Jayson Stark has several updates over at ESPN, including an update on the Pirates and A.J. Burnett. Earlier this week we heard that Burnett preferred to go back to Pittsburgh if he was going to get moved. Stark says that sources tell him the Pirates would need assurance that Burnett would retire, rather than picking up his player option next year that would pay as much as $14.25 M. In the article earlier this week, I pointed out how Burnett is still owed a little over $25 M from the end of July to the end of his contract, as long as he makes 32 starts in 2014 and 32 in 2015.
Stark also says that it would be a surprise if the Pirates don’t add at least one pitcher, and maybe two. He says that they’ve been looking at potential seventh inning arms for the bullpen, rather than supplanting the current combo of Mark Melancon and Tony Watson as the late inning guys.
UPDATE 8:15 PM: Jon Heyman also says that the Pirates aren’t too excited about Burnett’s 2015 player option. He also says that the Pirates’ interest is believed to be mild at best, and might fall further if Burnett intends to pick up his option.