The Pirates did not extend a qualifying offer of $14.1 million to pitcher A.J. Burnett by Monday’s 5 p.m. deadline.
The team confirmed no such move was made just after 5 p.m., which was the deadline for teams to extend the one-year, $14.1 million offer to their free agents.
"It is still our hope and still our goal to have A.J." said Pirates general manager Neal Huntington. "In our mind this really doesn't change our position with A.J. at all."
A qualifying offer assures a team of a compensation pick in next year’s draft if the player rejects the offer and signs with another club.
Burnett has made it clear that is unlikely, expressing publicly that he would like to return to the Pirates if he does not retire.
Burnett earned $16.5 million in 2013, will be 37 next year, but is coming off two strong years with the Pirates.
He went 10-11 this season with a 3.30 ERA, and 209 strikeouts, the fifth most in the National League.
Teams had five days to make the one-year, $14.1 million qualifying offer to their free agents following the end of the World Series.