A.J. Burnett Pirates

Qualifying Offer For Free Agents Reportedly Increases

Joel Sherman of the NY Post hears that the qualifying offer for pending free agents will increase this year to $14.1 M, up from $13.3 M.

If you’re unfamiliar with the process, teams can issue a qualifying offer to a player who is about to become a free agent. If the player accepts, he gets that price. If he declines and signs with another team, then the former team gets a compensation pick after the first round, while the signing team loses their first round pick.

This is relevant to the Pirates with A.J. Burnett eligible for free agency. If the Pirates make him a qualifying offer, then they can either get him back for the reported $14.1 M, or they could get draft pick compensation if he signs elsewhere. The only way the Pirates don’t benefit in that scenario is if Burnett decides to retire.

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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, 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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  • leadoff

    I am not going 14mil for Burnett, but I would like to see the Pirates get him back.

    • deacs

      I would do it to. If he retires then you don’t have to overpay. If you offer him that and lose him, you get a pick. And if you get him then really I think you’re only slightly overpaying – if that. Market prices for pitchers these days is just insane. The only way I don’t offer him this money is if they need it for 1B. 1B is so far ahead on the priority list in my opinion then everything else.

  • IC Bob

    I agree. No team will give him 14 million either. Maybe we offer 8-10 million. If comes back great if not then my guess is he is retiring

  • Andrew

    Some team is easily willing paying 14 million for Burnett, a qualifying offer will drive his price up for other teams. However, he has produced value similar to John Lester, Colon, and Hiriko Kurado, his age is a negative, but he has pitched 185 plus each of the last six seasons. Baltimore is desperate for pitching, I could see Dayton Moore doubling down and offering 2 years 11-15 million/year. His statement about retirement are interesting and it will also be interesting to see how it plays out.

    • Matt Beam

      I would give AJ a qualifying offer, but what I really, really want is Marlon Byrd back for one more year. You’ll have to pay him more than what a 2 or 3 year deal would average… based on his production vs Hunter Pence, I’d give him $12-15MM, not sure that gets it done but the lineup was completely different with him between Cutch and Pedro

  • skliesen

    Tough call either way on Burnett. I agree 1st base is bigger priority, as is RF, but less so with Polanco due to arrive soon.

    The wild card in this decision is Rodriquez. If he exercises his option, I doubt Pirates will make qualifying offer to Burnett, but may try to get him back for less than 14mm. Will Burnett sacrifice cash to come back here? Most wouldn’t, but AJ dances to a different beat than most guys.

    When the dust clears, I say AJ will not be back. I think it’s more likely a reclamation project (Josh Johnson?) is wearing Black and Gold next Spring.

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