The Baltimore Orioles and Tampa Bay Rays appear to be intrigued by A.J. Burnett hitting the open market.
The Orioles are going “all in” on trying to sign Burnett, according to Peter Gammons. The Rays reportedly are in the mix for the right-hander, too, although Gammons notes that it’s still early in the process.
Reports surfaced earlier this week indicating that Burnett plans to pitch in 2014. While the 37-year-old said last season that he either would re-sign with the Pittsburgh Pirates or retire, Travis Sawchik of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reports that Burnett might be willing to test free agency. Burnett would join the likes of Ubaldo Jimenez, Ervin Santana and Bronson Arroyo among pitchers available on the open market.
Burnett is coming off back-to-back strong seasons with the Pirates. The veteran went 16-10 with a 3.51 ERA in 2012 and then went 10-11 with a 3.30 ERA in 2013 while helping the Bucs to their first postseason berth since 1992.
Pirates president Frank Coonelly told ESPN.com last week that the team had “turned the page” on the likelihood of a return by Burnett, although Coonelly added that the Pirates were leaving the door open for the possibility of a reunion.