Jayson Stark has an update on the Pirates/Phillies rumor involving A.J. Burnett, saying that the talks are "all but dead" (h/t Charlie at Bucs Dugout). Stark notes that the Pirates want assurances that Burnett won't pick up his player option next season, but that they've been unable to get those assurances. Burnett could make as much as $14.25 M next season. Stark says that the Phillies are saying Burnett will retire, and Burnett is telling his teammates the same thing. Stark quoted another executive who noted that Burnett said the same thing last year.
It's a risk for the Pirates to take on Burnett's salary, especially with his history. Last year he said he would pitch for the Pirates, or retire. He spent most of the off-season deciding whether he would retire. Then he decided to play again in January, but wanted to talk to other teams. He ended up getting a massive deal from the Phillies, and that deal looks to be hurting now.
I looked at Burnett's trade value over the weekend,...
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.