Updated 01:21 AM EST, Mon, Mar 01, 2021

MLB Free Agents 2014 Rumors: Philadelphia Phillies, Pittsburgh Pirates Interested in Signing AJ Burnett

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Free agent A.J. Burnett is expected to land a new contract soon. The veteran pitcher has been drawing the interest of several teams over the past few days, reports on Tuesday indicated.

MLB insider Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports revealed that Burnett is currently engaged in deep talks with multiple teams. Sources said that the Philadelphia Phillies and the Pittsburgh Pirates are among interested teams.

MLB.com reported that the Phillies made a sudden U-turn in the last few days. Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro told reporters on Friday that they will likely move into spring training without making any more moves, despite the glaring hole in their starting rotation.

"I don't suspect we'll be doing anything," Amaro told CSN Philly. "I think we've got what we've got. I suspect we'll go into the season with what we've got or at least spring training with what we've got. We're always looking, always trolling. I know there are guys out there, but I don't suspect us having anything major coming through."

Reports indicated that the Phillies and Burnett's representatives are talking about a possible deal, but it is unclear whether or not the two parties are close to striking a deal. Should the Phillies sign Burnett, the 37-year-old pitcher will likely be their third option in their starting rotation behind Cliff Lee and Cole Hamels.

The Pirates are expected to be Philadelphia's strongest competition, with sources saying that the team is still very interested in re-signing the 15-year veteran, who played a major role in Pittsburgh's historic run last season.

Burnet went 10-11 last season with a 3.30 ERA and led NL with 9.8 strikeouts per nine innings, helping the Pirates advance to the playoffs for the first time in 21 years.

Earlier in the offseason, Burnett indicated that he is leaning towards retirement, but also mentioned that a return to Pittsburgh will be his main option should he decide to play during the 2014 MLB season.

The Pirates did not make a qualifying offer to Burnett, but sources downplayed the notion that the team is not interested in retaining the righthander. According to reports, the Pirates did not extend a qualifying offer because they expected Burnett to announce his retirement this offseason.

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