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.