The Pittsburgh Pirates had a lot of controversy surrounding their starting rotation this off-season. They declined to make A.J. Burnett a qualifying offer, believing him when he said that he would either return to Pittsburgh or retire. It appears they opted to go for an off-season plan that would have added James Loney at first base and Josh Johnson in the rotation for the same amount as the qualifying offer to Burnett. However, both players signed elsewhere.

The Pirates opted to sign Edinson Volquez, and eventually Burnett went on to sign a deal with the Philadelphia Phillies. The decision to sign Volquez, even before Burnett was off the market, sparked the controversy. The right-hander is coming off a season where he had a 5.71 ERA in 170.1 innings between the Padres and Dodgers. His ...

To continue reading the rest of this article, subscribe to Pirates Prospects. Subscribers get access to every article on the site, along with all of our exclusive live coverage of the Pirates' minor league system, all for a very low monthly or yearly rate.

If you're already a member, you can log in below. If you think you're receiving this message in error, please e-mail tim@piratesprospects.com.