Pirates Don’t Issue a Qualifying Offer For A.J. Burnett

The Pittsburgh Pirates have extended a qualifying offer to A.J. Burnett. (Photo Credit: David Hague)
The Pittsburgh Pirates haven’t extended a qualifying offer to A.J. Burnett. (Photo Credit: David Hague)

The Pittsburgh Pirates won’t extended a qualifying offer to free agent A.J. Burnett, per Jon Heyman.

A qualifying offer is a one-year, $14.1 M deal, and if the player rejects it and signs elsewhere, the former team would get a compensation pick. Burnett has been deciding between retiring and returning to the Pirates, so it doesn’t seem likely that he will sign elsewhere. If Heyman’s report is true (the team has until 5 PM EST to submit an offer), then the Pirates must be banking on the fact that they’re the only team in the running for Burnett.

UPDATE: The Pirates, via press release, confirm that no qualifying offer was made.

Here are the players around baseball who have received qualifying offers, along with a few notable players who didn’t receive offers.

Qualifying Offers Received

Carlos Beltran

Robinson Cano

Shin-Soo Choo

Stephen Drew

Jacoby Ellsbury

Curtis Granderson

Ubaldo Jimenez

Hiroki Kuroda

Brian McCann

Kendrys Morales

Mike Napoli

Ervin Santana

No Qualifying Offers Received

Corey Hart

Tim Hudson

Josh Johnson

James Loney

Jhonny Peralta

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Without a qualifying offer AJ is worth 3/$45M in this market. He just dominated the NL. With a qualifying offer he is worth much less and most won’t want him for just 1 or 2 years. I’d say 3/$24M.

So maybe since AJ has been so good for the Pirates maybe him and Neal have an agreement, if he gets a giant offer in free agency they’ll shake hands and part ways… if not he’ll come back for $14M and then retire.


Well I would not say Burnett dominated the NL. He was solid but was probably our 4th best starter. I would like to see him back but to me it’s not a must. I highly doubt one of these teams you guys speak of will offer the 37 year old a 3 year 45 Mil deal. If they are, then they can have him. I would be shocked to see an offer like that for Burnett.


For the entire ’13 season he was our best starter.

He led the NL in K/9 and GB rate. His 3.12 K/BB rate was the best of his career. He tired at the end but was debatably the 2nd or 3rd best pitcher in the NL for the entire season.


That’s exactly what I think is going to happen. Baltimore, Washington or Toronto will offer him a deal he can’t refuse.


I still think Burnett will be back but if not, then there will be more money to spend. Either way, the Bucs are in great shape for 2014


And heck, maybe this all is just a matter of treating your veterans well. If the guy said it’s Pirates or Retirement, then maybe they wanted to show him that they trusted him.

For all we know, AJ would be going apes*it on twitter right now talking about how they didnt trust him or something, had they given him an offer. We don’t know what conversations they’ve had.


actually, Tim Dierkes from mlbtraderumors just tweeted something similar to what i just said.

Dierkes: “Plus, I’ve heard from agents who believe a QO can be perceived as an insult in a situation like Burnett’s.”

Just brainstorming


The Pirates have some smart folks. It’s not just Huntington back there. They didn’t just flip a coin today. They know what they’re doing. Last time the fan base crucified them for a questionable call (letting karstens walk), they got him back for half the price.

If they get him for 13 million, that extra million saved will let them bring on a player that makes an extra $3ish million at the trade deadline because of salary proration. if he declines a $13 or 12 million offer, then move on and sign a Josh Johnson for $10 and sweeten the deal for one of the 1b with a few extra million.

They know the payroll details that we don’t have and they’re a lot smarter than us. The FO, at long last, has earned our trust, in my opinion. We shall see.


Well said JayGray, I agree completely!

Stephen Brooks

This is one of those times I wish this site had a like button.

Ian Rothermund

I think that all the time.

Before I get into it, I think it’s very like Burnett comes back to the Pirates next year, just for less than the QO.

However, I would feel better about the Pirates acquiring Johnson and Loney for around the same price. Considering they’d be free agents, it would probably be closer to 20 mil, but then even more motivation to let a 37/38 yr old pitcher, making 10-14 million, walk

IC Bob

If I had to bet AJ is playing for another team next year. I can see the Os going crazy for him and quite frankly he would be a great fit for them. I really do not care if he comes back or not. I think the Pirates wil be just fine with or with out him.


That’s my prediction too. He plays for somebody else.


This is a non-story that elicits nonsensical conspiracy theories from the yinzer peanut gallery. Burnett will either return to the Pirates on a fair but less than $14mil one year deal or retire.


Also I think the yinzer rebellion is fully encamped around fortress Rooney battering at the gates and seeking heads for their pikes. A sortie in Nutting/Huntington’s direction is possible, but they will be few in number.




AJ totally schooled NH. Of course if he plays he’ll negotiate with other teams. He juked them into not giving him a QO, thereby raising his net value (signing team will not have to give a draft pick.)

Well done.

Cato the Elder

He can juke all he wants, he’s not worth $14 million let alone more. If he gets >$14 million Il’l eat my hat.


I have some extra tin foil if you need it.


I still don’t trust that he won’t end up with another team. Money talks and he could walk for nothing.


No QO for Loney…lets go get him.


I said a couple of days ago that it made no sense for them to offer him one. He said Bucs or retirement. You only give QO’s out if you think he’s gonna leave as a FA.

Every once in awhile I get one right ….lol


Good call. I have read all the info about how the QO might have been taken as an insult by Burnett? I have never been insulted by any employer who opted to offer me money – I looked at issuing a QO as a manner of saying thank you, and we want you to stay longer.


I will wait for confirmatory reports based on inaccuracy of this tweet.


Do they think they can get him for less? You keep claiming they have the money and I believe you. I could see how AJ would take this as an insult but I’m sure there’s more to the story than I know. But for right now this is unsettling.

Cato the Elder

I like AJ as much as the next guy, but I’m sick of all the hand wringing about his feelings. Is he mad when he’s pulled from a game, will he be mad if he not chosen to start a particular game, will he be insulted at this or that or the other thing. If AJ is insulted by the Pirates looking out for the team’s best interest, then so be it. His emotions don’t get to hold the entire organization hostage.


No. If anything would insult A.J., it would be if the Bucs DID make a qualifying offer. That might send a message that we think you are lying when you say you only want to play for Pittsburgh if you don’t retire. If he retires then the qualifying offer is moot anyway.

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