A.J. Burnett Signs a One Year Deal With the Phillies

Todd Zolecki of MLB.com reports that A.J. Burnett has signed a one year deal with the Philadelphia Phillies.

No word yet on the terms of the deal. Obviously this ends the saga of where Burnett will eventually sign. It will be interesting to see what Burnett received on the one-year deal, to see if it matched the $14.1 M for a qualifying offer. I’ll keep this post updated with any additional details.

UPDATE 12:09 PM: Burnett gets $16 M, per Ken Rosenthal.

Tim Williams

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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  • buster09

    Sell the team now,all is lost !

    • Andrew

      Where is the mob forming?

    • Cato the Elder

      Grab your pitchforks!!!

      http://makeagif.com/i/opfdQ0

    • Jeff

      IMO, Bucs will miss him pitching every 5 days. I hope Volquez can give us his production

  • loehr22

    It obviously wasn’t about winning. Phils are headed nowhere. Should have made him an offer.

    • Ron Zorn

      Said the same a couple of weeks ago. If AJ grabbed a big dollar contract on the East Coast from anyone but Washington, must be a money grab. Phillies absolutely have a shot, they are very talented. Just VERY old and likely injury prone. Just can’t see it happening.

      Frankly, I understand that he wore out his welcome with management, who said all the right things, but were tired of his “competitiveness”. There is a fine line between competitiveness and “prima donna”.

      I will miss him, and he helped my beloved Bucco’s greatly in turning the corner. But no one player is larger than the team.

      AJ, I will miss your tipping of the hat to the fans, good luck and Go Bucco’s

      • risefromtheashes89

        Heard Tim’s comments on ESPN radio on the way home tonight. Infield defense in Philly not nearly as good as in Pgh and a ground ball pitcher apt to struggle. Also remember how AJ looked after the 4th and 5th innings over the last month plus last year. Struggled. Had over 100 pitches in most games in 7 innings or less.

  • https://profiles.google.com/116366873579930999690 Thom Kay

    I’m sure some will point out that it’s only a couple hours away from his home in Baltimore.

    No way the Pirates were competing with that salary. Too bad.

    • emjayinTN

      Probably well worth the $16 mil, but not for the Pirates. The Phillies window is very narrow and this could be the “all in” for 2014 while many of their mainstays are still able to play well – that is not the case for the Pirates who had AJ for 2012 and 2013 for $16 mil total for 2 seasons. I guess the “Pirates or retirement” statement from AJ had strings attached and actually meant only if you pay me more than anybody else is willing to offer. About the QO, it is going to cost the Pirates a Supplemental pick, but it is not his responsibility to make decisions for the Pirates. In the end, Business is always Business regardless of any statements to the contrary from the player regarding loyal$y

      • https://profiles.google.com/116366873579930999690 Thom Kay

        Good point about the supplemental pick. That’s too bad. I wonder if AJ would have taken teh $14.1 from the Pirates.

        I don’t blame him at all. If the Pirates weren’t willing to make the QO, there’s no way they were offering $14M later on. It seems like they wouldn’t have offered him more than $10-$12. If that’s the case, I can understand signing for $16M.

        He’s already rich, but he’s not ignore-$5M-rich.

        • buster09

          Don’t wonder about that Thom. It ought to be pretty clear that ,right or wrong,they didn’t offer him the QO number because they were afraid he would accept it !

          • https://profiles.google.com/107500598404660809214 Kerry Writtenhouse

            They shouldn’t have been worried about it. With the time frame the way it is for the QO, it wasn’t likely he would accept. But you never know. As an organization that lives and dies by developing players. They should embrace every opportunity to acquire extra picks. I felt that way before as well as now. I honestly don’t think AJ knew at that point if he wanted to pitch or not. Maybe they took him at his word that it was here or retirement. If so, it was a kind but foolish gesture on their part. Maybe this strategy pays off and the system is better than the individual player. I hope so. But there will be a lot of eyeballs on Volquez. Right or wrong, he’ll be viewed as A J’S replacement. I hope they got it right.

            Who knows, maybe this gives Taillion and Kingham a better opportunity to make it up.

        • emjayinTN

          I cannot find it in me to blame him for doing what he thinks is best for he and his family. I have no idea where he lives, but it is supposedly closer to Philly than to B’more, and DC is just that much further beyond B’more. After reading Tim’s article about the cost of a First Round Draft Pick, I have to wonder what the Supplemental Pick would be worth. He gave us a legitimate #1 for the first time in many, many years and was one of the driving forces behind the Pirates ascension to the level of the elite, and the Pirates now have the Clydesdales to keep moving forward.

    • Mr. Goodkat

      At this point, I’m just glad he didn’t go to Washington.

  • pdcostigan

    This is infuriating. Huntington took AJ at his word, AJ took Huntington for a long ride. This should surprise no one.

    • moose7195

      But that isn’t AJ’s fault, it’s Huntington’s. AJ is allowed to change his mind, and NH is stupid for thinking that he wouldn’t. “Took him at his word”, lol, baseball is a business, and NH didn’t hedge his bet like any competent GM would, so he has to be the villain here.

  • http://MultiMatchupSports.com Stephen Stasa

    He’s going from 20134’s 3rd best defensive team to the 30th (68 to -102 DRS). That defensive runs saved swing means about a 22 runs for AJ (based on IP only) which would take his ERA last year from 3.30 to 4.34.

    What’s the over/under on starts before wanting shifts?

    http://www.fangraphs.com/leaders.aspx?pos=all&stats=fld&lg=all&qual=0&type=1&season=2013&month=0&season1=2013&ind=0&team=0,ts&rost=0&age=0&filter=&players=0&sort=8,d

    • opieterp

      The Phillies equated him to Kuroda. Time will tell if it was a good deal.

    • deacs

      I spoke to Todd about this last night. He said most fans think the Phillies are cheap somehow. Interesting to see what they think now.

      I loved AJ but not at 16 million.

      • http://www.facebook.com/bryan.graham.773 Bryan Graham

        What’s the difference, the Pirates didn’t spend a nickel on anybody of any value all offseason. You might wish they had given AJ his money once you see Volquez pitch.

        • PiratesFan1975

          You complained when the Pirates spent $$ and signed Martin and said McKenry was as good (actually said he wouldn’t throw out anymore base runners than McKenry). Now you complain about them not spending $$ and say Volquez will make people miss AJ.

          I feel even better about Volquez now. Thanks.

    • Andrew

      That is an excellent point, I would have loved to have signed him for another year. Strikeouts and groundballs can work anywhere, but have fun with that infield defense and bandbox of a park. The Pirates combination of outfield defense and homerun suppressing park for a perfect fit for Burnett, those do not exist in Philly.

      And I stole this conclusion from an article by Tony Blegino

      Burnett doesn’t allow a lot of fly balls or line drives, but the ones he does allow are hit harder than the league average. His relative fly ball run value allowed spikes up from 90 to 109 once you take the Pirates’ ballpark and outfield defense out of the equation. Ditto his line drive run value, up from 99 to 107

  • Lionel Hutz

    Ruben Amaro, ladies and germs.

  • deacs

    I live in Philly. I may heckle him at a game. I don’t know why. I shouldn’t. This whole situation just kind of pisses me off. People change their mind. I’ll have to ask Todd if there’s any way in hell if they would’ve signed him and had to have given up a second rounder for the QO. Which of course was not made. I’ll have to let this sink in.

  • deacs

    If they weren’t going to pay him $14.1 million or whatever the QO is then I guess they were really at his mercy anyway. I think he was worth that. The fact that he’s in Philly bothers me cause I have to deal with it every 5 days but let’s move on. There’s going to be a lot that we don’t know and we probably never will so people will speculate but I’m not sure we’ll ever know all the answers. The whole thing just sours me but that’s business.

    • glassers

      Have felt for a long time that Burnett was gone . He brought a lot to the Pirates the last 2 years so I wish him luck until he plays the Pirates . I cannot see him being worth 16 mil but as the poster said above ” that’s business ” . Hopefully with Cole and Loriano getting more work this season that they can replace some wins we lose with Burnett signing else where .

  • Born4rf

    Sorry it’s not with us but SOOOOOOOOOO glad he’s signed. No hard feelings, I know I would like to make $16M next year so it’s not like he left us for a few dollars more… that’s a lot! My guess’s AJ asked the Bucs not to QO him, knowing it would murder any market he would have, leaving him with the Pirates offer or nothing. Also, since he didn’t sign with us I’m glad he signed for a ridiculously overloaded contract with a team that is sinking like the Bismarck. That should ensure the Phillies don’t rebuild anytime soon. This may let NH pull the trigger on a 1B deal knowing he has some scratch left in his budget.

    • jg941

      So…..in your opinion……why on EARTH would a baseball team leave itself without the protection of a draft pick so that they could help a free agent increase his outside market value……to price himself out of that baseball team’s price range?

      And, remember – it’s not the Pirates paying $16 million for that spot in the rotation. the question at the QO amount was whether they thought AJ at the QO amount would be worth $9 millionmore than an Edinson Volquez, which by al lindications AJ would/should be. Man, the Bucs screwed this up – just incredible.

      • Cato the Elder

        I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again: the Bucs did AJ a huge favor by not giving him a QO. So long as the parting was amicable, then I think this makes Pittsburgh a desirable team for pitchers looking for a 1-/2 bridge deal in order to reestsblish their value. A pitchers park, a very good defense, Eay Searge voodoo and a front office that is unlikely to undermine your free agent market by hamstringing you with a QO all adds up to a great opportunity for the next FA pitcher in need of a make over.

        And on that note, add like to start taking bets that Volquez outperforms AJ next season. What kind of odds do you think I could get, cause between you, me and the light post, I bet Volquez ends the season with more wins and a better ERA than AJ.

        • http://www.facebook.com/bryan.graham.773 Bryan Graham

          The Pirates shouldn’t be in the business of doing players favors. Philly most likely would have given up the draft pick for Burnett. Bottom line, they could have either had a good pitcher or a draft pick, instead they got nothing.

      • Born4rf

        I believe, especially since he waited until February to announce his intentions… that AJ really didn’t know what he wanted to do in November. If he doesn’t except the Pirates offer then he’s in Kendrys Morales’ shoes. No one is going to forfeit a first rounder for a one year deal unless he pitches for less than the Pirates wanted to lowball hiim at. Thus, he asks NH to please not extend the QO. NH could have done it and been seen by AJ as a jag0ff, he takes the deal and either is a pi$$’d off starter drawing $14M or he retires. No winning there. Neil did the right thing. AJ probably is making $6M more than the Pirates felt he was worth, he did the right thing.

        BTW, did anyone else see Burnett imploding on the mound in a couple starts in September and October? Age catches up with us all, including Burnett once. You would think Philly would know about that.

  • Steve Necaster

    What will it take for us to get him at the deadline? And how much would he cost at that point?

  • skliesen

    This news should not come as a surprise to anyone. Once Pirates signed Volquez, they no longer were interested in signing AJ.

    As for AJ, I wish him nothing but the best. He will always be an all-time great for being an integral part of turning the franchise around.

    I think the timing was right for AJ. And Pirates to go their separate ways. He goes out as a hero, and Pirates get the flexibility to bring up Taillon in a couple months to replace AJ’s value.

    • https://www.facebook.com/will.sanchez.54 Will Sanchez

      @skliesen..IT<S going to take Tallion a few years ..in maybe 2 -3 years maybe he will be able to keep the opposition to 2 runs or less more than 15 times a year…

      • PiratesFan1975

        AJ did have 15 starts of 6 IP or more and 2 runs or less last year. Of course 10 of them happened @ PNC Park.

        • https://www.facebook.com/will.sanchez.54 Will Sanchez

          here or there ..what would it matter ..he did it…

          • BigB2323

            The venue has a lot to do with it, bud.

            • https://www.facebook.com/will.sanchez.54 Will Sanchez

              wouldn’t you prefer to win at HOME in front of your FANS?

              • PiratesFan1975

                Ahh…thisis a new one. AJ just wants to win @ home for the fans.

            • http://www.facebook.com/bryan.graham.773 Bryan Graham

              Yeah, the ball park did wonders for McDonald and Locke in the second half. Bottom line, you better have the talent to make the ball park work for you. It doesn’t just work for everybody.

  • leadoff

    I don’t think his stats were that much better than Arroyo’s and he got 9.5mil a year for 2 years, 16mil seems way out of line to me.

    • tom2125

      Your crazy. Arroyo was a drastic over pay. If you say Mahlom and arroyo are the same pitcher i agree. Burnett put up excellent numbers last year and lead the majors in k per 9 innings. Arroyo is a league average pitcher. Not saying Burnett will have another great season but he is above and beyond better than arroyo

      • PiratesFan1975

        Correction……Burnett put up excellent numbers @ PNC. He put up Bronson Arroyo production on the road.

  • dave1231959

    Adios. Next topic please.

  • https://www.facebook.com/bruce.humbert Bruce Humbert

    Well this will provide a year long story line that should be fun to watch. I remain convinced that the Bucs made a huge mistake in not going with the QO. AJ would have cost them a net of 9.1 Million since the would not have need to sign Volquez. But now we get to compare the two pitchers – start for start – and if AJ has anything left this could get a bit ugly.

    And all of you guys slotting in Taillon and Polanco and seeing them as future all-stars…

    Taillon ranks 20th and Polanco 17th on the Baseball prospects top 100 – not sure things to even make it to the bigs this year.

    • tom2125

      Who cares about some ranking system? The only thing that matters is what the pirates think. They both will be up mid season. That’s a guarantee. They didn’t get anybody in right field so polanco can come up and same goes for tailon. These experts didn’t like cole and he proved them wrong in a big way up to this point.

      • https://www.facebook.com/will.sanchez.54 Will Sanchez

        if ..”only matters what the pirates think”..well my friend they think of a BRINKS truck full of money put in their accounts at the end of the year…at this “tune” it will be more than 40 MILLIONS..

    • buster09

      Bruce,to quote Pirate Fan 1975 : ” Correction……Burnett put up excellent numbers @ PNC. He put up Bronson Arroyo production on the road.” If you choose to ignore his shortcomings, fine by me. But it is a pretty telling statement about your judgement.

      • https://www.facebook.com/will.sanchez.54 Will Sanchez

        @ buster A.J was almost perfect in the first 1/2 of the season…until he got hurt..and that’s when the doo-doo hit the fan..http://www.baseball-reference.com/teams/PIT/2013-schedule-scores.shtml

        • PiratesFan1975

          Was he not hurt for his 3 starts @ home where he went 21.2 IP with only 4 runs in the middle of a bunch of bad road starts? This must be the ‘AJ was a good mentor for 2012 1st half James McDonald and 2013 1st half Jeff Locke but somebody must have been responsible for the 2012 2nd half & 2013 James McDonald and the 2013 2nd half Jeff Locke’ argument.

          • https://www.facebook.com/will.sanchez.54 Will Sanchez

            that’s the pitching coach job..everybody says Searage change A.J. He gets credit for aj turnaround..but he (Searage)fails with Sanchez, Mc donald and the Locke ,meltdown…along with the 2nd 1/2 meltdowns in 2011 and 2012 …how /when did that become A.J job or responsability

        • PiratesFan1975

          And one big reason he was so much better in the 1st half of the season………….of his 1st 12 starts 8 were @ PNC.

          And those 2nd half struggles…………… of his last 18 starts only 6 were @ PNC.

        • buster09

          ” Almost perfect…..” reminds me of that movie,” Almost Famous “. Almost, but not quite

  • http://wkkortas.wordpress.com wkkortas

    There’s always a bit of “AJ being AJ” with Burnett, but the man owes the organization nothing; he gave the club two damn fine years of taking the bump every fifth day, and you can’t argue the Pirates didn’t get bang for their buck. That said, I agree that 16 mil is a big number for Burnett, and 14.1 mil as well.

    You know, for the Phils, AJ constitutes being part of a youth movement.

  • jaygray007

    He’s totally worthy of $16 mil. Will be interested to hear of pirates’ final offer.

    But his family… the reason for ALL OF THIS…. is now 2 hours closer to him. i have to imagine that Burnett just wanted to be a Phillie if we learn that the pirates were even a few million less than that.

  • jaygray007

    also, i’ll be entertained when the pirates trade for a 4 ERA AJ burnett at the trade deadline for a prospect :) and he goes back to a 3 ERA because of defense and park factors.

    • jaygray007

      This is really no different than him retiring then coming back midseason :)

  • bucco4life

    Am I the only one who saw Burnett’s performance in the playoffs? Good riddance

    • Bucco_Joe

      So instead of wishing AJ good riddance, you now get the change to cheer on Wandy with the broken wing, Morton who seemingly can’t figure how to get out left handers hitters, and Edison Volquez who can’t get anyone out. Now that’s 60% of a starting rotation looking to return us to our not so glorious past.

      • jaygray007

        I don’t get why a starting pitcher’s platoon splits matter that much. as long as they’re fantastic against one side of the plate, why does it matter if they’re bad against the other half?

        does it matter if a guy had a 4.00 ERA with equal performance vs both sides of plate or a 4.00 ERA with bad stuff vs lefties and good stuff vs righties?

        MAYBE it causes a more taxed bullpen because you will be quicker to pull the trigger. you’ll pull Morton in the 6th inning if he’s going against Votto for Justin Wilson more often than a guy with no platoon splits.

        i guess it sucks if a team has a lineup of 8 lefties. but in that case, they would barely have any righties on the active roster, and the manager should start a left handed starter that day anyway.

    • https://www.facebook.com/will.sanchez.54 Will Sanchez

      no not forgotten. i guess you only saw the playoffs….but if he did not pitch like he did …it would have been LOOSING SEASON 21..playoff..a dream..or another nightmare..he got us to the dance…lets not forget that…and give A.J credit..

      • PiratesFan1975

        You are really suggesting that the 2013 Pirates that won 94 games would have a LOSING season without AJ Burnett? That is even more ridiculous than basing AJ’s success of off the post season only.Apparently the Pirates should have paid him $70 million this season. AJ Burnett the 14 WAR player.

        • https://www.facebook.com/will.sanchez.54 Will Sanchez

          yes..take 20 + good starts of A.J. and put in the original rotation Mc donald,Sanchez and what do u Get..

          • PiratesFan1975

            That makes no sense.

    • jon6er

      No we all saw it but you seem to be one of those people that have a weird perception of success. One bad game may negate all the success he had in his career in your view. But losing a game to a great hitting team that went to the WS and has seen you plenty of times over two years isn’t a measuring stick in the real world.

  • PiratesFan1975

    This appears to be a poor decision by AJ unless this was 100% about money. The Phillies defense is horrendous. As far as Defensive Runs Saved last year here are the comparisons via Fangraphs …..

    C PIT (10) Rank T2
    C PHI (-1) Rank 17
    1B PIT (-3) Rank 21
    1B PHI (-2) Rank 19
    2B PIT (13) Rank 3
    2B PHI (-6) Rank 22
    SS PIT (9) Rank 5
    SS PHI (-16) Rank 27
    3B PIT (5) Rank 8
    3B PHI (-26) Rank 30
    LF PIT (26) Rank 1
    LF PHI (-7) Rank 24
    CF PIT (8) Rank 9
    CF PHI (-20) Rank 29
    RF PIT (-7) Rank 21
    RF PHI (-19) Rank 28

    Combine that with a HR/FB of 12.5% the last 2 years AWAY from PNC.

    Good luck AJ, You’re going to need lots of it.

    • PiratesFan1975

      And as far as the PNC park factor goes…….

      AJ had 9 starts last year where he gave up 4 or more runs in a game. Only 1 of those was @ PNC Park (and 1 of those 4 runs was unearned).

    • IC Bob

      Of course it was about money. The Bucs offered 8.1 million the Phillies offered 16 million. Only a fool doesn’t take that deal. You could put a bunch of HS players behind him and I would still take the extra 8 million. The fact of the matter is the Bucs didn’t really want him. We may disagree with the Pirates on this but they did what they felt was best for them. I believe if they offer a QO AJ takes it.

      • PiratesFan1975

        Not sure where you’re getting 8.1 million. Jon Heyman reported Pirates offered 12 million. If I had made over 120 million I’d rather win and take 4 million less. Having more money isn’t going to make him less miserable on that Phillies team.

        • http://www.facebook.com/bryan.graham.773 Bryan Graham

          Yes, because $4 million is chump change when it’s your last paycheck. It’s completely ridiculous for anybody to claim they wouldn’t take $4 million more dollars. If AJ is that miserable in Philly, I’m sure he can wipe his eyes with his pay stubs.

          • stickyweb

            It’s not going to be a $4 million difference. Remember his agent and the gubment are gonna take their cuts. He’ll be lucky if it’s a $2 mil net difference when all is said and done. Again, to you and me, that’s huge; much less so to him.
            I think the Game 5 decision really got under AJ’s skin, and all things being equal, he’d rather make the Bucs look foolish. So he got a few extra bucks and his wish of dissing the Pirates.
            I think that satisfaction will wear out pretty quickly when his stats take the inevitable hit and the fans and media aren’t bowing to him like he’s some god or something. Oh, and he’s 20 games out a few months into the season.

          • PiratesFan1975

            It’s not ridiculous at all. You are really saying that you would rather have $136 million and be miserable for a year (and maybe much longer after you dwell on your stupid career ending decision) than have $132 million and go out pitching very good on a competitive team? That definitely is not worth a 3% boost in career earnings to me. Give me the $132 million and a chance to go out on top every time.

  • loehr22

    Plain and simple, the Pirates screwed themselves. Bottom line is they could have afforded him and if it didn’t pan out they could have traded him. What a waste of an asset.

  • Roberrto21

    Glad this saga is over and hoping it won’t be churned over and over going forward. AJ made admirable contributions to the Pirates over the last 2 years and should be appreciated and thanked for his efforts, both on the field and as a team leader. The Pirates FO made their own judgement as to what it was willing to pay him, it may well be that the QO was more than they thought they could pay, and if that was their analysis then it’s hard to fault them. There is a question as to whether a 37 year old pitcher who was somewhat prone to giving up big innings last year was worth $14 m to a “lower revenue” team. For a larger revenue team like the Phillies, it’s not a huge deal if he underperforms the contract. The reality is that this is the business side of baseball, which is unappealing. Cannot blame AJ for seeking the most money he could get. However, the rest of the dynamics aren’t really in AJ’s favour. The Phillies look to be an aging, overpaid team on the decline, there is no way they are going to do any better than 3rd in the NL East with the Nats and Braves in the division. AJ has chosen more money (which he doesn’t absolutely need, he has earned 10s of millions) but in terms of the playing experience the Pirates have a far better chance of contending than the Phillies do. I think the Pirates will be ok without him, they do have Taillon coming up, and a rotation of Liriano, Cole, Morton and Taillon as early as June looks pretty good, and the Pirates do have options with Justin Wilson and Stolmy Pimentel. I think baseball has been lessened by the huge money and it’s a skewed value system in society whrere a baseball player gets paid 16 million to play a game, but Congress can’t find a way to extend unemployment benefits ot the long term unemployed and teachers, police and firefighters get paid such small salaries by comparison…

  • Pie Rat

    I hope that the Pirates didn’t sign Volquez as plan B while still hoping to sign Burnett. I don’t think they wanted to pay the QO either. As Buster said they were afraid he would accept it. I imagine they were banking on signing him for about 10 mil. Burnetts innings are covered by the addition of Volqueze and a full year of Liriano, Cole, and Morton.

  • http://www.acme-tv.com LongJohnSilver

    As I stated before, the Pirates made a major blunder when they didn’t give a QO. AJ was worth at least the 14.5M, and worse case is we would have had a draft pick.

    A Blunder is putting it mildly in retrospect.

    • Bucco_Joe

      It was strictly a financial decision. They will make the same decision with Liriano at the end of this season. Another asset will walk away without any compensation.

      • https://www.facebook.com/will.sanchez.54 Will Sanchez

        I agree with you..they don’t want to spend the profits..I”m in my sixties..i don’t think I will see another pirates world series..in my lifetime..whatever prospects actually make it … will be gone when they start making David Price kind of money if they last that long..always a bridesmaid..never the bride..

  • piratemike

    At this point in time I trust the front office to do what is best for the Pirates.
    I have to believe that the decisions they make are for the long term benefit of the org.
    We may scratch our heads and may be confused about decisions made but I can’t believe that they sit back and say “Now let’s see how we can screw this up”.
    Even if this turns out to be a questionable move for this season maybe it may turn out to a good move for the future.
    I will give them the benefit of the doubt until they prove that they don’t know what they are doing.

    • buster09

      Agree Mike. PIE RAT, our only differences are I don’t think they were really banking on signing him at all. The Volquez deal pretty much ended the relationship.

  • honusty

    Huntington quote:

    “From a value standpoint, you can argue that $14 million should have been a no-brainer, and we understand that. But the reality is in 10 to 15 markets, a qualifying offer, if accepted, becomes a large chunk of payroll and something — right or wrong — we were not comfortable in doing at that time.
    “It’s always easy to look in hindsight. If he’d accepted the offer, it would have had a significant impact on what we could have done. … It would have affected our approach on the first-base market, the right-field market and bullpen market. If we had a crystal ball and seen this is the way it would play out, maybe things are different.”

    Read more: http://triblive.com/sports/pirates/5583455-74/burnett-pirates-million#ixzz2t9SOFJTw
    Follow us: @triblive on Twitter | triblive on Facebook

    • honusty

      If AJ would have accepted QO, it would have affected the bucs approach to the first-base market and right field. huh? They have done zero (right or wrong). How on earth would AJ accepting the QO change this?

      • piratemike

        That doesn’t rule out that something can’t be done tomorrow or 3 months from now but one thing is certain those millions are still there if they choose to spend them if needed.

  • https://profiles.google.com/107471995502632447673 Frank Restly

    It would be interesting if the Pirates ended up with three lefties in their rotation (Locke, Wandy, and Liriano) if Volquez doesn’t cut it. Last year team batting average and OPS splits:

    Cardinals – .238AVE, .672OPS vs Lefties, .280AVE, .755OPS vs Righties
    Reds – .241AVE, .709OPS vs Lefties, .252AVE, .722OPS vs Righties
    Brewers – .267AVE, .736OPS vs Lefties, .247AVE, .699OPS vs Righties (Minus Ryan Braun who was crushing lefty pitching)
    Cubs – .231AVE, .693OPS vs Lefties, .240AVE, .693OPS vs Righties

    Pirates – .262AVE, .735OPS vs Lefties, .241AVE, .703OPS vs Righties (FYI)

    I think, at least early in the season, the Pirates should consider starting three lefties. Obviously, they may want to preserve depth (in case of injury) by keeping Wilson in the bullpen and Locke in Indy.

  • moose7195

    This news makes me sad. AJ was a key piece to this team, and the FO should be kicking themselves for the lack of foresight they displayed throughout this fiasco. I can accept if AJ simply wants to leave town, but reasoning behind not offering the QO is absolutely lost on me. AJ pitched exceptionally well last year, and was worth his salary when considering the leadership/mentoring abilities he possesses. Such a sad way to see his Pittsburgh tenure end. Good luck in Philly

    • Y2JGQ2

      I mostly agree with you but:

      Tim is right, he will probably stink with the phillies.

      We made a calculated risk that we’d either get a better pitcher cheaper, a first baseman, or AJ cheaper. Unlike Karstens, this time, we were wrong, VERY wrong. Hindsight is 20/20 i’m sure we’d go back and give him the QO now if we could.

      AJ is kinda a jerk, he pouted when he wasn’t chosen to pitch in the playoffs, and never really said anything positive about coming back to the pirates since that day. I’ll miss his production, but maybe this money can go towards something useful, whether that be a long term deal for Marte, an extension for walker, or towards picking up a high price player later in the season to fit a need…..unlike Tim, i will be pissed if we don’t spend his 14 million or at least 10 of that money on something useful. This offseason has been an absolute debacle, but i don’t really blame the front office, except to state that their strategy was poorly thought out and way too much of a gamble. (letting things play out early and hoping to grab what players weren’t getting what they wanted closer to the season). Hopefully they learned their lesson, and will be more aggressive early in the offseason to address their needs rather than waiting and watching all the players who fit us, getting taken for reasonable prices we could have afforded. The good thing is this: making NO moves only impacts 1 season negatively, making bad moves affects the team for much longer.

  • csnumber23

    The Phillies just continue to get OLDER and OLDER!! It’s funny that they have no clue how to build or just refuse to rebuild. The window for that old Phillie team closed a while ago.

    AJ Burnett clearly was about the money and not winning. To me he is not worth 16 mil at this point. He is near the end and was not worth 14 mil either.

    Personally I am glad he is gone because I didn’t want him blocking Taillon’s arrival. Just like I was glad Byrd went there because I didn’t want him blocking Polanco.

    After it’s all said and done I would not be surprised to see Burnett’s numbers in Philly not be too much better than Volquez’s numbers here in Pittsburgh.

    • csnumber23

      I just read that the Pirates offered Burnett 12 mil to return. That is exactly the amount I have said I would offer him. That is the most I think he was worth. Obviously his BS Pirates or retire statement should have added (if they pay me top dollar) to his statement. By AJ, I for one am glad you are gone. We don’t need him, we have tons of depth and Taillon is coming. Plus it saves 12 mil that can go elsewhere. Maybe a trade, maybe extending our own. At worst, there will be money there at the deadline if any trades are needed.

      • http://www.facebook.com/bryan.graham.773 Bryan Graham

        So in other words you will hope for lightning in a bottle like last years time. Last years team was great to watch and cheer for, but they were lightning in a bottle until they prove they can produce like that for more than 1 year.

    • IC Bob

      I would be careful to crack on the Phillies. There history is WAY better then our Bucs. They have had one of the top franchises over the last decade. One year doesn’t make a failed franchise. As a Pirate fan I would kill for the success they have had the last 10 years . Though I do not agree with there move on AJ I can’t argue with there success. Having Hamels, Lee and Burnett is pretty formidable.

  • impliedi

    Time to move on, I guess. Best of luck to AJ, nice job while he was here, obviously didn’t want to re-sign with the Bucs. It will be fun to hear all of the booing at PNC Park during the 4th of July series with the Phillies!!

    I’m not sure all of the people claiming that the Pirates should have made the QO, saying that the worst case was getting a draft pick, are correct. My guess is that if the Pirates had offered the QO, AJ would have retired. Meaning the Pirates would not have gotten a pick.

    We don’t know the conversations that occurred between the two parties were, what kinds of promises might have been made.

    But, this has me asking 2 questions:

    1. Is it time for the QO to go away or be altered? I thought I read that every single player who was offered the QO (about 15-20 players) rejected the offer. While some may cheer that having the qualifying offer system gives teams draft pick compensation, which helps protect teams, I see this whole system making baseball worse and having the opposite effect that it is supposed to. It is hurting teams like the Pirates, instead of helping them because now guys who have been given the QO have the scarlet letter on them. This has been pulling some really good players out of the free agent pool, so now teams are fighting for the mid-range free agents and driving their prices up and out of the range of the Pirates and similar teams. If you get rid of the qualifying offer system, then the guys who have been getting QO’s would be going to the top teams, but then the rich teams would leave the mid-range free agents alone, which would restore their prices to normal levels.

    2. What took A.J. so long?? Was he seriously contemplating retirement? Was he considering an offer from the Pirates? Was this all a power play all along??

  • risefromtheashes89

    AJ was good for the Pirates but at 16 mil, not worth it any more. A ton of innings in his arm and over the last month of the season, was not real good on the road and struggled some to get past the 6th inning. High pitch counts in 7 innings of work. I am looking at him to be more of the pitcher the end of the year and not the beginning this season coming. With the downgrade in defense in his infield this coming season, his numbers may not look as good. Best of luck for AJ and glad he gave the Buccos what he did for 2 years

  • http://www.facebook.com/bryan.graham.773 Bryan Graham

    There’s a phrase that goes something like this “If you’re not getting better, you’re getting worse”. If you can honestly say the Pirates are a better team right now than they were at the end of last year, please pass the drugs. Unlike many of you, I’m still not sold on NH when it comes to the major league team. He had ample opportunity to help this club in either RF or 1B this offseason and has done nothing and as far as the pitching staff goes, he has obviously done nothing there either except for make it worse. If you want a guy bad enough, offer him enough change a guys mind to go elsewhere, after all, we’re not talking about the Pujols of the world. If you look at the majority of guys he brought in last season for the pitching staff, the term lightning in a bottle comes to mind. Nobody knew what to expect from most of these guys and they ended up getting way more than they could have ever hoped for. Will these guys be able to do it again this year? Grilli coming off an arm injury and being old, Melancon looked like he was pitching batting practice at the end of the season, Liriano was coming off an injury and has never had 2 good seasons in a row. You could have pretty much made an argument for every guy in the bullpen to make the all star team. To me the only guy on the pitching staff that you could feel comfortable with was Burnett. You can list concerns about every other pitcher on the staff with the most common one being “Can they really do that again?” All this with out touching base on the offense. As a Pirate fan, all I can feel is hope that things work out, but have no certainty that they will. It feels an awful lot like the hope I had the previous 20 seasons to last years for the 2014 season. I have much greater expectations in the future. It wouldn’t shock me to see them win 60-70 games next year and it has nothing to do with losing Burnett, it has to do with the fact that the pitchers we are counting on have proven inconsistent over their careers, they may be injury prone, or haven’t proven they could do it for more than 1 year. I only post all this because I ate crow last year and it wasn’t too bad, so I hope I’m eating it again. Plus I lost my bet with my brother the last 3 years based on Pirate wins so I hope I lose again. It’s a bet a don’t mind losing.

    • PiratesFan1975

      Ahh………….A pass the drugs comment from the guy that call everyone high that liked the Russell Martin signing. The guy that compared that said Michael McKenry was as good as Russell Martin and that Russell would not throw out anymore more baserunners than McKenry.

      Maybe you should be the one to put down the drugs.

      You complain about every pitchers past history on the team then say AJ is the only one you are comfortable with. I am just going to assume you were in a coma in 2010 & 2011.

      I too hope you will be eating crow. In all seriousness, I do give you credit for one thing. When you’ve complained and been wrong in the past at least you haven’t gone the way of many others, in that you did not just change your username to avoid the crow eating.

  • jon6er

    I’m glad the panic is all in this room. They could go out and spend 20 million for a first baseman and it still isn’t a guarantee that it would produce better than Lambo/Sanchez! They could have paid AJ 14.1 million and it wouldn’t guarantee that he would work out better than Volquez or any of the other options. And why the hell would any team in their right mind spend a lot of money on rightfield when you have a potential superstar just a rung from the top of the ladder. I don’t care who spent what because no team has won shit yet!

  • Pie Rat

    Reports are that the Pirates did offer Burnett $12 million. I see that as a respectable offer. Getting $4 million more is nothing to sneeze at, but he would probably do much better as a Pirate. If he still wanted he would probably get closer to $20 million next year on the open market. The thing that bothers me is NH seemed to indicate that the Pirates might have made different decisions if they would have known this is the direction Burnett was going to take. Either way it I liked Burnett and it would have been nice to have him one more year. In the long run it may be for the best.