His status remained uncertain, but there didn't seem to be any urgency since the free-agent pitching market was in limbo while all of baseball waited for a decision from Masahiro Tanaka. With Tanaka committed to the Yankees, and other pitching plans taking shape, Burnett's plan is coming into focus.
A unnamed source told Travis Sawchik of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review that Burnett plans to pitch in 2014. However — and here's the rub — it's sounding like Burnett has backed away from his two-option plan. There's a third option. Go someplace else.
Maybe, at age 37, coming off a season in which he earned $16.5 million, right-hander Burnett wants to test the free-agent market one last time.
"I can't say he has not. I'm not aware of every discussion there might have been," Pirates general manager Neal Huntington said. "All I can say is he has been very public with his intent to pitch in Pittsburgh or not pitch at all. Do I blindly put faith in that? No. But he's been very open with us, and continues to be very open."