A.J. Burnett Rumors: Friday

As we heard yesterday, the reported framework for an A.J. Burnett trade between the Pirates and Yankees was that Burnett would join the Bucs in exchange for two minor prospects and $13-$15MM in salary relief.  The trade is expected to be finalized within the next day or two, so here's the latest news…

  • The trade is "nearing [the] finish line," tweets Joel Sherman of the New York Post.  The two prospects the Yankees will receive in the deal are A-level players and "not considered much."
  • The deal is "a bold, sharp major-league move" for the Pirates, writes Dejan Kovacevic of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.
  • The Pirates and Yankees hope to take the proposed deal to the Commissioner's Office today, tweets ESPN's Buster Olney.  The trade requires league approval due to the large amount of cash involved.

108 Responses to A.J. Burnett Rumors: Friday Leave a Reply

  1. NYYANKEES 3 years ago

    don’t see any reason why Selig wouldn’t approve the deal.

    • captainjeter 3 years ago

      He let the Cubs move Zambrano and the Jays move Wells to the Angels

  2. cfjohnsn56 3 years ago

    Thankfully, the soap opera is over and we can get on with our lives!

    I’m hoping, as a Pirates fan, that Burnett will have a really nice bounce back year being in a much more pitcher friendly park and in a division where there is no clear offensive juggernaut….let alone 4 of them!

    • Chris Barrows 3 years ago

      I think Burnett will certainly do better. He’s had flashes of glory and right now – if the Pirates welcome him with open arms it could only help his mental state. He’d be a WRECK in the Yankees Spring Training camp at this point. 

      • daveineg 3 years ago

         I realize that Pirate fans only have wishful thinking to fall back on but the Cards, Brewers and Reds all still have pretty potent lineups and Burnett is 35 years old.

        • Chris Barrows 3 years ago

          I still think the AL East is better – (and I’m not a pirates fan). The line-up and their ability to score runs for Burnett may be more of an issue because on a bad day, Burnett still got a few wins with the Yankees. 

    • captainjeter 3 years ago

      Burnett should be better. Pitching on a small market team in the NL . Also there is a big difference between having 50 reporters   bugging you after every single start , opposed to 1, maybe 2.

  3. Todd Rainey 3 years ago

    I want to see burnett play in a bigger park with a fast defense behind him

    • boomer1344 3 years ago

      faster than gardner, granderson and swisher?
      wait until he does not have the run support

      • Todd Rainey 3 years ago

        presley cutch and tabata , yea i would say so

        • Todd Smith 3 years ago

          Plus Marte, Gorkys and McLouth in reserve.  Might not have another fly ball land in the outfield over the next 6 years.

          • MB923 3 years ago

            McClouth? LOL. I’d almost rather have Manny out there.

          • Todd Smith 3 years ago

            Yup.  Manny sure is a speedster.  Good call.

          • MB923 3 years ago

            Was referring to fielding. Not speed.  McClouth, like Manny, is terrible.

          • Todd Smith 3 years ago

            Then you got into the wrong conversation.

            “faster than” usually refers to speed – not defense.

          • MB923 3 years ago

            And defense is not all about who’s the fastest. I’m just simply saying the Yankees have a better defensive OF than the Pirates. And I don’t do position by position, I do overall. Position by position is silly. Saying the Pirates OF is better becuase McCuth > Swisher is like saying the Rays lineup is better than the Yankees lineup because Longoria > A-Rod.

          • Todd Smith 3 years ago



            fast-er: Acting, moving, or capable of acting or moving quickly; swift.

          • MB923 3 years ago

            Yes, maybe it faster, but that doesn’t mean they get to every ball in play and are more likely to. Kind of like how Derek Jeter’s plays at SS sometimes look so hard but several SS’s in the league make that routinely. That’s the way it is with Brett Gardner. You can put either your Yankee Haterade down or stop being a Pirates homer and give credit when it’s due. 

          • Todd Smith 3 years ago

            …because I was 100% serious when I said no fly balls would ever drop in over the next 6 years.


          • MB923 3 years ago

            I responded to this below

          • MB923 3 years ago

            Their negative UZR says otherwise. Yankees OF > Pirates OF, and it’s not even close.

          • Look up Carlos Lee’s UZR from last year and then tell me how much value that stat holds.

          • MB923 3 years ago

            Read the career UZR’s I posted of several of the active Pirates OFers.

          • Todd Smith 3 years ago

            …because single season UZR is totally accurate.

            LOL @ anybody that thinks Nick Swisher is a better defensive outfielder than Andrew McCutchen.

          • MB923 3 years ago

            I said Yankees OF > Pirates OF. I don’t have to say position by position.  (And they don’t even play the same position anyway)

          • Todd Rainey 3 years ago

            they should catch everything they play in a little league field , every field in the al east is a joke

          • MB923 3 years ago

            Looking for excuses now? And Left/Center in YS is one of the deepest in baseball.

          • YanksFanSince78 3 years ago

            you’re wasting your time. logic flies out the window people when it comes to the yanks. they say anything w/o thinking about it. 

          • Todd Smith 3 years ago

            Swisher had an 8.0 UZR last season.  McCutchen had a 3.5 UZR last season.

            Based on your argument, you think Swisher is a better defensive outfielder than McCutchen.

          • MB923 3 years ago

            Yeah I get a lot of useful information from you with the LOL comments. You’re using speed as your argument and that is all you’re using

            McCutchen’s career UZR is -11.5, that doesn’t scream great OFer to me. And Swisher’s is +13.5 That includes his terrible UZR in CF

          • Todd Smith 3 years ago

            So you’re not saying that Swisher is a better defender than McCutchen, you’re just saying that Swisher is a better defender than McCutchen?

            Between this and you not understanding what the word “faster” means, I’m starting to worry about you.

          • MB923 3 years ago

            Yes Swisher has been for his career, going FWD I don’t exepct that to, but he has been. And I already agreed McCutch is faster.

            Read what you first wrote:

            “Plus Marte, Gorkys and McLouth in reserve.  Might not have another fly ball land in the outfield over the next 6 years.”

            In other words, this is saying the Pirates OF can catch balls easier than the Yankees OF. This I assume has to imply that you are saying the Pirates OF defense > Yankees OF defense.

            Newsflah. There is more to defense than speed.

          • Todd Smith 3 years ago

            Somebody said the Pirates outfield was faster than the Yankees.  This is true.
            I listed some of the fast outfielders on the Pirates.  

            For some reason, you got your feelings hurt and can’t seem to figure out what speed means.

            You can throw out all the “career stats” for guys who have played 50 games all you want, in the end – I care absolutely nothing about the Yankees outfield.  I never will.  They are irrelevant to me.

            You missed the point of the conversation, and you still haven’t managed to figure it out because you’re too busy trying to defend something that was never even mentioned.

          • MB923 3 years ago

            “Somebody said the Pirates outfield was faster than the Yankees.  This is true.”

            I don’t watch the Pirates so how am I to take your word for it to believe they are fast? I will let you know, since you said you dont’ care about the Yankees OF, that Brett Gardner is one of the fastest runners in the game, Curtis Granderson is a fast runner himself, and Nick Swisher is about average. Not horrible, but not great or anything.

            So if you can provide me kindly how the Pirates OFer is faster, I’m interesting in knowing.

            I don’t get why you are comapring McCutchen to Swisher anyway when McCuth is a CFer and Swisher is a RFer.

            If we go position by position like you orginally wanted

            Gardner > Tabatha
            Granderson = McCuth (maybe a slight edge to McCuth)
            Jones > Swisher (but neither don’t seem to be antyhing to brag about since they are both average)

          • Todd Smith 3 years ago

            Clearly, there are a lot of things you “don’t get”.

            Also, six Pirate outfielders were named.  None of them were named Jones, McCuthen or Tabatha.

          • MB923 3 years ago

            No clearly there are a lot of things you don’t get because you yourself said “I don’t care about the Yankees OF”. Therefore you don’t know how very good the Yankees OF is. You obviously refuse to look at stats.

            And correct me if I’m wrong, but aren’t Jones, McCuth and Tabata all the Pirates starters in the OF? Comparing bench players is fine but agian, they are bench players, small samples.

          • Todd Smith 3 years ago

            There is a subtle difference between not knowing and not caring. Given your struggles with the English language, I won’t bother with an explanation.

          • MB923 3 years ago

            Given your struggles with understanding stats, I shouldn’t bother either

          • MB923 3 years ago

            Given your struggles with understanding stats, I shouldn’t bother either

          • MB923 3 years ago

            “…because single season UZR is totally accurate.”

            McClouth career UZR is -50
            McCuthen -11.5
            Jones -11.2
            Tabata -3.2
            Presley -2.0

          • Todd Rainey 3 years ago

            UZR is a joke , i guess cabrera from the indians is garbage along with matt kemp , sabermetrics are hilarious

          • MB923 3 years ago

            Do you prefer Fielding Percentage and Fewer Errors then? Something the Yankees beat the Pirates OF in also. How about Assists? Oh yes, Yankees had more of those too.

          • jjs91 3 years ago

            Uzr could be flawed but it sure beats making things up the pirates outfield is inferior.

          • MB923 3 years ago

            Every stat in baseball, sabermetric or not, has flaws. There is no perfect stat.

      • vtadave 3 years ago

        Yeah it’s hard to beat Swisher’s speed in the OF.

        • ARod's Ring 3 years ago

          no, but it would be hard to beat Nick Swisher’s UZR last year.

          • redsx968 3 years ago

            Right but doesn’t UZR not factor in range?

          • bjsguess 3 years ago

            It factors in range.

          • MB923 3 years ago

            I thought range is primarily what it’s about

        • boomer1344 3 years ago

          fast enough to do the job and a heads up enough fielder to play the position.

    • Not a big upgrade in speed.  Granderson is an overrated defensive CF, but that is far from his problems.  I’d like to see what he does if he doesn’t walk everybody and give up 5 earned runs a game. Maybe that’ll help him too. lol

      • boomer1344 3 years ago

        he gets to the ball, catches it and can throw…sounds overrated to me

    • MB923 3 years ago

      UZR for OF last year

      Yankees: 10.2/150 games (Best in all of baseball)
      Pirates: -2.4/150 games (20th)

      • bjsguess 3 years ago

        People always assume fast = better. Positioned correctly, reading the ball, and taking proper paths all can be more important than speed. The Yankees defense, anchored by Gardner is top notch.

        Can’t wait for the Angels to sport Trout, Bourjos, and Hunter. That could be an amazing group.

        • MB923 3 years ago

          “The Yankees defense, anchored by Gardner is top notch.”

          Tell that to the Pirates fans who seem to think their OF is better defensively.

          • goner 3 years ago

             I don’t know whose outfield is better defensively, and frankly I don’t care.  but please consider a few facts about the Pirates’ OF:

            – Garrett Jones is unlikely to play in the OF in 2012
            – Jose Tabata moved from LF to RF in 2011, and will likely spend 2012 in RF
            – Alex Presley will likely be the main LF in 2012, at least to start the year
            – Pirates’ OF UZR stats in 2009-2010 were tainted by an unusual OF shift, where CF McCutchen played closer to LF than straightaway CF; this practice ended when John Russell was fired after the 2010 season
            – Nate McLouth might be a waste of roster space at this stage in his career, but the top minor league OF in the Pirates system who may reach the majors this year  (Gorkys Hernandez and Starling Marte) both have above average D

            in summary, it is reasonable to expect the Pirates’ outfield to play better defense in 2012 than in 2011, and who knows? maybe even better than the Yankees’ OF in 2012

          • MB923 3 years ago

            At least you’re providing useful information unlike the other guys who say it’s only about speed and just responding with LOL.

          • boomer1344 3 years ago

            the pirates fan also think his era is going down by 25 %. glad to see the pirates finally spend some money

  4. Hope the yankees miss the playoffs!

    • MB923 3 years ago

      If the trade happens, they increased their chances of making it.

      But I guess there’s not much else a Pirates, or now a Mets fan, can root for besides the Yankees missing the playoffs. I hope the Pirates got a good future though.

    • The MLB just added another wild card, Yankees will continue to make the playoffs for a long time. Sorry to piss in your cheerios.

      • MB923 3 years ago

        1 – That might not come in effect until 2013

        2- As of now, the 2nd wild card and 1st wild card looks like will meet in a ONE game playoff. Any team can lose on any single night. 

  5. UltimateYankeeFan 3 years ago

    It would seem based on this latest information AJ Burnett’s career with the NY Yankees has come to an end.  FINALLY.

    • 2001morecowbell2001 3 years ago

      I may start openly crying at work out of elation. Id love to say I wish AJ the best but he has made every 5th day of my life for two years intolerable. That being said, Thanks for game 2 of the 2009 WS and may the lineup cards in the steel city beware.

  6. Ricardo Elorza 3 years ago

    Anyone still finds funny that the Yankees are crying poor at a team with one of the 3 lowest payrolls?

    • MB923 3 years ago

      More funny than one of team with the 3 lowest payrolls acquiring a mediocre pitcher who will be their highest paid player? (Barmes currently is the highest at $5.5 million a year)

      • Rabbitov 3 years ago

        Yea but at least he’s youn . . .  oh geez he’s 35. 

    • It’s smart.  Dump him and free up space for a bigger need.

    • EsquireMatt 3 years ago

      Low payroll does not always mean poor.  I get that the Pirates franchise is not worth much, but it seems that’s more likely related to on field success (or lack thereof) and poor management.  You don’t hear the Steelers complain about their attendance and market. 

      • MB923 3 years ago

        Well that’s cause the NFL is a much better revenue sharing league. I agree with what you first wrote however about the Pirates franchise.

      • boomer1344 3 years ago

        i think the steelers sell out their games or close to it.

    • YanksFanSince78 3 years ago

      they aren’t crying poor at all. in fact, being willing to eat $20 mil and pay a player to play for another team is the opposite of being poor. 

  7. slider32 3 years ago

    Burnett will end up with 14 years in the majors, 4.00ERA, over 140 wins with 130 losses, a world series championship, and a world series win, making over 100 million dollars. Not a bad life!

    • he actually won 2 rings 😉

      • MB923 3 years ago

        He did, but he didn’t pitch in the 2003 playoffs. He didn’t win it, the rest of the Marlins roster won it for him.

        • I know but he got a ring anyway 😉

          10 years later nobody knows if you played or not, the ring is all that matters.

          • MB923 3 years ago

            I guess we should put it up on his plaque in the Hall Of Shame.

  8. I wanna know who these minor league prospects are. not once have they mentioned a name.

    • My guess is a AA catcher like Carlos Paulino and a mid level pitcher. Brock Holt or Victor Black.

    •  I would wager most people, outside of Pirates fans and prospect fans in general, will never have heard of them.


  9. daveineg 3 years ago

    “A bold, sharp major league move”?  Picking up a 35 year old starter who’s best days are clearly behind him is bold and sharp?  Maybe in the same vein as picking up Derrick Lee and Ryan Ludwick was bold and sharp.

    • Rabbitov 3 years ago

      Not every move can be as good as the Garret Atkins signing. 

    • Todd Smith 3 years ago

      …and Derrek Lee hit .337/.398/.554 with the Pirates.

      Looking at Burnett’s peripheral numbers (i.e. everything other than ERA) he put up pretty much the exact same numbers as Edwin Jackson last year.  The Pirates tried to give Jackson $30MM for 3 years.  They’ll end up getting the same pitcher in Burnett for a little over $10MM for 2 years.  It’s a great move for the Pirates.

      • bigpat 3 years ago

         There is NO way to assume they’d be getting the same pitcher as Jackson. That is simply not true.

        AJ had a bit of a problem with keeping the ball in the park, if he can cut the HR rate down to something reasonable and keep the strikeout/walk rates in line, then he will be good, but it’s not guaranteed.

        • Todd Smith 3 years ago

          There’s no way to know what either will do this year, obviously.  All I’m saying is that they are getting a guy who put up almost the exact same numbers as Jackson last year at a third of the price.

          Edwin Jackson: 199.2 IP, 3.73 xFIP, 1.437 WHIP, 2.8 BB/9, 6.7 SO/9
          AJ Burnett: 190.1 IP, 3.86 xFIP, 1.434 WHIP, 3.9 BB/9, 8.2 SO/9 

          • notsureifsrs 3 years ago

            almost the exact same WHIP and xFIP*

            significantly different BB/9, K/9, HR/9, BABIP, FIP, and ERA

        • cfjohnsn56 3 years ago

          AJ’s problem with the long fly ball was only a problem b/c he put guys on base in front of them without forcing them to actually hit the ball! As a result, he gave up 16 HRs with runners on base and his ERA ballooned.

          Karstens led the Pirates in HR allowed last year with 22 but he didn’t walk anyone which resulted in 20 of them being solo shots and allowed him to have an ERA of 3.38.

        • in all fairness to AJ RF is alot shorter then most ball parks. correct me if im wrong but isnt pnc park a pretty decent size? unless it 250 feet to RF i dont see it being a problem for AJ

          • boomer1344 3 years ago

            you can have a 375 foot fence down the line and when someone hits it 400 feet, it just doesn’t matter how close to the plate the fence is.

      • Super_Hero 3 years ago

         you are justifing a bad contract with another bad contract. two bad contracts don’t make it good. AJ sucks plain and simple. You can compare to whoever but the bottom line is the Yankees and there offense, who made Phil Hughes an 18 game winner and all-star with an era over 4, has no use for AJ. AJ didn’t even have to face the Yankees lineup and failed.

        • Bad contract?  Wasn’t it the Yankees that gave Burnett $82 million?

        • Todd Smith 3 years ago

          I’m analyzing statistics and realizing that the Pirates are taking a low-risk move here for a guy who actually put up some good numbers last year and clearly still has something left.  You’re angry at yet another failed Yankee pitching experiment and focusing solely on ERA.

          Javier Vazquez sucked, plain and simple.  Carl Pavano sucked, plain and simple.  Randy Johnson sucked, plain and simple.  

          • bjsguess 3 years ago

            You are correct. Those obsessed with ERA’s just don’t get it. The underlying stats tell a different story. I don’t think he will be as good as Jackson next year but I doubt the gap is very big. At $7m he is a steal. 

            I was really hoping that he would have went out West to the Angels for Abreu but oh well.

          • now we can just hope the yankees will give up on Ibanez and go after Damon

          • and vazquez and pavano pitched better with their new teams. i agree burnett could very well turn into a really good pitcher in pittsburgh. playing for the yankees isnt like playing for astros, or the angels. its a very popular team, with alot of history and the ” we dont accept losing ” by the brass and the fans can make it very hard to play there. he showed life though in september when beating boston and when he beat detroit ingame 4 of the ALDS 10-1. he only gave up 4 hits that game. had good velocity there was an inning where he was hitting 96 MPH. so who knows this could be a very good deal for the pirates

        • umm in all fairness to Hughes, his ERA was under 4.00 by all star break and didnt start to rise until they put him on the ” Joba Rule “, thats what hurt him.

  10. I see this as a win for the Yankees—they offload Burnett, and they do so to a National League team. The Pirates also get an innings-eater…and he has been relatively healthy.

    The key here though is that Michael Pineda has to be as advertised.

    • and he will prob end up in the 4th spot in the rotation at first. hes young and with rothschild as the pitching coach, pineda should be able to succeed.

      • Still needs a third pitch, or he’ll eventually run into trouble as a starter.


  11. Super_Hero 3 years ago

    I really believe MLB is forcing Pitts to make this trade. It doesn’t make sense one of the lowest payroll teams spending bad money on a 35 yr old failed yankee pitcher. Pitt doesn’t have the type of payroll to eat bad contracts.

    • $22264602 3 years ago

      Yes , i’m sure MLB is forcing Pittsburgh to make this trade…

    • aa 3 years ago

      So the pirates offered 30 million cheerios instead of 30 million dollars over three years to Edwin Jackson because they didn’t have the money?

    • oh yeah MLB is really forcing this trade. like they would tell pittsburgh to send a trade request in for AJ Burnett. if thats the case then the owner cant think for him self and should just sell the team. you going to say the other 3 teams involved were forced to try for burnett too?

  12. NYYANKEES 3 years ago

    calling a hunch but I believe Pirates will try to trade Burnett next year.

    • Depending who looks to be in the playoff picture this year (not counting out the Pirates, this is just an assumption) and depending on their needs and Burnett’s performance, they might be able to flip Burnett near the trade deadline for some players of worth.

      Lot of things depending on one another, but I suppose it’s feasible. 

  13. Mike1L 3 years ago

    Don’t be shocked if AJ performs reasonably well with the Pirates.  He has a good arm, and a lower pressure situation would probably bring out the best in him.  It’s a just a two year investment.  He and Lackey might be the same type of player, able to perform well, even high pressure situations, but perhaps not able to deal with the fishbowl that is a place like NY or Boston. 

    • MB923 3 years ago

      I won’t be shocked at all. I’ll say an ERA in the high 3’s or very low 4’s and a similar K/BB ratio. HR’s are probably going to drop a bit.

  14. MB923 3 years ago

    I’m sure it’s not just Red Sox fans who want the Yankees to have a mediocre player.

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