With the Baltimore Orioles and Philadelphia Phillies apparently dropping out, odds are A.J. Burnett will return to the Pittsburgh Pirates. Unless another team swoops in at the last minute, grabs Burnett in their talons and flies away with him.
John Heyman says to keep an eye on the Washington Nationals as the team that could come in at the last second and make a play for Burnett.
Heyman says that while the Nationals are inclined to stick with their current pitching staff, they would be willing to look at a pitcher if a good value situation came up. Burnett might be that good value.
Burnett might look at Washington as a good landing spot, as it is close to his home in Maryland. Burnett would also probably prefer to stay in the National League.
The one-time Yankee Burnett looked headed for retirement earlier this offseason, but suddenly re-emerged as a hot free agent commodity after announcing his intention to continue pitching.
Baltimore became the early favorite to land Burnett, but their interest apparently has cooled.
Burnett went 10-11 in 2013 with a 3.30 ERA. The 37-year-old possesses a durable arm and likely has a couple good years left in him as a starter. He brings veteran moxy along with pitching acumen.