Burnitz Finally a Pirate

Jeromy Burnitz finalized his $6.7 million, one-year contract with the Pittsburgh Pirates after taking a physical Wednesday January 4, but only after the unhappy Baltimore Orioles said the outfielder's agent backed out of a two-year deal.

The contract Burnitz signed with the Pirates calls for a $6 million salary this year and a $6 million mutual option for 2007 with a $700,000 buyout if the team declines its option. Baltimore thought Burnitz had agreed to a $12 million, two-year contract with the Orioles last week.

Burnitz never took the physical called for in that agreement. Burnitz's agent, Howard Simon, said that language regarding the physical resulted in the breakdown of Baltimore's deal.

Burnitz, who turns 37 in April, played in 150 games in 2004 with the Rockies and 160 games last season for the Cubs, when he hit 24 homers and drove in 87 runs. He has 92 homers while playing for four clubs over the last three seasons, and has three homers in 92 career at-bats in PNC Park.

To make room for Burnitz on their 40-man roster, the Pirates designated infielder J.J. Furmaniak for assignment.

George Von Benko interviews new Pirates outfielder Jeromy Burnitz.

Click here to play interview


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