Report: Orioles pursuing A.J. Burnett
The Orioles are interesting in signing A.J. Burnett, who was thought to be bound for retirement if he didn't pitch for the Pirates in 2014.
It's long been presumed that veteran right-hander A.J. Burnett would either sign on with the Pirates for one more season or opt for retirment. Now, though, MASN's Roch Kubatko reports that the Orioles are making a push to sign Burnett and to that end met with Burnett's agent during the recently concluded Winter Meetings. Our own Jon Heyman recently noted that Burnett was a possibility for the O's.
Burnett, who turns 37 in January, is coming off a 2013 season in which he notched a 3.30 ERA (107 ERA+) and career-best 3.12 K/BB ratio in 191 innings for Pittsburgh. He also led the NL in strikeout rate and boasted a 2.33 groundball/fly ball ratio. For his career, Burnett owns an ERA+ of 105 across parts of 15 major-league seasons.
The Orioles could certainly use help in the rotation, as in 2013 they ranked 12th in both starters' ERA and starters' WAR. Burnett, it's worth noting, lives in Maryland.