Pirates may extend qualifying offer to A.J. Burnett, will try to sign Marlon Byrd, Clint Barmes

Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sport

The Pirates will try to re-sign A.J. Burnett, Clint Barmes and Marlon Byrd, Tom Singer reports.

The most likely scenario with Burnett, Singer indicates, is that the Pirates will extend a qualifying offer (which would pay Burnett $14.1 million in 2014), and Burnett will take it. Initially, that's what I thought might happen too, but then Tim Dierkes suggested to me that, because Burnett has no apparent interest in signing with another team, the qualifying offer doesn't really serve any purpose, since the Pirates wouldn't get a draft pick from it unless Burnett signed elsewhere. It also, in the worst-case scenario, might be seen by Burnett as a show of mistrust -- an attempt to reduce his leverage with other teams even though he has said he doesn't want to sign elsewhere. I do think, though, that if the Pirates do end up signing Burnett, it will be for somewhere in the range of the $14.1 qualifying offer value, so all this might be academic.

Singer notes that the Pirates aren't really worried about their five-day exclusive negotiating window with Burnett -- except, presumably, in that their plans this offseason will hinge to a great degree on whether or not he re-signs. Singer says the Pirates will, however, try to work something out with Barmes and Byrd before they can sign elsewhere. Barmes' case is pretty straightforward -- he'll get one year and a couple million bucks. If the Pirates re-sign him, that will likely be a sign that they're set at shortstop with him and Jordy Mercer, and won't pursue an upgrade (unless they trade Mercer or another infielder somehow, I guess).

Byrd's case is a little more complicated. He did more than enough this season to warrant a multiyear deal, but the Pirates will have to decide if that's worth it for them. With Gregory Polanco likely to take over right field at some point soon, it might not be, at least not at the price Byrd could command, and it might be hard for Byrd and the Pirates to find common ground.

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