A.J. Burnett made $16.5 million in 2013. The Pirates, though, only paid the 36 year old pitcher $8 million of his $16.5 million salary with the Yankees picking up $8.5 million of it.
He won’t be getting anything near $16.5 million if he’s to return to Pittsburgh in 2014.
The Pirates will not make a $14.1 million qualifying offer to Burnett, a decision the team is said to have made last week out of their organizational meetings. The deadline to make a qualifying offer is 5:00 p.m. today.
Burnett claims he has no interest in playing elsewhere and will either resign with the Pirates or retire. That remains to be seen.
The Burnett situation has become a sensitive one between both sides after Burnett was by-passed for a Game 5 start against the Cardinals in the NLDS. Burnett is said to have been confrontational with manager Clint Hurdle and pitching coach Ray Searage in the days after, in fact telling the coaches he would not make himself eligible to pitch out of the bullpen in Game 5 when asked by Searage.
Rumors on Burnett have been all over the place with some close to the situation saying Hurdle doesn’t want Burnett back.
Management, though, has opened up preliminary discussions with Burnett’s camp to see what both sides are thinking. The feeling around the team has been that if the Pirates made an attempt to resign Burnett, they will top out around $10 million per season on a one year deal.
Wandy Rodriguez will be the Pirates highest paid pitcher next season at $13 million per season after exercising his option, a significant chunk of the payroll to a pitcher who’s a major wildcard due to his healthy. Rodriguez made just 12 starts last season.