ORLANDO -- Edinson Volquez's attempt to turn around his career with the Pittsburgh Pirates could signal the end of A.J. Burnett's career.
The Pirates agreed to terms with Volquez on a one-year, $5 million contract during the Winter Meetings. The right-hander is tentatively slotted as the fifth starter after Francisco Liriano, Gerrit Cole, Wandy Rodriguez and Charlie Morton.
The addition of Volquez likely means Burnett will not return to the Pirates.
Burnett, a 36-year-old right-hander, said late last season that he would either re-sign with the Pirates or retire. However, it appears the Pirates have neither room in the rotation nor money left in their budget for Burnett after adding Volquez.
"We would welcome A.J. back and we continue to work through the process," Pirates general manager Neal Huntington said.
Volquez, 30, was a combined 9-12 with a 5.71 ERA in 33 games, including 32 starts, with the San Diego Padres and Los Angeles Dodgers last season. He also led the National League with 108 earned runs allowed.
The Pirates were impressed by his 7.5 strikeouts per nine innings, a statistic they rely on greatly in evaluating pitchers.
Volquez went 17-6 with a 3.31 ERA in 2008 for the Cincinnati Reds. However, he underwent Tommy John reconstructive surgery in 2008 and has gone 33-35 with a 4.94 ERA over the past five seasons.
In nine seasons, Volquez has a 53-52 career record with a 4.75 ERA while pitching for the Texas Rangers (2005-07), Reds (2008-11), Padres (2012-13) and Dodgers (2013).
Burnett went a combined 26-21 with a 3.41 ERA in 61 starts in his two seasons with the Pirates after being acquired from the New York Yankees in a trade.
--RHP Charlie Morton avoided salary arbitration by signing a three-year, $21 million contract extension that includes a club option for 2017. Morton, 30, will have salaries of $4 million next season and $8 million in both 2015 and 2016. The option is worth $9.5 million and had a $1 million buyout. Morton was 7-4 with a 3.26 ERA in 20 starts in 2013 after recovering from Tommy John reconstructive elbow surgery.
--INF Clint Barmes agreed to re-sign with the Pirates as a free agent for one year and $2 million. Barmes will serve as the utility infielder next season after starting the majority of games at shortstop in his first two seasons with the Pirates. The 34-year-old hit just .211 with five home runs and 23 RBIs in 108 games in 2013, yielding playing time to SS Jordy Mercer as the season went on.
--LHP Wandy Rodriguez is on a throwing program in his native Dominican Republic and expected to be ready for the start of spring training. Rodriguez did not pitch after June 5 because of tightness in his left forearm and was later to found to have arthritis in his elbow. He was 6-4 with a 3.59 ERA in 12 starts.
--OF Travis Snider is expected to be fully recovered by the start of spring training after undergoing surgery on his left foot in October to remove bone spurs and have the sesamoid bone removed. He missed five weeks in the second half of last season because of foot pain and hit just .215 with five home runs and 25 RBIs in 111 games.
--OF/1B Andrew Lambo will get a chance to earn playing time at either right field or first base next season. Lambo, 25, made his major-league debut this year and batted just .233 with one home run and two RBIs in 18 games but was named the organization's Minor-League Player of the Year after hitting a combined .282 with 32 home runs and 99 RBIs in 120 games with Triple-A Indianapolis and Double-A Altoona. In his first 17 games with Lara in the Venezuelan Winter League, Lambo had a .220 batting average and 14 RBIs.
--C Chris Stewart is expected to serve as the backup to Russell Martin after being acquired from the New York Yankees in a trade for minor-league RHP Kyle Haynes. Stewart, 31, avoided salary arbitration by signing a one-year, $1 million contract. He hit just .211 with four home runs and 25 RBIs in 109 games this year but threw out 31 percent (17 of 54) of runners attempting to steal.
--OF Gregory Polanco is having a fine winter ball season in his native Dominican Republic after being added to the 40-man roster and being named the Pirates' top prospect by Baseball America. He was hitting .317 with four home runs and 24 RBIs in his first 34 games with Escogido. In a combined 127 games with Triple-A Indianapolis, Double-A Altoona and high Class A Bradenton in 2013, the 22-year-old Polanco batted .285 with 12 home runs, 71 RBIs and 38 stolen bases.
QUOTE TO NOTE: "As you continue to look for ways to maintain sustainability, you look to your pitching staff first for stability. Charlie took big steps forward in many areas this year, and to have him now as one of the staples moving forward I think is good for all of us," - Pirates manager Clint Hurdle on the Morton contract.