Posted March 27, 2013

A.J. Burnett considering retirement after 2013 season

A.J. Burnett is entering the last year of a 5-year, ?? million contract. (Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)

A.J. Burnett is entering the last year of a 5-year, $82.5 million contract. (Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)

Pirates pitcher A.J. Burnett says the 2013 season could be his last, but if he does not decide to retire, he’ll only consider returning to Pittsburgh, according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

Burnett, a 15-year veteran, is entering the final year of a five-year, $82.5 million contract originally signed as a member of the New York Yankees. The 36-year-old was 16-10 with a 3.51 ERA last season after the Pirates traded for him during last year’s spring training.

He told the Post-Gazette he’s happy in Pittsburgh and taking his career one season at a time:

“I enjoy it here and I enjoy these guys,” Burnett, said Thursday after pitching three innings in his final spring training tuneup. “If I was to keep playing, I wouldn’t want it to be anywhere else but Pittsburgh. My wife and I talk about it now and then. But it’s something I’ve got to put on the back burner. I’m just going to concentrate on this season, one start at a time.”

“I know it’s going to come up,” Burnett said. “These guys (teammates) keep getting on me about it. They keep saying, ‘Two more (years)! Two more!’ I don’t know. We’ll see.”

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Hasn't he been retied all this time? He certainly has pitched like he has!


Problem is, Pirate management can be so hard-headed and stingy at times (and other times too loose with money for questionable talent) that even if Burnett had a nice 2013 season and had an interest in returning to the Pirates, I can see Nutting and Huntington asking for such a deep hometown discount that AJ will just say forget it. It's nice having the NYY paying for much of AJ's salary in 2012-2013 years but that deal is done with the Yanks at the end of this season. Any other MLB team want to pony up some money and send it to Pittsburgh so Burnett can be a Pirate in 2014? Yea, I didn't think so....