Neal Huntington said that the Pirates couldn't afford $14 M for Burnett. (Photo Credit: David Hague)

Ray Searage Doesn’t Expect A.J. Burnett to Return

Ray Searage was on 93.7 The Fan today, and was asked whether he thought A.J. Burnett would return. Searage said that the team is still waiting, but that he expects Burnett to retire and doesn’t expect him back. The interview and the article can be found here.

All off-season the discussion surrounding Burnett has been on the qualifying offer. Eventually there were reports that the Orioles were interested if he did decide to return. However, all indications are that Burnett hasn’t decided if he’s going to return or retire. If he was only looking for money, he would have been able to sign elsewhere. It has looked like he’s leaning more toward retiring. It seems that Searage shares the same opinion.

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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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  • CalipariFan506

    Burnett has the maturity level of a 6 year old.

    • leefoo

      I wonder about you sometimes, too.


      • CalipariFan506

        Takes one to know one.

        • leefoo

          Nyah, nyah, na nah na.

          Geez….this almost makes me feel young again. Anyone up for a game of Release the Prisoner?

    • Cato the Elder

      I wish I would have had the “maturity” to retire when I was 6 years old.

      • PiratesForever

        who are you to say that stuff didn’t your mom teach you better

  • BamaBuc21

    I have been intrigued about the possibility of AJ signing for a half of a season so that he would be fresh for the stretch run. Any possibility of this happening?

    • rsborelli

      @BamaBuc21, I was thinking the same. Maybe like a Roy Oswalt kind of deal. I guess nothing says he has to decide now and hopefully the door will be left open. That would be quite a potential infusion around June – if you consider Polanco, Taillon, and Burnett! Would be like an early trade deadline!

  • leefoo

    I heard AJ wants to still play.

    I heard his wife wants him to retire.

    Guess who is gonna win?

    • dcpinpgh

      That’s kind of good news. He might stay out half the year, then his wife will be like, you gotta go back and play some ball….

    • Mr. Goodkat

      If thats the case…

      Possibility A: AJ watches baseball on TV –> Gets urge to play –> Begs wife –> Wife Caves –> AJ Returns

      Possibility B: AJ becomes bored –> Sulks around the house for a few months –> Wife caves –> AJ Returns

      Possibility C: AJ becomes bored –> Smothers wife –> Wife begs AJ –> AJ Caves –> AJ Returns

      Possibility D: AJ and his wife live happily ever after whilst being around eachother 24/7 (Ha!) –> AJ Stays Retired

      I like the odds!

      • PiratesForever

        oh I also think the money will get to AJ

      • leefoo

        Mr goodkat…you scared me when you wrote “AJ smothers wife”

        I thought he was gonna go to jail after that.

    • PiratesForever

      AJ obviously what do you think the wife she has no (all) say

  • skliesen

    The Pirates don’t expect him back and they let the fans know as much when they signed Edison Volquez. This report should not come as a surprise to anyone who’s been paying attention.

    • buster09

      + 1 sklieson

    • emjayinTN

      sk: Agree to a certain extent, but I also see Volquez as an excellent add for very little. He’s averaged 170 IP the past 3 years and has a big upside if he can get some help figuring out his pitches. He started as a guy who was primarily a fastball/changeup pitcher and last year dropped below 20% fastballs, and has moved toward being a junkball thrower, even though his FB velocity is still VG. But, the Pirates got him as an insurance policy, and I think being on a contender will have a positive influence on him.

  • burghdood

    Pitchers & Catchers report Feb 13th, a little more than 4 weeks from now, so we should know soon…I’ll bet when he starts thinking about missing out on his usual spring routines, forever, he may tell the wife “Honey-I feel great-lets do this one more time & sock another 10 million towards our grandchildren’s education” Hey, they may need it by then!

  • bench player

    Regardless of his decision he was a big part in changing the culture of this team.

  • weltytowngang

    Burnett has a choice to sign with the Pirates or not to. The Pirates have the option to sign him or not, if he’s available. The time has long passed for the Pirates to show him consideration. It’s time for the Pirates to move on and forget about signing him whether he’s available or not. If he decides to play for another year, he will sign with the highest bidder. The Pirates mean no more to him than any other team.

  • Monkshot

    My gut says he will return at some point, but I have no idea how things like this work. I don’t know if they would keep Searage in on information like this or not.

    • emjayinTN

      monk: Since Searage averages about one public statement every 2 or 3 years, what’s the possibility that he and Burnett have been in contact, and this is the word that AJ wanted distributed? Anything we hear from Ray Searage or Russell Martin is info worth believing.

  • Pie Rat

    I say the only pitch we will see Burnett throw in 2014 is a ceremonial first pitch.

  • StargellStar

    Regardless of how this plays out, Burnett was clearly a great influence for two seasons. He is a competitor and i’d like to see him pitch one more year!

    • Bridgevillebuc

      Agree.. Don’t know why there is so many people down on him. Just because he has not made a personal statement..I guess lack of information leads to wild speculation.

      Wasn’t more than a month ago that people were talking about how he was going to sign with Baltimore because a COLUMNIST leaked a tweet or how he is some sort of pansy because he values his wife’s opinion.

  • Benjamin McFerren

    Yeh right

    What real free agent starters have signed yet? Josh Johnson, gavin floyd, volquez, mulder, hudson?

    Come on…

    Its pretty clear that the market for top flight starters is waiting for Tanaka to set the standard price.

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