The Orioles must sign A.J. Burnett.

After a horrible winter, signing of Burnett would show the increasingly cranky fan base that the team will do something meaningful to answer their complaints.

Tuesday’s news that Burnett had decided, barely two weeks before spring training opened, that he wanted to pitch this year and would hit the open market, qualifies as good news.

The word is that Burnett, who enjoyed pitching with Pittsburgh the last two years, wants to be paid as a No. 1 starter. That would seemingly inhibit the Pirates’ chances of re-signing him.

How much would the Orioles be willing to pay Burnett this year?

He earned $16.5 million last year. More than half of that was paid by the New York Yankees.