PITTSBURGH (KDKA)- Pirates Pitcher A.J. Burnett will pitch in 2014, according to a report.
Travis Sawchik of the Tribune-Review first reported this via Twitter Tuesday afternoon and his report was confirmed by CBS’ Jon Heyman.
“The Pirates have been seeking a significant hometown discount all along unless there’s some dramatic change of heart there,” Sawchik said. “As you remember, back in November, the Pirates declined to extend the qualifying offer which would have been a $14 million one-year offer … by the Pirates not making that qualifying offer indicates they were hoping for a discount for Burnett.”
The Pirates are interested in bringing Burnett back, but they could have competition for the veteran free agent. Sawchik, citing a source, reports that Burnett would be open to pitching for a team other than the Pirates.
When it comes to the percent chances of Burnett returning to the Pirates, Sawchik does not paint a rosy picture for Pirates fans.
“I’ll say 25 percent…there’s a ton of money out there and there’s such a need for starting pitching I got to think Burnett can command a pretty nice one-year deal and stay close to home,” Sawchik said. “I think the Phillies are interested, I think the Orioles might be interested, so there’s definitely going to be interest in Burnett’s services.”
Burnett resides close to Baltimore and the Orioles are reportedly interested in acquiring him.
Burnett told 93-7 The Fan’s Colin Dunlap in an October interview that he would either return to the Pirates or retire.
Burnett, 37, was 10-11 with a 3.30 ERA in 2013 and led the NL in strikeouts per innings pitched.