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Tigers Make Call to Burnett

The Tigers made a huge offer to free agent pitcher Carl Pavano last season, and it looks like they'll jump at another former Florida Marlins hurler, AJ Burnett, this offseason. Although the period to talk contracts with free agents starts next Friday, the Tigers have already contacted Burnett about their interest (not talking any kind of money figures, of course). This is all according to the official Tigers site at

Detroit's chase for the biggest name among free agent starters has begun. Burnett's agent, Darek Braunecker, confirmed that he's had discussions with the Tigers since he filed for free agency last week. Teams cannot talk contracts with free agents until next Friday, but they can make introductory calls, even visits, and talk anything but money.

One such visit generated headlines a couple days ago with a trip to Toronto as part of the Blue Jays' courtship effort. The team gave a tour of the Rogers Centre to Burnett, who had dinner with former Cy Young Award winner Roy Halladay and took in a Raptors game with courtside seats.

No such visit is planned yet for Detroit. Braunecker said Toronto was a unique situation in that the timing worked best for both sides to have a visit this week. Burnett will most likely visit other cities later, once the GM meetings have been completed. Next week's meetings in California will allow Braunecker to meet face-to-face with representatives of several clubs, including the Tigers.

It has already been noted that the Tigers focus this offseason will be pitching. Of the pitching wants, an experienced starting pitcher is a target, and Burnett fits that description.