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News » Baltimore Orioles Inside Pitch 2008-11-29

Baltimore Orioles Inside Pitch 2008-11-29

Baltimore Orioles Inside Pitch 2008-11-29
The Orioles are in the hunt to sign one of baseball's biggest pitching prizes, but it's going to take an unprecedented move by the front office to do it.

It might take a five-year contract to sign right-hander A.J. Burnett, and the Orioles haven't offered anything longer than a three-year deal to a free agent starter under owner Peter Angelos, who took the reins of the organization in 1993.

Burnett, who makes his offseason home in the Baltimore suburb of Monkton, went 18-10 with a 4.07 ERA with Toronto last season. The 31-year-old is in talks with roughly a half-dozen teams, according to his agent.

"(The Orioles) are doing what a lot of other clubs are doing right now," Burnett's agent, Darek Braunecker, told The Sun. "They are getting a realistic feel of the market before really jumping in. It's fair to say the interest is mutual and we'll continue down the road with them."

The Orioles will have to compete with the Yankees, Red Sox, Blue Jays and likely the Phillies and Braves for Burnett's services. The New York Post reported in mid-November that the Yankees were willing to offer five years for as much as $80 million.

The Orioles are more likely to watch as Burnett's price climbs, preferring to sign to mid-level free agent pitchers later in the offseason.

Author:Fox Sports
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Added: November 29, 2008

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