Report: O's, Rays pursuing A.J. Burnett
According to one report, the O's are ramping up their efforts to sign A.J. Burnett, and a division rival is also gunning for him.
It's been known for some time that the Orioles along with the incumbent Pirates are hoping to secure the services of A.J. Burnett for 2014. Now comes this tweet from Peter Gammons that clarifies the O's level of interest and adds the Rays to the scrum:
Orioles "all in" on AJ Burnett, Rays in, early in process— Peter Gammons (@pgammo) January 30, 2014
Baltimore, of course, has a pretty obvious need in the rotation. Last season, they ranked 12th in the AL in rotation ERA and rotation WAR, and they're without a notable addition this offseason. As for the Rays, were they to land Burnett, the scuttle would of course be that the signing presaged a trade of David Price. One does not necessarily follow the other, though.
More fundamentally, let's recall that Burnett has decided to pitch in 2014, and coming off a season in which he logged a 107 ERA+ and 209 strikeouts in 191 innings, there should be a healthy market for his services. As noted before, Burnett lives in Maryland, so that may give the Orioles an edge when it comes to luring the 37-year-old right-hander.