Sep 21, 2013; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Pirates starting pitcher A.J. Burnett (34) delivers a pitch against the Cincinnati Reds during the second inning at PNC Park. The Pittsburgh Pirates won 4-2. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Pittsburgh Pirates Rumors: A.J. Burnett Coming Back To Bucs After All?

Sep 21, 2013; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Pirates starting pitcher A.J. Burnett (34) delivers a pitch against the Cincinnati Reds during the first inning at PNC Park. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Over the course of the past couple days we have dived into the fact that A.J. Burnett will pitch in 2014 and is willing to do so for a team other than the Pittsburgh Pirates.

I also voiced my opinion of how the Pirates mishandled this situation and if Burnett leaves, he shouldn’t be the one to blame for the fashion that this saga has unfolded.

Given the timing, it was only a matter of hours before the Burnett rumors started heating up. We have heard about his connections to the Philadelphia Phillies organization as well as the fact that the Baltimore Orioles are willing to go “all in” to land Burnett.

And while Burnett has close relationships in Philadelphia and the Orioles would make a lot of sense due to being close to home, don’t discount a return to Pittsburgh just yet.

While I feel seeing Burnett in a Pirates uniform again is a longshot, feeling around the league is that Burnett will return to the Pirates.

MLB Insider for Sports Reel Boston Andrew Rickli has reported that one agent feels Burnett will return to the Bucs.

The reason being? He simply loves Pittsburgh.

Only time will tell if the relationship between the Pirates and Burnett can be repaired to the point that he will return for the 2014 campaign.

But while I don’t see a way for the Pirates to make this right, don’t discount the fact that Burnett will be on the mound donning a Pirates jersey in the spring.

Until he officially signs elsewhere, that door should still be open.

Tags: A.J. Burnett Pittsburgh Pirates Pittsburgh Pirates Rumors

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