Phillies, Orioles might be out of running for Burnett
The is no winner yet in the A.J. Burnett sweepstakes, but the Pirates' chances seem to have improved.
According to published reports Friday, the Baltimore Orioles and Philadelphia Phillies — considered the Pirates' main competition for Burnett — might be out of the running to sign the free agent right-hander.
A year ago during spring training, Burnett told the Tribune-Review he was considering retirement so he could spend more time with his family. He added that if he played in 2014, he would want to re-sign with the Pirates.
Burnett lives in Monkton, Md., about 28 miles north of Baltimore. However, attempts by the Orioles to lure him with a “hometown advantage” pitch might have fallen short.
Roch Kubatko of MASNsports.com, citing an anonymous source, reported Burnett has told teams he wants to stay in the National League. The Orioles remain interested in free agent pitchers Bronson Arroyo, Ubaldo Jimenez and Suk-min Yoon.
Jim Salisbury of csnphilly.com reported the Phillies also appear to be out on Burnett. General manager Ruben Amaro Jr. declined to discuss specific players but told Salisbury, “I don't suspect we'll be doing anything” in regards to signing anyone before spring training begins next week.
Pirates pitchers and catchers hold their first workouts Thursday in Bradenton, Fla.
Burnett, 37, won 26 games and posted a 3.41 ERA with the Pirates over the past two seasons. In December, the Pirates signed free agent Edinson Volquez, who last season went 9-12 with a 5.71 ERA, to a one-year, $5 million contract.
Note: The Washington Wild Things of the Frontier League sold Quincy Latimore's contract to the Pirates, Wild Things officials announced. Latimore batted .232 with six home runs, three doubles and 22 RBI in 41 games last season. The Pirates drafted him in the fourth round of the 2007 draft.