this, but wvkeeper was making an assertion that the Bucs would not bring AJ back, and I think there is evidence to the contrary.


I don’t think they want him back unless they are giving up very little, and paying very little. If they really would have wanted him back in the first place, they would have just shelled out the extra few million that the Phillies were willing to pay

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