A.J. Burnett '50/50' on whether to retire after 2013

Doug Pensinger

Burnett has been a key factor in the Pirates' resurgence, but will be a free agent at the end of the year.

Pittsburgh Pirates starting pitcher A.J. Burnett says that he is "50/50" on whether he will retire following the 2013 season or continue playing for at least one more year, reports the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.

More Pirates coverage: Bucs Dugout

How far the Pirates make it in the playoffs may play a deciding role in Burnett's decision. Pittsburgh is 88-66 this year and two games behind the Cardinals in the NL Central. The team is almost guaranteed a wild card spot, though.

"I do want to go out with a bang, and I do want to go out a Pirate," Burnett was quoted as saying. He also told reporters that retirement has been a lingering thought all season.

Burnett, 36, is in his second year with the Pirates and has been a key factor in the team having their first winning season in over 20 years. Over 28 starts this season, he has posted a 3.43 ERA and 1.24 WHIP. He leads the National League with 9.8 strikeouts per nine innings.

Burnett is in the final season of a five year, $82.5 million deal he originally signed with the Yankees in 2008. Pirates general manager Neal Huntington says the team is interested in bringing Burnett back next season.

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