Burnett Hasn’t Given Pirates Any Indication on His Plans

Jon Morosi reports that A.J. Burnett hasn’t given the Pittsburgh Pirates any indication on his plans for the 2014 season.

It seems that Burnett is still deciding between retirement or playing with the Pirates. The big question is, how long do the Pirates wait? I don’t think they need to rush right now to get an answer from Burnett, but at some point they need to make a move. If they wait too long (and by too long, I mean at some point in early-to-mid December), they could lose out on some potential replacements for Burnett. I profiled a few bounce back candidates this morning.

On Friday, Huntington told David Todd that the Pirates can’t afford $14 M for Burnett. You could look at that two ways. One is the basic “the Pirates can’t afford $14 M for any player”. The other is that they have a plan for this off-season involving multiple positions, and they only have a certain amount budgeted for that starting pitcher spot — whether it’s Burnett or a bounce back guy. In previous years the bounce back candidates have been signed later in the off-season. The Pirates traded for Burnett in late January, and signed Francisco Liriano in the third week of December (followed by the restructuring of his deal that led to his official signing a month later). There will still be some bounce back pitchers available around the winter meetings, but the Pirates would have to address other positions by that point, which means they’d need a good idea of their budget and what they were going to spend on that one rotation spot.

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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