The Pittsburgh Pirates did not offer right-handed pitcher A.J. Burnett a qualifying offer on Monday before the deadline and at midnight, it will make him a free agent as the offseason officially opens up. Burnett is going to turn 37-years-old in January, but there maybe one more quality season left in him.
If that is the case, the Miami Marlins should go after him. Burnett was kicked to the curb by the New York Yankees after the 2011 season, but found solace and confidence during his two seasons with the Pirates. He went 26-21 with 389 strikeouts, a 3.41 ERA and 1.228 WHIP in those two seasons. He bounced back incredibly after faltering with the Yankees in the playoffs.
Burnett is one of many veteran starting pitchers that will be available on the market this season. However, it makes sense that the Marlins go after him. Burnett and manager Mike Redmond have played together before, and Burnett knows the ownership like the back of his hands. Miami could not afford Burnett after the 2005 season but now that he is older, it would be the perfect end to his career if he ended it with Miami.
In addition to his background with the organization, Burnett can provide a much-needed veteran voice on the team and in the pitching rotation. With a team full of youngsters, everyone could learn a lot from Burnett as they all are moving forward in their careers. If Miami signs Burnett, it would be one of the smartest moves the front office have made in a long time.