Two months after their season ended, the Pirates still are waiting for right-hander A.J. Burnett to decide whether he will retire.
However, Burnett's indecision won't keep the Pirates stuck in neutral during MLB's annual winter meetings.

Monday, a source close to free agent Bronson Arroyo said the veteran righty would welcome a chance to rejoin the Pirates, who drafted him in 1995 and later released him. Terry Bross, Arroyo's agent, was scheduled to speak with the Pirates at the Walt Disney World Swan hotel.

The Minnesota Twins also are very interested in Arroyo. Bross met with the Twins on Monday, and Fox Sports reported there was “momentum” in talks between the sides.

Arroyo has targeted a three-year contract but might be willing to settle for a two-year deal with an option. He made $16.4 million this past season with the Cincinnati Reds.

If Arroyo goes elsewhere, the Pirates still have options, including some beyond the free-agent market. They could pursue a trade for Oakland left-hander Brett Anderson. The Chicago Cubs reportedly are open to dealing Jeff Samardzija.

General manager Neal Huntington said Burnett remains the team's first choice, but the Pirates will keep shopping while he mulls his answer.

“We are still engaged and working through that process with him,” Huntington said Monday. “That may change as we get deeper into the offseason. I hope he comes back. If he doesn't, we'll appreciate the two years he played in Pittsburgh.”

Burnett led the team this past season with 191 innings pitched. He has worked at least 186 innings in each of the past six seasons.
That kind of dependability has immense value, which is why Arroyo, who has tossed at least 200 innings in all but one season since 2005, caught Huntington's eye. Still, Arroyo will turn 37 in February and could see his durability ebb.