Earlier this week Pittsburgh Pirates’ manager Clint Hurdle was on 93.7 The Fan and said there is still a chance the team could sign A.J. Burnett.
When the Pirates season ended, the right-hander was deciding on retiring or returning to Pittsburgh. A few weeks later Pittsburgh decided not to make Burnett a qualifying offer, stating that they couldn’t afford Burnett at $14.1 M.
That left many fans thinking the Pirates were either going to lose Burnett to retirement or else he would remain in Pittsburgh. As more time passed and the Pirates did not sign any free agent pitchers and no one heard any news on Burnett, many fans have been left wondering what is going on?
Burnett doesn’t appear to have changed his stance on returning to the Pirates. If that were the case, rumors that other teams were talking to Burnett would be swirling. Despite the fact that the Pirates aren’t willing to spend top dollar for Burnett, someone else would be. If Burnett was waiting for the money, he would likely have signed with someone else by now.
That makes it seem like Burnett is still contemplating retirement or returning to Pittsburgh. He has made his money and now it appears the decision to spend time with his family is the one thing that may keep him from returning to the game.
The longer Burnett and the Pirates do not come to terms has to make one believe that the veteran will not return. Hurdle said that the Pirates have a deadline and winter meetings would be the likely time table for Pittsburgh to make a decision.
Things could go either way still, but Burnett hanging up the glove appears more likely every day.