PITTSBURGH (NewsRadio1020 KDKA) – AJ Burnett is a Pittsburgh Pirate again. The Pirates and Burnett have agreed to terms on a one-year deal. Burnett spent last year with the Phillies but now is back in black and gold.
Teammates have been reacting on social media but Dan Zangrilli went right to the skipper, Clint Hurdle.
“He’s coming back?” Hurdle joked, “I don’t know people here are telling me he’s coming back and we are happy to welcome A.J. back.”
Hurdle said he and Burnett have spent significant amount of time on the phone trying to iron out this deal and figure out if it is best for both Burnett and the Pirates.
“I think it’s a good fit for him. He’s coming back for all the right reasons. I think we are going to be able to get what AJ has left out of himself and get it out on the field and get him to pitch the innings that we can have him pitch very productively,” Hurdle said.
How did you end up in Philadelphia? Why do you want to come back? Just a few of the questions Hurdle asked Burnett in their extensive conversations but many remember the two had a bit of a rocky relationship towards the end have they patched things up?
“I think we agreed to disagree on some things at the end there’s no doubt about that, or we disagreed on some things don’t know how much we agreed on it and those were parts of the conversation moving foward,” Hurdle explained, “He told me all the right reasons why he wanted to be a Pirate again and that’s good enough for me, it’s going to be good enough for our club, it was good enough for Neil and we are looking forward to giving him a uniform.”
Hurdle took the time to talk to us while on the way to a The Children’s Institute Fundraiser. He and his wife Karla will be kicking off The Children’s Institute’s new 12 million dollar fundraising campaign. The Institute’s open house “Bright Spot on Shady” celebration runs from 5-8pm in Squirrel Hill.
“It’s one of the biggest fundraising initiatives and programs I’ve been a party of it’s called the “Make an Amazing Difference”campaign,” Hurdle said, “It helps support so many of their, their crucial patient center programs as well as capital and research initiatives. It’s an honor to be a of it.”
Hurdle and his wife Karla are serving as honorary chairs of the launch of the event.
You can hear the whole interview here now.