Pirates Eager to Sign A. J. Burnett, Marlon Byrd, and Clint Barmes

A.J. Burnett pitching for the Pittsburgh Pirates

The Pirates are eager to bring A.J. Burnett back, and could make him a qualifying offer. (Photo Credit: David Hague)

Tom Singer has some free agent updates for the Pirates, highlighted by the Pirates being eager to sign three of their seven free agents: A.J. Burnett, Marlon Byrd, and Clint Barmes.

Singer notes that the Pirates will likely make Burnett a qualifying offer, but that they don’t need to rush negotiations since he’s deciding between the Pirates and retiring. He also says that Neal Huntington could push hard to re-sign Barmes and Byrd during the exclusive negotiating window, before they have a chance to negotiate with other teams.

Out of the four other free agents, a few make sense on minor league deals. Kyle Farnsworth pitched well out of the bullpen, and wouldn’t be a bad guy to take a flier on if he’s available in January. Singer felt he could be re-signed under those circumstances. Jeff Karstens wouldn’t be a bad flier and depth option on a minor league deal, but nowhere near his price last year.

Earlier we heard that Justin Morneau wasn’t likely to get a contract offer during the exclusive window, but that the Pirates have still shown interest, making it seem likely that he’s a backup option.

Tim Williams

Author: Tim Williams

Tim is the owner and editor in chief of Pirates Prospects. He started the site in January 2009, and turned it into his full time job during the 2011 season. Prior to starting Pirates Prospects, Tim worked with AccuScore.com, providing MLB, NHL, and NFL coverage to various national media outlets, including ESPN Insider, USA Today, Yahoo Sports, and the Wall Street Journal. He also writes the annual Prospect Guide, which is sold through the site. Tim lives in Bradenton, where he provides live coverage all year of Spring Training, mini camp, instructs, the Bradenton Marauders, and the GCL Pirates.

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