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Pirates

Coonelly: We’d Love To Have Burnett Back

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Frank Coonelly

(Photo by George Gojkovich/Getty Images)

Bob_Pompeani-300x225 Bob Pompeani
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PITTSBURGH (KDKA 93-7 The Fan)- The Pirates made several moves during the winter meetings.

They signed free agent pitcher Edinson Volquez, gave pitcher Charlie Morton a new three-year contract, and brought back shortstop Clint Barmes.

But the Pirates still haven’t received word from pitcher A.J. Burnett.

“We’d love to have A.J. back, have made it clear to him that he’s been a big part of what we were about over the last two years, and we’d love him to be part of the 2014 Pirates,” Pirates President Frank Coonelly told Bob Pompeani. “I can’t say that I feel yes or no any better than the other answer. I really think that this is a decision that is weighing on A.J. and his family.”

Coonelly added that the Edinson Volquez signing doesn’t preclude the Pirates from bringing Burnett back.

Coonelly said that Volquez gets himself into trouble when he doesn’t throw strikes, but pointed out that was the case with Francisco Liriano last year.

“We see the stuff, it’s still there, our scouts like him,” Coonelly said. “Ray (Searage) was in the room with us down in Orlando, in the war room, and he was very excited when we were able to bring Edinson on board. He loves the challenge, and is looking forward to getting to it as soon as we report to spring training.”

There have been trade rumors mentioning teams being interested in left handed relievers Tony Watson and Justin Wilson. Coonelly said that Clint Hurdle wants two lefty relievers in the bullpen, so it would be difficult to trade either one.

“It would be very difficult for us to move either one of those players. You never say never, and so you evaluate every potential trade opportunity,” Coonelly said. “You never say never, but it would be very difficult for us to move one of those left handers.”

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