Burnitz hit 37 home runs in 2004
The former All-Star outfielder's agent wants to reach a deal quickly. Howard Simon said Tuesday he spoke with Astros general manager Tim Purpura on Monday and that both sides are interested in working out a deal for the free agent.
"They know that we have a short time schedule," Simon told the Houston Chronicle for an article in Wednesday's editions. "We want to get this thing done within a week with whoever we get it done. He's very sensitive about playing with a contender, too."
Burnitz was also reportedly of interest to Tampa Bay, Pittsburgh, Arizona and the Chicago Cubs.
Last season, Burnitz hit .283 with 37 home runs and 110 RBI for the Colorado Rockies, playing 69 games from center field at Coors Field. He hit 24 of those homers and drove in 68 runs in Denver's thin air. He hit .322 at home and just .244 on the road.
"He was very proud of the fact he has the capability to play center field," said Simon. "He may not be as good in center field as some of the pure center fielders, but everybody who's seen him patrol center field in Coors is convinced he does at least, if not better than, an adequate job."
Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press