First Pitch

First Pitch: A.J. Burnett and the Rising Cost of Pitchers

First Pitch: A.J. Burnett and the Rising Cost of Pitchers

What kind of money is A.J. Burnett worth this off-season? (Photo Credit: David Hague)

Earlier this week the Pittsburgh Pirates declined to give A.J. Burnett a qualifying offer of $14.1 M. The offer would have brought Burnett back if he would have accepted it, and would have brought the Pirates a draft pick if he would have signed elsewhere. There have been some predictions saying that Burnett would only cost $12-13 M.

Burnett has said he will either retire to play for the Pirates. So even without the qualifying offer, the thought would be that Burnett returning to the Pirates seems likely. The only thing you have to wonder is how the recent free agent contracts and rumors might impact the price.

The off-season has already seen Tim Lincecum sign a two-year, $35 M deal. Now, Ken Rosenthal reports that Ervin Santana is looking for five years and $100 M, while Ricky Nolasco is looking for five years and $80 M. They probably won't get $16-20 M. MLBTR pointed out that Santana is bei...

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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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