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Pirates Don’t Make Offer to A.J. Burnett: Is It Really BUCN or Nothin’?


A.J. Burnett did not receive a qualifying offer from the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Well, it’s past 5 pm and the Pittsburgh Pirates haven’t made a qualifying offer to A.J. Burnett.  Are you surprised?  Burnett said in an interview with Colin Dunlap that “it’s Pittsburgh or retire, as of right now.”

The Pirates believe him.  Do you?

We really don’t have any reason whatsoever for us to think Burnett would go back on his word.  It’s #BUCN or nothing for A.J. well, except for the ‘as of right now’ qualifier.

What the move says is the Pirates trust A.J. and know that it’s a serious decision that he is thinking about.  It makes little sense to negotiate with themselves and the Bucs have refused to do that in the past…(Miguel Sano I believe it was.)

Now it seems to me that Burnett might want more than seven days to think about his life’s work.  Perhaps that is one of the reasons, or maybe, just maybe an offer is on the table for Burnett already.  Or maybe Bob Nutting doesn’t want to throw out that much cash.

It’s time to play the waiting game.

The system that Major League Baseball started last season is now underway.  It’s a new way for learning about free agent compensation under baseball’s collective bargaining agreement.  There are no longer Type A, Type B designations.

To refresh your memory, the Pirates need to make a qualifying offer to a player that was with the team all season in order to receive compensation in the draft.

As you have heard, the amount of the offer is determined annually by averaging the top 125 player salaries from 2012.  The players that receive offers will have seven days to accept the offer.

The players can accept or decline it.  If the player says no thanks, and signs with another team that team that’s where the fun begins.  The team that signs a player who turned down such an offer will surrender their first round draft pick.  But the pick doesn’t go to the team.  The team that signed the player who turned it down, lose their turn in the draft.   Follow me?

The first ten picks are protected, but it’s important to note that the protected clubs give up their second pick.


So as an example, the Bucs believe A.J. Burnett won’t sign elsewhere, so they don’t make an offer to him.

Now, should he change his mind, maybe gets blown away by another team and he does sign elsewhere, the Pirates get nothing in the draft.  Will this happen?  The Pirates think it most certainly won’t.  The Bucs don’t piss with draft picks.  This would look really bad on Burnett, but much more so to the Pirates.  We can’t envision such a scenario.


If the Bucs had made an offer to A.J. Burnett he would have had seven days to decide if he really wants to come back to Pittsburgh.

If Burnett says no thanks and signs with let’s say Baltimore or Washington… the O’s or the Nats would lose their first round pick.

The Pirates would receive a pick at the end of the first round.


So with no offer, now we wait.  Now we speculate.  Heh, at least it’s more fun that Steelers football.