Pirates expected to extend A.J. Burnett qualifying offer

Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sport

Burnett has stated that he will return to Pittsburgh in 2014 or retire.

The Pittsburgh Pirates are expected to tend A.J. Burnett a qualifying offer, reports Tom Singer of MLB.com.

Burnett is coming off a second straight 30-start season for Pittsburgh, posting a 3.30 ERA over 191 innings. The right-hander struck out 209 batters, the fifth-most strikeouts among NL pitchers.

The 36-year-old has indicated that he will either return to Pittsburgh or retire during the offseason. Burnett interviewed with Colin Dunlap of 93.7 The Fan, telling the radio host:

"My decision is not playing for another team, it's whether or not I'm going to play period. That decision is going to be based on my family.

The qualifying offer is worth $14.1 million, so Burnett could take a slight paycut if he accepts the deal; the starter made $16.5 million in 2013. If Burnett decides to return in 2014, the two sides may negotiate a new deal after he accepts the offer, according to Singer.

Pittsburgh would also like to sign free-agents Marlon Byrd and Clint Barmes, writes Singer. The Pirates, however, have potential replacements lined up for the outfielder and shortstop if the pair receives higher offers on the open market.

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