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Thread: AJ Burnett Saga

  1. #1
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    AJ Burnett Saga

    I thought I'd start a fresh thread for discussion about this whole Burnett situation. I'm going to briefly recap what we know first.

    1. Near the end of last season Burnett made a statement that it was either Pittsburgh or retirement (with the disclaimer of as of right now)

    2. The Pirates chose not to make the QO and Huntington said something odd about market values which it has never been made clear what he meant.

    3. Burnett or someone close to him said something to the extent of he would take a week or so to decide what he chose to do.

    4. Reports surface saying the Pirates offer to Burnett was anywhere from 8 to 12 million dollars. However another report seemed to suggest the Pirates hadn't even made an offer and were awaiting Burnett's decision.

    5. Some vague reports surface that Burnett was hoping to receive the QO. Others comes out saying he wanted to receive the same salary (16.5 million) he did last season.

    6. Relative silence ensues for months

    7. Ray Searage makes a statement saying he is moving forward as if the Pirates will not have AJ Burnett.

    8. Frank Coonelly comes out and says the Pirates have moved on from Burnett but are still open to a return

    9. Burnett sends out a tweet of his batman costume hanging up in his closet. This was in response to a tweet essentially asking him to come back.

    10. Jeff Bannister sends out a tweet (since deleted) where it appears he is saying good bye to Burnett.

    11. A report surfaces that Burnett intends to pitch in 2014 but that he is open to pitching for other teams.

    12. Several other outlets confirm the story.

    13. ESPN going against the rest of the industry publishes a story saying it is unclear whether Burnett will entertain offers from other teams.

    14. Burnett retweets a tweet from someone basically saying I don't care about the sources I will only believe stuff when I hear it from Burnett

    I think those 14 points basically sum up all we currently know about this whole situation. If there is anything I missed please let me know. Anyone have any thoughts they would like to share and any idea how all of these seemingly contradictory reports fit together?
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  2. #2
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    Time to give my belief of the current situation.

    The Pirates want AJ Burnett back and while they could have afforded the Qualifying Offer for him felt they could better spend that money else where and get him for what they believe to be a better fair "market" value. I put market in quotations because I'm assuming they believe they and retirement are his entire market. We can't be sure what they believe that value to be but best estimates are probably around 10 million.

    AJ Burnett after grappling with retirement for a while came to the realization that he wanted to give it one more go. At the very least his strong preference is to give it a last go with the Pirates and while he is willing to take a little less he still wants to receive an offer somewhere in line with his free agent status. Again exactly what he considers that to be, who knows but from the best we can speculate its probably around 15 million.

    So here we have the Pirates wanting to pay AJ what they believe is fair market rate considering the circumstances (Burnett strongly preferring to pitch for only one particular team) and AJ Burnett wanting to play for the Pirates and receive what he considers a fair market rate (considering his free agent status).

    Burnett is aware he is not going to get an open market rate from the Pirates and the Pirates are aware Burnett isn't going to sign regardless of their offer. Essentially this leaves us at a stand still. To try and get the Pirates to improve their offer Burnett speculates about going to other teams and to try to get Burnett to come back the Pirates make a low level move (Vo9lquez) and postulate that they are prepared to start the season without him.

    Adding to each side Burnett sees the Pirates failed to use the resources they were trying to save elsewhere (meaning they are available) and the Pirates see that Burnett despite suggesting he is willing to consider other team is not really all that sincere about it. Each side believes these circumstances give them more leverage. In truth it just leaves us at a stand still.

    My belief is that we see some sort of compromise come about in which Burnett returns to the Pirates for a flat rate closer to the Pirates number than Burnett's number but with some relatively achievable incentives (or vesting option buyouts) that will push the actual number paid closer to Burnett's number. Something like 1/11 with 3 million of easily attainable incentives (ie 20 games started, 120 innings pitched, etc) I believe will ultimately wind up doing the trick.

    This situation is the best thing I can come up with to explain the weirdness of this whole situation.
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  3. #3
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    I know it's mostly speculation, and I admittedly haven't been keeping a tab on this quite as much as most may have, but do we know besides the Orioles if there are any obviously interested suitors? I've heard Philly, but I can't think of a reason why he'd spurn Pittsburgh for them (but what do we know what's ever going on in these athletes' heads?). Figure the other top NL contenders, especially West of here, probably are a no-go. And again, from an outside perspective I'd hope he is scared of going to the AL East.

    It is a weird situation for sure, but it's not an entirely unique one nor has it become something that's drawing my ire towards him. I think he genuinely is a bit unsure of what he wants to do, and that's fine. Hopefully he just makes the "right" decision...which is of course signing with Pittsburgh for a reasonable 1 year contract! I too have a feeling that he's still gonna be pitching here. A lot of this all seems like speculation to some degree and the one thing that absolutely isn't is his statement early on about it being Pittsburgh or Retirement. Things can change, but I doubt things have changed enough to make us not the favorites. And that's just speculation on my part.

    Only time will tell.
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    I've seen speculation about the Angels since they tried to trade for him before he was traded to Pittsburgh but I don't see Burnett going that far west. I've also seen some suggestions Toronto could be a landing spot or perhaps Texas but again neither of those feel right to me. Most speculation and what I tend to agree with it is that Burnett will stay close to his home essentially limiting his options to the Pirates, Orioles, Phillies and Nationals. I've seen some speculate he might consider the whole east coast but really no one else on the east coast is a factor (I mean the Yankees or Red Sox aren't signing him so that leaves the Mets, Braves, Rays and Marlins and does anyone truly think any of them will be players?)

    The Nationals have a stacked rotation already but there is speculation they could opt to sign Burnett as their number 5 guy in an attempt to build some super mutant rotation. If they choose not to pursue him of the remaining three teams the Pirates are quite easily the one best suited for a deep playoff run (side note: man it feels wonderful to type that).

    As for myself I hold no ill will against Burnett. The reason I created the thread was because lets face it this is the story of the Pirates offseason. Nothing else really comes close. All of my reasoning is indeed rampant speculation but given the little to nothing we know it is the best I have to work with and my reasoning really does seem sound (to me at least).
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    Don't have the exact quote but according to Peter Gammons, the "Orioles are 'all in' on Burnett and the Rays are said to be interested as well" or something along those lines.

    We all knew the Orioles were interested, so that's nothing too noteworthy, I guess the Rays are a bit of a surprise though. Again, I know until Burnett or his agent actually say something, this is all speculation but I really don't see the Rays as major threats to sign him

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tomahawk27 View Post
    Don't have the exact quote but according to Peter Gammons, the "Orioles are 'all in' on Burnett and the Rays are said to be interested as well" or something along those lines.

    We all knew the Orioles were interested, so that's nothing too noteworthy, I guess the Rays are a bit of a surprise though. Again, I know until Burnett or his agent actually say something, this is all speculation but I really don't see the Rays as major threats to sign him
    Interesting but I just can't see the Rays as a practical fit unless they possibly deal Price. I think it pretty much comes down to the Orioles and Pirates with the Phillies as an outside possibility.
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  7. #7
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    I saw in the Orioles forum someone post a starting rotation with AJ Burnett. They had him as their #1. If AJ Burnett is going to go back to the AL East and be a team's #1, than that team probably does desperately need pitching and might as well go all in for him. That's no disrespect to AJ, because I obviously think he's good enough to the extent that I do really want him back here, but yeah...Baltimore might really need him.

    I struggle seeing Tampa getting him. I think their budget limitations and the fact that there's no indication AJ wants to play in Florida probably mean their interest will remain just that. Plus, they do have Price (for now), Moore, Cobb and Archer. Hellickson, Odorizzi and Romero I'm sure can adequately fill that 5th spot. Just hard for me to imagine they'd offer enough money to make up for the allegedly less desirable locale.
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    Agreed the Orioles certainly have a need for a pitcher like Burnett. From what I can tell the Orioles have 5 solid pitchers slotted into their rotation but none of them really project to be a #1 type so AJ may indeed be their defacto "ace".
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    Let's add more to this. Some dude named Andrew Rickli who apparently works for SportsReel Boston and The MLB Talk 101 passed along some "updates" on the Burnett situation.

    1.) Burnett has coached rec basketball with a Phillies assistant GM who lives near him
    2.) An agent of a free agent starting pitcher says AJ will be going back to the Pirates
    3.) A different agent seemed to imply that he didn't think Burnett had the desire to pitch in Baltimore and that he loved Pittsburgh

    More randomness but it is what it is. I don't think I would usually make a big deal out of all this but the only thing that happened this offseason I or any other regular poster here deemed thread worthy was the signing of Charlie Morton to an extension. So basically this is all we have to talk about right now. The good news is though that the first pitchers and catchers (not Pirates) report just one week from today. Baseball is getting close!
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    For as interesting as it was at first, I just want a decision so we can put this behind us. I've heard enough talk on the radio that is pure speculation

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tomahawk27 View Post
    For as interesting as it was at first, I just want a decision so we can put this behind us. I've heard enough talk on the radio that is pure speculation
    I agree with you here. Something tangible on this topic would be nice.
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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tomahawk27 View Post
    For as interesting as it was at first, I just want a decision so we can put this behind us. I've heard enough talk on the radio that is pure speculation
    Yup, that's all it is. I have removed myself from most of it now. Not listening to the radio or anything. Just checking in here to see if there are updates. I'm actually not getting too antsy though. Not sure why.
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    It is not even so much a decision I want to here. We heard AJ is willing to consider pitching elsewhere and that the Phillies, Orioles and Rays have interest but we have no clue where AJ will consider. I mean its been speculated he wants to pitch close to home but does that mean Baltimore or Pittsburgh, does that mean the entire east coast? Or may none of that be true and might Burnett only be looking to pitch for a contender? Or is something else true. We haven't even gotten a hint of just who else Burnett is willing to consider.

    I'd like a decision but some news that at least helps us figure out what is going on would be nice.
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    AJ Burnett Saga

    Hey here is something they it is actually kind of news. The Diamondbacks are interested in Burnett but get the sense he doesn't want to play for a west coast team. That is something widely speculated but this is really the first shred of evidence to that affect.
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    When reports start coming out about how so-and-so-player is friends with such-and-such on a certain team and thus maybe could go there and what not...well, that's usually when I slow down a bit and try not getting too sucked into things. That's just abject speculation. Everything becomes a rumor, and most of it ultimately winds up being just misleading or false. I feel like I'd rather just sit back and wait...as opposed to being privy to every iota of speculation.

    Nothing really changed at all between AJ's comments after the season, and January 28th...despite all the chatter. And now, as far as I'm concerned, nothing has changed since then until now. Just speculation.
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