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Answers to basic questions about the A.J. Burnett deal

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Joe Sargent

I've gotten some very basic questions about the A.J. Burnett contract, probably more than usual, so here are some answers to those and other questions, and you can refer to this as a resource. If you have any other questions, let me know, and I'll answer them. Here's the bottom line, though: As far as anyone knows, the Pirates are on the hook for one year and $8.5 million, and absolutely nothing else.

Does the deal contain any options?

No, it's just a one-year, $8.5 million deal.

Do the Pirates have to give up a draft pick as a result of the signing?

Burnett didn't receive a qualifying offer from the Phillies, so no, they don't.

What would Burnett have received from the Phillies if he had stayed there?

Burnett had a $15 million mutual option, which the Phillies declined. He also had a player option that kicked in if the mutual option was declined. That player option, after some escalators based on games started in 2014, was worth $12.75 million. (There may have been some other small bonuses as well; it was a ridiculously complex contract, and the full breakdown disappears from Cot's when a player becomes a free agent. But Burnett would have received at least $12.75 million if he'd exercised the option.) Burnett turned that down and took two-thirds that amount to return to Pittsburgh.

What about Burnett's deferred signing bonus payments, which he'll receive in January and June?

Those were on his contract with the Phillies (like I said, it was a ridiculously complex contract) and have nothing to do with the Pirates. Unless there's something we haven't heard about, they're just paying $8.5 million for one year. That's it.