Pittsburgh Pirates didn’t extend qualifying offer to A.J. Burnett due to budget

Sep 21, 2013; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Pirates starting pitcher A.J. Burnett (34) delivers a pitch against the Cincinnati Reds during the first inning at PNC Park. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

The Pittsburgh Pirates have been more than open regarding their desire to have starting pitcher A.J. Burnett return to the team for the 2014 season.

It’s one of two options Burnett is considering, the other being retirement. However, it was rumored that had the Pirates extended a $14.1 million dollar qualifying offer to Burnett, he would have accepted and pitched in Pittsburgh for the 2014 season.

Considering Burnett is soon to be 38, a one year deal worth $14 million dollars (while a bit excessive) wasn’t the worst possible thing that could have happened to the team, though general manager Neal Huntington admitted the only reason the Pirates didn’t extend Burnett the offer is because they couldn’t afford it.

It’s a trend that many small market teams are facing in regards to their free agents as they’d like to receive compensation for their player if they were to depart in free agency, however, the risk of eating $14 million dollars out of your already thin budget is often times too dangerous.

The team is hoping to bring him back on a smaller, more affordable deal.

Topics: A.J. Burnett, Pittsburgh Pirates

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