At last, the question of whether A.J. Burnett will retire or return to pitch in 2014 has been answered. Travis Sawchik of the Pittsburgh-Tribune Review is reporting that, according to a source, the 37-year-old Burnett will indeed return for his 16th big league season.
Not only did the source confirm Burnett's desire to pitch in 2014, he suspects that the right-hander, who posted a 3.30 ERA with 3.2 BB/9 and a league-leading 9.8 K/9 in 191 innings pitched last season, will test the open market and not limit himself to a return to Pittsburgh.
While Burnett has stated his desire to remain with the Pirates—he was quoted last offseason as saying he wouldn't want to pitch anywhere else but Pittsburgh if he resumed his playing career after 2013—he's much more likely to land a bigger contract elsewhere or, if anything, drive up the Pirates' price with multiple teams bidding on his services.
Here are five teams that could have the most interest in adding Burnett to the front of their rotation in 2014.