Pirates won't pay A.J. Burnett market rate, Neal Huntington says

Elsa

Neal Huntington's latest comments on the A.J. Burnett saga continue to suggest that Burnett is unlikely to return to the Pirates next year.

"The unfortunate reality of the market is, if he's into that, he's gonna pitch somewhere else," Huntington said. "We've got funds we would gladly allocate to A.J. If he or others want a market-value deal, they'll sign elsewhere. It's not just Pittsburgh; there are other markets where different resources must be used as effectively as possible.

"There is money available, but the question is how do we build around A.J.? We've got some other soft spots to address, and where do we go there with the money that A.J. may ultimately cost us?"

I'm not sure how wise it is for Huntington to announce outright that the Pirates aren't willing to pay market value for any free agent, but there you go. There isn't much to say about this until we see how things play out, because the Pirates could have some plan to improve the team that doesn't cost much and doesn't involve Burnett. If that's the case, good for them! And anyway, words are just words, especially in the offseason. What Huntington actually does is what matters.

In the meantime, though, I remain concerned about the Pirates' unwillingness to spend even after a season that featured enormous support from the fanbase, and in a winter in which they could really charge into the following season with a full head of steam. I agree that they need to be cautious about money, but their unwillingness to pay Burnett even $14 million for a season perplexes me.

More from Bucs Dugout:

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join Bucs Dugout

You must be a member of Bucs Dugout to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Bucs Dugout. You should read them.

Join Bucs Dugout

You must be a member of Bucs Dugout to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Bucs Dugout. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9351_tracker