A.J. Burnett Rumors: Thursday

Multiple teams are discussing right-hander A.J. Burnett with the Yankees, according to yesterday's rumors. The right-hander vetoed a trade to the Angels, so it's down to the Pirates and at least one unknown club. Burnett will earn $33MM between now and the end of the 2013 season, and the question of how much money the Yankees absorb figures to shape trade talks. Here are the latest rumors as we await resolution on a deal:

  • The Yankees and Pirates are nearing a deal that would send Burnett to Pittsburgh for two marginal prospects and $13-15MM in salary relief, reports George A. King III of The New York Post"It will happen this weekend,'' said King's source. "Probably Saturday.''
  • Joel Sherman of the New York Post reports that the Yankees have countered the Pirates offer with a sliding scale, meaning they'd have to surrender lesser prospects the closer they get to eating $15MM of the $33MM left on Burnett's contract. He says it would be an upset if he's not traded before the Yankees open camp on Sunday (all Twitter links).
  • Ken Davidoff of Newsday reminds us (on Twitter) that MLB will need to approve any trade because of the large amount of cash changing hands.
  • The Yankees and Pirates know which players would go from Pittsburgh to New York if the Pirates take on $13MM in salary, Davidoff tweets.
  • The Yankees and Pirates should complete a deal within 24 hours, according to Jim Bowden of MLB Network Radio and ESPN.com (on Twitter).
  • A team other than the Pirates and Indians made a proposal for Burnett yesterday and the Yankees appear to be approaching a decision, ESPN.com's Buster Olney reports (Twitter links). Burnett told the Yankees three weeks ago that he would block a trade to Anaheim.
  • Considerable optimism exists that the Yankees and Pirates will work out a deal, Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com tweets. Heyman adds that the Yankees will pay $20MM of Burnett's contract.

Mike Axisa contributed to this post.


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156 Comments on "A.J. Burnett Rumors: Thursday"


Blue387
3 years 5 months ago

I still think he should be traded to the Astros. Houston is a larger media market than Pittsburgh, the market could support his salary and the team could use another starter.

Burnett’s salary, even after the Yankees eat much of it, will consume too much of the Pirates payroll and would hurt the team. The Pirates will earn as much all season as the Yankees could make in a few games at home.

YanksFanSince78
3 years 5 months ago

The Pirates can afford to pay $5 mil a year for a 200 inning starter. That’s not going to break them. AND if AJ performs well/decently and the Pirates aren’t competing then his salary would not be difficult at all for them to move to a contender looking to solidify the back of their rotation.

3 years 5 months ago

Only to a contender in the East, which limits the market somewhat…it would be ironic if they ended up shipping him back to the Yankees at the deadline though.

$3513744
3 years 5 months ago

Wasn’t the stipulation only to a team in the east?  I’m still baffled the Pirates are involved if he really wants to go to a contender.

3 years 5 months ago

He can’t block a trade to the Pittsburgh.  He doesn’t have a full no-trade, it was just that he could block trades to certain teams (I believe all the west coast teams and maybe some in the mid-west).

captainjeter
3 years 5 months ago

Why?  He and his family are based in Maryland. His wife  does not want to move to the West coast. So, the Phillies, Nationals, Orioles, Pirates, Braves and Marlins are  the best  landing spots for AJ. As is  the Indians , since that is not as far away from his home base

JacobyWanKenobi
3 years 5 months ago

If he’s performing well, I could see the Phillies trying to get him for the back end. I don’t know the Phillies’ situation though. Is their projected rotation like:

1) Roy Halladay
2) Cliff Lee
3) Cole Hamels
4) Vance Worley
5) Joe Blanton/Kyle Kendrick?

I don’t follow them much, but If the 5 slots don’t work out due to injury/ineffectiveness Burnett(if doing well) could be a nice 5.Then again, the Phillies are already old as heck, so adding another old guy isn’t necessarily good.

3 years 5 months ago

The consensus seems to be that Houston and Texas are likely both in his no-trade clause.

3 years 5 months ago

He wont go that far west!!!

captainjeter
3 years 5 months ago

being a Mets  fan , I don’t get  why you are so concerned about the Pirates salary. You need to be  concerned about the Mets  now bordering on acting like a small market  team..
Selig needs to run the Wilpons out of town and force them to sell. No,  the Mets will never be able to comptete with the Yankees salary level, but it is  still unacceptable to have  a payroll under 100 million or  bordering just over it  when you are supposed to be a major market team that is based in NY.
Have  fun in an empty Citifield as the Mets finish last and the Marlins and Nationals pass your team up and get better, while the Mets  get worst.
Look up. At  least next year,  the Mets will be one of the first  6  teams to pick in the draft.

chico65
3 years 5 months ago

I like it that the Pirates are actually acquiring a player from the Yankees instead of the other way around, but A.J. Burnett?

MB923
3 years 5 months ago

Instead of the other way around? Tell me who was the last Pirates homegrown player that the Yankees signed as a FA? None come to mind. (Who knows, I might be missing a very easy one)

Are you sure you’re not thinking about all these trades that these 2 teams have done – Nady, Marte, Ohelndorf, Karstens, etc.

chico65
3 years 5 months ago

Since when does “acquiring” only mean “signing”?  Somebody got up on the wrong side of the bed this AM.

MB923
3 years 5 months ago

If you’re talking about trades, then saying “instead of the other way around” doesn’t make sense. Obviously unless it’s a player straight up for cash (which might be a first for the Yankees) , a trade would have to involve players on both teams.

chico65
3 years 5 months ago

Seriously man, have some coffee.  It’s very simple- usually the Yankees are attempting to acquire the established player from the Pirates in exchange for prospects, this time it’s the Pirates attempting to acquire the established player from the Yankees in exchange for prospects.  Therefore, the trade is “the other way around” from what we’re used to seeing between these teams.  Add a turbo shot too, maybe, on me 😉   

MB923
3 years 5 months ago

“usually the Yankees are attempting to acquire the established player from the Pirates in exchange for prospects,”

So you were referring to Major League players? Well when you said player, I thought you were referring to any player, whether it’s a prospect or a current MLB player.

bjsguess
3 years 5 months ago

Seriously?

The Pirates/Yankees thing is obviously about MONEY. With the Yankees being a stand in for all teams with super high payrolls.

MB923
3 years 5 months ago

I was referring to past trades between the 2. Not this one.

3 years 5 months ago

Looks like you hit a nerve.

chico65
3 years 5 months ago

But I suppose I could have been a little more clear myself, so I’ll join you for that cup of joe.

$3513744
3 years 5 months ago

Is it going to be one of those 

$300 cups of coffee with like a billion shots in it?

chico65
3 years 5 months ago

Nah, I’m not on the Yankees payroll.  The best I can spring for is Dunkin.

$3513744
3 years 5 months ago

Just get yourself a coupon.

Tko11
3 years 5 months ago

Hahah I saw that article, I want one of those coupons so I can make a more expensive one and be on the news.

scrody13
3 years 5 months ago

How do you acquire a player from another team as a FA? Pretty sure he’s talking about trades.

MB923
3 years 5 months ago

It was the way he wrote it. By saying “instead of the other way around”, it seems as if he’s saying the Yankees get all Pirate players and the Pirates don’t get any Yankee players. Well unless the Pirates give up players and the Yankees only give up cash in previous trades, then obviously you can’t say “instead of the other way around”, considering both teams gave up players in trades.

scrody13
3 years 5 months ago

Ah, hm, yes… I see what you’re talking about there. I think there’s a perception that the Yankees use their Pirates as a minor league affiliate by stealing players in lopsided trades. But, as Todd points out down there, that obviously hasn’t been the case in recent years.

Todd Smith
3 years 5 months ago

I think the last time the Pirates traded a good player to the Yankees was in 1975 when they sent Willie Randolph and Dock Ellis to the Yankees for Doc Medich.

I’m sure most Pirate fans blame Bob Nutting for this move.

$3513744
3 years 5 months ago

Didn’t they once find a way to trade for Bonds and Griffey without costing much of anything?

MB923
3 years 5 months ago

Yeah on a comedy show (my favorite show, well 2nd to Curb Your Enthusiasm)

3 years 5 months ago

tony womack

MB923
3 years 5 months ago

Well he didn’t go straight from Pittsburgh to NY. And he was HORRIBLE with the Yankees.

Todd Smith
3 years 5 months ago

I know.  I’m so sick of the Pirates trading all their players to the Yankees.  Like Eric Hinske or Xavier Nady….and only getting players back like Tabata or Karstens.

jeremiah15y
3 years 5 months ago

what?!?!  The Pirates and Yankees are talking Burnette… did NOT see this coming!

Chris Barrows
3 years 5 months ago

Really – I swear it came out of nowhere!

LordD99
3 years 5 months ago

I feel like Burnett’s been a member of the Pirates for a year already.

Mark Janicik
3 years 5 months ago

Alfonso Soriano for AJ Burnett

$19253129
3 years 5 months ago

Why would the Yankees want Soriano for three more years?  Soriano’s 3 years plus age/production is what is keeping him from being moved, more than the money IMHO.

W. Michael
3 years 5 months ago

This better not just be a salary dump—despite his woes AJ is a legitimate #2 starter

$3513744
3 years 5 months ago

Well as long as he doesn’t actually have to perform, he should be the best #2 in the league.

YanksFanSince78
3 years 5 months ago

Legitimate potential but let’s not act as if he’s performed up the standards as a #2 over the last two years. If he PERFORMED like a legitimate #2 then I guarantee you the Yanks wouldn’t be looking to move him. 

Salary dumps are usually for teams that can’t afford a guy and want someone to take all of their salary and ask for little in return.In this case the Yanks are probably eating $20 mil and want a couple of “decent” (no top 10 organization ranked is my guess) prospects in return.

2001morecowbell2001
3 years 5 months ago

I am sure you feel well rested after that two year nap you’ve taken

$3513744
3 years 5 months ago

I can only imagine the atrophy that would have happened during that time.

3 years 5 months ago

 he’s a legitimate #2 starter on the pirates, that’s for sure

UltimateYankeeFan
3 years 5 months ago

Wake me when “considerable optimism” turns into a deal has been “consummated”.

UltimateYankeeFan
3 years 5 months ago

Maybe this thing is FINALLY coming to a head.

chico65
3 years 5 months ago

I read this and feel a sudden urge to go for a stroll down by the 7-11 

3 years 5 months ago

Thought about this AJ Burnett trade… I’ve fallen on the side of being against it. The dude is 35, has been out of his prime, and comes with a price tag of 15 million over two years. I asked myself, what is he going to do for this team? I don’t think he’s going to be a catalyst and I don’t think he has ever been a leader; so he is not going to really mentor the younger guys. I think the Pirates would make this move partially to bring in a name. I feel their intentions are not just to bring in a “good” player, but to also create a buzz in the fan base so they buy tickets (which jumped up a bit in prices this offseason). Overall, I think this trade is going against what the Pirates have been preaching to do. I understand they need to spend money, but I think this Burnett deal is them trying to make a desperate move late. We shall see.

piratefanchico
3 years 5 months ago

I glad Neil Huntington is standing his ground and not being pushed around by the Yankees.  The only thing he should do now is to set a time when the deal should be done or its off the table! It’s not like the Pirates need AJ, they just want AJ!! The Pirates have other internal options that could fill in just fine.

HHHDMS
3 years 5 months ago

Could the mystery team be the Nationals ? Astros might be too far west
Although the Pirates might be the best matchup trade-wise Aye 
Maybe they wont even trade him and try to get their moneys worth ??

3 years 5 months ago

The Nationals don’t need starting pitching. They have Zimmermann, Strasburg, Gonzalez, and Jackson before you get to Lannan, Wang, and some young guys. No chance they’d shell out for another starter making real money.

Ron Loreski
3 years 5 months ago

I’m convinced the mystery team is the Orioles. He wants to be close to home, and I’ve heard a rumor that the Orioles play somewhere close to Maryland.

NYYANKEES
3 years 5 months ago

mystery team has given Yanks a proposal for Burnett according to Buster (not Cleveland or Pittsburgh)

$3513744
3 years 5 months ago

Baltimore for Jones :)

MB923
3 years 5 months ago

Burnett to a possible mystery team and the Yankees are expected to make a Decision soon.

South Beach?

LordD99
3 years 5 months ago

The price tag for the Pirates will be somewhere between $5-6 million a year, and it’s only a two-year commitment.  That’s pretty light by today’s standards.  In return, they get a guy who should start 30+ games and pitch 190+ innings. Burnett’s ERA against non-AL East teams is a more reasonable 4.15, and add in a move to the DH-less NL, and it’s not hard to see Burnett putting up an ERA 3.90-4.10 range.  Certainly worth the money.

3 years 5 months ago

He has the same career ERA+ as Jack Morris. $5-6 million a year is really low for a hall of famer.

$3513744
3 years 5 months ago

Except that neither of them are HOF’ers.

3 years 5 months ago

I was obviously serious.

3 years 5 months ago

I wonder if Burnett’s no-trade clause allows him to block trades to Toronto.

Guest
3 years 5 months ago

Sure won’t be close to his home in Maryland there, thats for sure.

3 years 5 months ago

ok who th H E double hockey sticks is this other team?pirates, indians were one angels but aj blocked a trade to LA so who are the other ones?

Ron Loreski
3 years 5 months ago

Baltimore

Ron Loreski
3 years 5 months ago

Baltimore

NYYANKEES
3 years 5 months ago

Bowden (if you believe him) says that NY & PGH close to finalizing a deal and could be done in 24 hours. And that NY is weighing the other team’s offer

3 years 5 months ago

Matt Morris all over again for the Pirates. AJ isn’t a leader, and he won’t be a catalyst. Not sure if he is worth the money and prospects. 

3 years 5 months ago

Except the Pirates took on the entire remaining Morris contract at the time. The Pirates were further from competing at the time and paid Morris twice as much.

EsquireMatt
3 years 5 months ago

My speculation on AJ’s NTC would be as follows:

1) LAA – this is almost confirmed.
2) LAD
3) OAK
4) SF
5) SEA
6) ARI
7) COL
8) TEX
9) HOU
10) MIN

Pretty much anything outside of the east coast and midwest.

bigpat
3 years 5 months ago

Let me preface this by saying that I am a fan of Neal Huntington and I appreciate the fact that he actually has a plan and is sticking by it. However, he does need to get better with his major league acquisitions and it’s a tired act to keep pushing the window of contention further and further back.

With that said, if Dave Littlefield was making this same trade, he would be mocked to no end, but it’s seemingly ok because Huntington is doing it.

3 years 5 months ago

If Littlefield was doing it, he’d trade a useful player and get no salary relief on Burnett. Like the Matt Morris deal.

Ron Loreski
3 years 5 months ago

Who did the Pirates trade to get Matt Morris?

3 years 5 months ago

Rajai Davis. Not a star or anything, but someone who offered more to the Pirates than the rotting remains of Matt Morris.

Smrtbusnisman04
3 years 5 months ago

Interesting thought, only when Littlefield acquired Matt Morris, I believe he agreed to pay all the remaining salary for Matt Morris and still gave up another player in Rajai Davis.

Reds4Life
3 years 5 months ago

I think the Pirates are making a mistake if they give the Yankees any decent prospects in this deal. The Pirates hold the leverage of helping the Yankees out with some salary relief.

Justanotherfantoo
3 years 5 months ago

Cashman has been clear.  More money, lesser prospects.  Less money, better prospects.

If Pittsburgh doesn’t want him for $5 to $6-1/2 million per year and some middling prospects, either the Yankees trade him elsewhere or hold on to him until the trade deadline when the Yankees would be likely to get more for him anyway.  No great shakes for the Yankees in any case.

Frankly, the trade has much greater implications for the Pirates and their pitching.

If it happens, I expect the Pirates to get the better of the deal, just as they always have in deals with the Yankees in recent years.

Vmmercan
3 years 5 months ago

Those were mostly deadline deals where the Pirates could afford to take advantage of the Yankees’ desparation to contend. The Yankees don’t have to trade Burnett, but if they do there is no way they can “lose” the deal since he’s already proven failure in NY, his replacements will likely out-pitch him and they’re saving money even if the prospects never turn into anything.

Vmmercan
3 years 5 months ago

Those were mostly deadline deals where the Pirates could afford to take advantage of the Yankees’ desparation to contend. The Yankees don’t have to trade Burnett, but if they do there is no way they can “lose” the deal since he’s already proven failure in NY, his replacements will likely out-pitch him and they’re saving money even if the prospects never turn into anything.

bucconation15
3 years 5 months ago

Agreed…but I’m getting a little worried.  If I see Grossman or ZVR mentioned in the MLBTR report when this finally gets done, I’m going to throw up.  Throw them Matt Curry or Calvin Anderson, or another low league guy.  No way should they get a top-20 or so prospect.

3 years 5 months ago

I totally agree with you.  No Grossman, ZVR, Dodson, Kingman, Black, Cain, Cunningham, etc.  I don’t even want them to give up Curry.  How about Quinton Miller and Calvin Anderson?  Or David Rubenstein and Trent Stevenson?

Vmmercan
3 years 5 months ago

The Yankees don’t have to trade Burnett, they choose to because they can. This trade will have little impact on the MLB roster so the Pirates don’t have any more leverage than the Yankees do except they have a ML need and the Yankees don’t when it comes to this deal.

3 years 5 months ago

The way AJ Burnett is burning a hole in the Yankees roster reminds me a little bit of the way Nick Swisher burned a hole in the Chicago White Sox roster — insofar as a little extra circumspection would probably lead / have led to far better trading terms. I’ve been a Burnett apologist ever since he single-handedly saved the ’09 World Series for us Yankee fans, and I’ve said it before over the past few days, but seriously: Does it really make sense to trade this guy at the precise moment that the spread between his trade-market value and his true value is at its least favorable to the team? The guy pitches six times this coming season the way he did against Boston on September 1st last year, and all would be forgiven, I guarantee it.

EsquireMatt
3 years 5 months ago

I’m with you.  Good AJ is still pretty good.  Bad AJ kills you, but with an offense like the Yanks they can save the game if its not that bad.  AJ had a solid start to the season last year.  Decent number by the break and fell off in August.  I’m not saying he is worth his contract, but he is far from the dregs of mlb starting pitching. 

On the other hand, saving $10M+ over two years and signing a DH is probably whats best for the team with their abundance of SP.

Too Many Idiots
3 years 5 months ago

It will take more than 6 good starts to erase 2 years of mediocrity…I guarantee it.