Originally written on Baseball Hot Corner  |  Last updated 1/31/14
After months of silence, free-agent A.J. Burnett, the leader of the Pittsburgh Pirates’ rotation for the past two seasons and one of the most effective starting pitchers in baseball over that time, says he will put off retirement and be back to pitch in 2014. As an unnamed source told the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, “He’s made the decision he is going to play.” If so, Burnett immediately rockets to the top of a crazy offseason market for starting pitching, with highly regarded free agents Ubaldo Jimenez and Ervin Santana still on the board.  Burnett’s WAR has topped both Jimenez and Santana through the past two years, and since the Pirates did not make a $14.1 million qualifying offer, he is the only one of this trio whom a team can sign without giving up a compensatory draft pick. The Pirates have maintained that they would do everything they could to retain Burnett’s services, and have avoided making big rotation moves this offseason.  For his part, Burnett told the Tribune-Review ...
PLAYERS: AJ Burnett
TEAMS: Pittsburgh Pirates
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