Thursday November 13th, 2014

There are conflicting reports regarding the Baltimore Orioles' interest in free-agent starting pitcher A.J. Burnett.

On Thursday, Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports reported that the Orioles had offered Burnett a contract, but that the sides were not close to a deal.

Less than an hour later, Eduardo Encina of The Baltimore Sun reported that Passan's report was not accurate.

The 15-year veteran became a free agent after declining his $12.75 million player option with the Philadelphia Phillies earlier this month. Burnett and the Phillies also declined their $15 million mutual option for 2015, for which Burnett received a $1 million buyout.

The Orioles won the AL East after finishing 96-66. They were swept out of the playoffs in the ALCS by the Kansas City Royals.

Baltimore's starting pitchers finished third in the American League with 3.66 runs allowed per game.

Orioles' Buck Showalter, Nats' Matt Williams named Managers of Year

Burnett went 8-18 in his one season with the Phillies, posting a 4.59 ERA and leading the league with 96 walks issued. Those 18 losses were also a MLB-high, and it was Burnett's first season since 2004 in which he failed to post double-digit wins. In April, Burnett was diagnosed with an inguinal hernia, but he elected to pitch through the injury the rest of the season.

Burnett earned $15 million with the Phillies in 2014 after spending the two previous seasons with the Pittsburgh Pirates. In August, he said he was contemplating retirement following the season. But one dominant start later, Burnett softened his stance. The Phillies finished 73-89, last in the NL East.

This story has been updated to account for a conflicting report.

Mike Fiammetta

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