Pittsburgh Pirates GM Neal Huntington jumped on 93.7 The Fan this morning with Colin Dunlap, Josh Miller and Jim Colony. (Did anybody else notice just how solid Dunlap is in the Captain’s seat on the show?) The morning show jumped right on the hot topic of the Pirates not offering a qualifying offer to starting pitcher A.J. Burnett.
Below are a few, small portions of the answers provided. The Fan has done an excellent job of getting these interviews on their website and we will link when we see it.
Teams not giving offers are comfortable giving 14 plus million to the player, Huntington said. No player accepted the QO offer and five players are still out there this year.
We felt comfortable passing on the offer. A.J. was open about returning to Pittsburgh. A.J. was talking about retiring. We felt it was in our best interest to not make the offer. But we also worked hard to bring him back. We got to a point where we put the best club together we could. We were able to do what we wanted to do this offseason given the market. Huntington said there really isn’t an offer to be made until the player is ready. It takes two.
The interesting defensive part of the interview for us was when the Buccos GM said that
"We really like this group that we have now. They may not have the back of the baseball card that A.J. has. We have former All-Stars in Edison Volquez. We have former All-Star Jeff Locke."
The interview circled back to Burnett and the Bucs mastermind reminded everyone that he doesn’t forget.
"There were skeptics when we acquired A.J. Huntington said."
Regarding Andrew Lambo… we looked in the free agent market and then Huntington again, spoke about Gaby Sanchez being an All-Star. (He really seems to be leaning on the All-Star quote today.) So many people wrote off Lambo as a failed prospect. We are looking forward to see what he can do.
Dunlap asked Huntington about what he says to fans that don’t see the team investing in the club this offseason.
"Two of the top ten payroll teams made the playoffs. Three of the bottom payroll teams made the playoffs. The payroll will continue to grow. We will also have a young team that moves toward arbitration. We will probably never win the offseason."