SEPT. 21: Burnett says he remains "50-50" on whether or not he'll play next year, reports Karen Price of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. He reiterated that, if he does not hang up his spikes, he wants to stay in Pittsburgh. "I do want to go out with a bang," said Burnett, "and I do want to go out a Pirate."
After logging a 3.51 ERA in 202 1/3 innings in 2012, Burnett has followed up with 176 innings of 3.43 ERA pitching this year, including a career-best 9.8 K/9. Bucs GM Neil Huntington said that the team "certainly ha[s] interest in A.J. returning." Though it sounds as if he won't test the market, Burnett ranks fifth among all free agent starters on the list compiled by MLBTR's Tim Dierkes.
MAR. 27: A.J. Burnett is mulling whether to retire after the 2013 season, according to Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. However, if the 36-year-old decides to keep playing, he might only consider an offer from the Pirates for next season.
“I enjoy it here and I enjoy these guys,” Burnett said. “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.”
While Burnett is fond of Pittsburgh, he says that he is not currently talking with the club about a new deal. Last year, Burnett posted a 3.51 ERA with 8.0 K/9 and 2.8 BB/9 in 31 starts.
The right-hander is in the final year of a five-year, $82.5MM contract that he initally signed with the Yankees, so he won't be hurting for cash if he decides to walk away. For his career, Burnett owns a 4.05 ERA with 8.2 K/9 and 3.7 BB/9 across 14 seasons with the Marlins, Blue Jays, Yankees, and Bucs.
Jeff Todd contributed to this post.