Pirates sign A.J. Burnett to one-year, $8.5 million deal

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Last offseason A.J. Burnett left the Pirates for the Phillies, but after a rough season in Philadelphia he’s going back to Pittsburgh.

Burnett has signed a one-year deal with the Pirates worth $8.5 million, which is significantly less than the $12.75 million player option he declined to leave the Phillies.

Burnett had a fantastic two-season run for the Pirates in 2012/2013, starting 61 games with a 3.41 ERA and 389 strikeouts in 393 innings, but he went 8-18 with a 4.59 ERA in 34 starts for the Phillies.

At age 38 he’s certainly no sure thing to bounce back, but for $8.5 million and a one-year commitment a reunion with Burnett makes a lot of sense for a Pirates rotation that may lose free agents Francisco Liriano and Edinson Volquez.

Giants sign Darin Ruf to minor league contract

Darin Ruf
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The Athletic’s Jayson Stark reports that the Giants have signed 1B/OF Darin Ruf to a minor league contract.

Ruf, 33, played parts of five seasons in the majors with the Phillies from 2012-16, enjoying occasional offensive success. He spent the last three seasons in the KBO League in South Korea with the Samsung Lions, reigniting his career. Ruf hit an aggregate .313/.404/.564 with 86 home runs and 350 RBI over 1,756 plate appearances.

Ruf joins an ever-increasing list of players whose major league careers fizzled out, then found new life overseas — Eric Thames and Miles Mikolas are a couple of examples. Ruf will hope to prove himself as a big leaguer once more in spring training with the Giants.