AJ Burnett Could Find Home in BaltimorePosted on December 14, 2013 by Ethan Felderstein
Technically, this headline is misleading. AJ Burnett already lives in Maryland. Still, Burnett could find himself pitching for the hometown orange and black this upcoming season.
MASN's Roch Kubatko originally reported that the Orioles are interested in the former Pirates and Yankees starting pitcher. This all hinges on if Burnett wants to play in 2014, as the 37-year old is also considering retiring. Kubatko reported that the Orioles met with Burnett's representatives during the Winter Meetings.
This deal would make a lot of sense for both sides, depending on kind of deal Burnett would get. Burnett was a huge part of the resurgent Pittsburgh Pirates' success last year. His 3.30 ERA and National League-best strikeout rate was crucial in leading the Pirates to the postseason. Most impressively, the 37-year old also led the team's rotation in games started with 30.
The Orioles would most likely be looking to bring Burnett in on a 1-year deal. As it always is with the Orioles, Burnett's signing would all depend on kind of money he would demand. It is unlikely the Orioles would pay him anything north of a $10 million. The Orioles want him on the cheap.
Burnett would definitely bring a veteran presence to the Orioles' rotation. Imagine this:
ORIOLES (PROJECTED) ROTATION WITH BURNETT:
1. CHRIS TILLMAN
2. WEI-YIN CHEN
3. BUD NORRIS
4. AJ BURNETT
5. MIGUEL GONZALEZ OR KEVIN GAUSMAN
Not bad, right?
Burnett isn't the top of the line superstar pitcher that many Orioles' fans want, but he is an intriguing option that they should definitely consider. Right now, they have more question marks in the rotation than they have answers. Bringing in a player like Burnett would only help solve the Orioles' problems in their rotation.
Orioles may not be able to contend in the AL East in 2014. I'm going to take a look at how that scenario could benefit them in 2015.