Pirates Acquire Burnett From Yankees

After more than a week of back-and-forth discussion, the Yankees and Pirates formally announced the deal that will send A.J. Burnett to Pittsburgh.  The trade allows the Bombers to unload $13MM of the $33MM still owed to the veteran pitcher over the next two years.  Aside from shedding payroll, the Yanks also receive outfielder Exicardo Cayones and right-hander Diego Moreno in the trade.

With the Burnett deal finalized, the Yankees will now have the flexibility to add a bat or two.  The club is reportedly eyeing Raul Ibanez and would like to bring back Eric Chavez as well.

As Tim Dierkes noted last week, the Pirates were a solid fit for the 35-year-old as the club has struggled to find a frontline starter on the open market.  Burnett held a limited no-trade clause which allowed him to block trades to ten clubs, but it appears that the Bucs were not on that list.

Burnett will take a physical on Sunday and, due to the amount of money changing hands, the trade will be subject to league approval.  The Bucs will pay the right-hander $5MM in 2012 and $8MM in '13 as they look to help him return to his pre-2010 form.

The much-maligned Burnett posted a 4.79 ERA, a 1.99 K/BB ratio and a 1.45 WHIP in three seasons with New York after signing a five-year, $82.5MM contract in the 2008-09 offseason.  He did, however, play a key role in the Yankees' 2009 World Series title and averaged 195 innings per year during his time in the Bronx.  This durability makes the 35-year-old Burnett an attractive quantity to the Pirates, who haven't had a pitcher reach 195 innings since 2009. 

The Pirates have been looking for veteran starting pitching this winter but, after signing Erik Bedard, were turned down by free agents Edwin Jackson and Roy Oswalt.  Burnett will have a guaranteed spot in a Pittsburgh rotation that will also feature Bedard and James McDonald, with Jeff Karstens, Charlie Morton and Kevin Correia all likely battling for the final two spots.

For the Yankees, getting $13MM of Burnett's salary off the books frees up enough payroll space for the team to pursue some depth needs.  We've heard the Yankees are looking at Raul Ibanez and Eric Chavez as left-handed bats to fill the part-time DH and backup infield roles, respectively.

The finalization of the deal was first reported by Ken Rosnethal of FOX Sports (Twitter links).  Jonathan Mayo of MLB.com (via Twitter) reported Cayones' inclusion in the deal while Joel Sherman of the New York Post tweeted the news of Moreno heading to New York.  Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review (via Twitter) had the breakdown of how the Bucs will pay Burnett. Jon Heyman of CBS Sports (via Twitter) first reported that Burnett passed his physical and the trade was approved by MLB.

Zach Links contributed to this post.


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289 Comments on "Pirates Acquire Burnett From Yankees"


3 years 5 months ago

Burnett always gets knocked because 1) He’s overpaid, and 2) If his performance lived up to his talent, he’d be a hall of famer. He’s a very difficult guy to have on the team you root for, and the Yankees probably needed him gone, but two years and $13 million for him is pretty reasonable.

3 years 5 months ago

Meh, I don’t think it’s a big deal here in New York, since he did help the team win a ring. That’s all that matters.

3 years 5 months ago

Sure. The Yankees made an all-in move and immediately won a championship. That contract is still quizzical, while the Sabathia contract signed the same offseason worked out remarkably well.

notsureifsrs
3 years 5 months ago

winning a ring in 2009 is all that matters in 2010 and 2011? i think you are confused about yankee standards

$3513744
3 years 5 months ago

In all fairness though, them not winning in 2010 and 2011 wasn’t just Burnett.

notsureifsrs
3 years 5 months ago

and it wasn’t just burnett that won it in 2009. i don’t see the connection

he’s not excused because of 2009 and 2009 isn’t erased because of the last 2 years. he’s just a bust. it happens

$3513744
3 years 5 months ago

Can’t argue with that.

redsx968
3 years 5 months ago

Did someone on MLBTR just admit they have an inferior argument and let the idea drop? Homer, I applaud you being a normal human.

3 years 5 months ago

As difficult it seems to be to win a ring these days, I’ll definitely look past the last two years.  Shame on the Yanks for not having more depth in the rotation, though.  They screwed up the whole Joba thing and Hughes just hasn’t broken through yet (if he ever does)…

AlexTG
3 years 5 months ago

 But at the same time, yankees fans would be a lot more pissed about it if they hadn’t won in 2009…

3 years 5 months ago

 Agreed.  He would have lasted about a month into 2010 before the fans unleashed hell on him.   I was always willing to give the guy the benefit of the doubt – AJ could pitch lights out if the stars were aligned properly, but it happened so rarely the last season and a half that it was getting increasingly difficult to keep believing.

captainjeter
3 years 5 months ago

yes he was. He is  a NL pitcher

3 years 5 months ago

Not confused at all. My logic is that sure the team didn’t win every year during Burnett’s time, but, he significantly contributed to the team when the team was in full gear, unlike say past pitchers like Weaver, Wright, Johnson, Brown, Pavano, Vazquez, to name a few, none of which won a ring for the team. So c’mon, you tip your hat to A.J. tell him thank you for the good times and the many pies to the face and wish him luck.
a

notsureifsrs
3 years 5 months ago

i said you were confused because you said the fact that he contributed in 2009 is “all that matters”. it’s true that he wasn’t the worst player ever and it’s fine to tip your cap, but it’s still not true that 2009 is all that matters

3 years 5 months ago

it’s all good, I’m excited about the up-coming season. Play ball

101andCounting
3 years 5 months ago

I like that the college journalist starts his sentences with “Meh.”

Also, I can’t speak to whether or not AJ helping the Yanks win a ring is “enough,” because my team hasn’t won a ring in 103 years (and Counting – I have to update my username).

3 years 5 months ago

C’mon, can’t worry about ledes and kickers 24/7. Cubs are going to have their day, and the entire baseball nation will party with you guys. Peace.

101andCounting
3 years 5 months ago

You too, my fellow collegiate journalist. And props for spelling “ledes” right – too many writers mess that one up.

notsureifsrs
3 years 5 months ago

assuming the ‘prospects’ are just fodder, 2/$13M is about right for burnett in the NL central. if the players going to NY are at all valuable, this is pretty questionable for pittsburgh

Amish_willy
3 years 5 months ago

This is a nice deal for the Pirates assuming the prospects are of the expendable variety. Beats signing an arm like Harang or Capuano for two years at similar money and at the current time its more then hard for the Pirates to attract more sought after free agents.

Seems like a win-win to me. Expect he’ll fair much better in the NL Central then he did in the AL East.

notsureifsrs
3 years 5 months ago

2/10 would have been nice as i’ve made those comparisons before (harang, capuano, chen). 2/$13 is less nice, but still solid. as always, burnett has the stuff to be dominant. a friendlier pitching environment can’t hurt and even if he continues to drag his feet he’ll be worth it at that price

BlueSkyLA
BlueSkyLA
3 years 5 months ago

I’m confused by this concept. It’s all about price? I thought it was about winning. It would be nice to see Pittsburgh contend again one of these years. A rotation loaded with pitchers who are “worth” their salaries is not going to get them there.

notsureifsrs
3 years 5 months ago

worrying about winning without worrying about price gets you nowhere fast

the pirates have spent aggressively on the draft and conservatively on a roster that is a couple years of development away from contention no matter what they do. that’s the right formula when you have their budget

BlueSkyLA
BlueSkyLA
3 years 5 months ago

That must be some kind of Zen concept.  If Burnett can’t help them win games over the next two seasons, then he wasn’t worth anything. I don’t think Burnett is awful, but the Pirates aren’t getting anywhere anytime soon if they’re counting on a Yankee castoff to be their #2 starter.

notsureifsrs
3 years 5 months ago

they aren’t getting anywhere anytime soon (2012) either way

burnett will help them win games; that’s what it means to say he’s going to be worth the money. what he won’t do is speed up time and transform their roster into playoff readiness

confusing, i know

BlueSkyLA
BlueSkyLA
3 years 5 months ago

Not confusing, more like pointless. Burnett becomes (I presume) the Pirates’ highest salaried player, and they give up two prospects for him. Playoff readiness seems no closer. Are any Pittsburgh fans happy with this?

notsureifsrs
3 years 5 months ago

they are busy right now weeping over the loss of two “prospects” they’d never heard of. as soon as they recover i’m sure they’ll let you know

BlueSkyLA
BlueSkyLA
3 years 5 months ago

As I’m sure you speak for Pittsburgh fans.

YanksFanSince78
3 years 5 months ago

he speaks for common sense.

Todd Smith
3 years 5 months ago

I’m very happy with the move.  Even if he doesn’t improve at all with a move to the NL (which is unlikely), he’s still an upgrade to the rotation.  With an improvement, he becomes a bit of a bargain and a possible trade chip.

I’ve never really understood the whole concept of – That team is bad, so they shouldn’t bother adding any players or try to improve.

With the additions the Pirates have made this offseason, I think there is a very good chance at a winning season.  While finishing over .500 isn’t an ultimate goal, it’s certainly a step in the right direction with even more talent like Cole, Taillon, Marte etc coming up soon.  

The Pirates had a 15 game improvement last season.  If they can keep moving the needle in that direction and adding talent, then it won’t be impossible to lure free agents to the Pirates without having to give up a Jayson Werth kind of deal.

Very little not to be happy about with this move.

BlueSkyLA
BlueSkyLA
3 years 5 months ago

Not arguing that the team should not try to improve, only seeing this as potentially mortgaging the future of a team that’s never going to have a lot to spend.

Todd Smith
3 years 5 months ago

They’repaying him $5MM this year.  Not sure how that’s breaking the bank or mortgaging the future. Seems like a bit of an over-reaction.  If anything, it’s a bit of a bargain.  it would have cost the Pirates $9.75MM to pick up Maholm’s option this year.

notsureifsrs
3 years 5 months ago

they aren’t getting anywhere anytime soon (2012) either way

burnett will help them win games; that’s what it means to say he’s going to be worth the money. what he won’t do is speed up time and transform their roster into playoff readiness

confusing, i know

Casor_Greener
3 years 5 months ago

I get your point. Why pay $5M extra to still suck.

BlueSkyLA
BlueSkyLA
3 years 5 months ago

Yes, thank you. That was my point exactly.

YanksFanSince78
3 years 5 months ago

because they haven’t had a pitcher who has thrown 200 innings in a season in 3 years?

Yankees420
3 years 5 months ago

Because, like Todd Smith said above, they still needed help in the rotation, and have a hard time attracting free agents, and if he turns things around then they might be able to trade him again for better prospects then they gave up for him. 

domaug
3 years 5 months ago

they traded Aaron Baker, a run-of-the-mill minor leaguer, for a few months of Derek Lee.  he had a very nice average and solid defense while with the Pirates.  i’m just bummed that they didn’t keep him around.

i guess my point is that if they could pull /that/ off, they shouldn’t have to give up half-decent prospects for AJ Burnett.

formerdraftpick
3 years 5 months ago

Just keep in mind that they didn’t really have a chance with the Pirates…however, they have a chance to be MLBers for the Yankees.  Underneath the right guidance, Diego has a chance to be a great closer or setup man.  Exicardo Cayones on the other hand has some great power potential with his build  (he already has the speed), but the boy really needs to learn how to throw and catch a ball or else he’ll eventually be destined for the bench.

Todd Smith
3 years 5 months ago

Prospects never have a chance in Pittsburgh with such a loaded roster.  Clearly, they won’t have any problems with being blocked in New York.

Wait….what?

formerdraftpick
3 years 5 months ago

Todd, you must be confused and assuming I meant a lot of things beyond the scope of the comment.  To summarize…it’s the mentality of management in Pittsburgh compared to New York…you are either in or the out crowd in Pittsburgh…Diego had solid seasons in the minors, so why not promote him up the ranks?  If he was in New York, he would have at least been in AAA last year.  Pittsburgh doesn’t give the potential talent a chance unless they were deemed to be stars to begin with when they were signed in the draft like Walker, Pearce, and Alverez along with his dismal batting average.  When they had all of the injuries last year, they could have test drove a few guys in the majors who were doing well in AAA and AA.  Instead of giving Marte and Hague a reward and giving them a September call up, they went home.  It is hard to break that mentality in Pittsburgh.  I’m surprised that Cabrera was recognized for his efforts last year and got a invite to Spring Training.  Other than through talent, the Yankees reward hard work and promote from within.    So not saying that it’s easier to break into the Yankees 40 man roster…however, you will get recognized as opposed to shun in their organization.     

Todd Smith
3 years 5 months ago

I think the system has been bad for so long that people tend to over react to any kind of success.  If anybody manages to hit over .300 at any point, he needs to get promoted to the majors immediately. It’s not necessarily a good idea.  

Alex Presley is a good example.  He came out of nowhere in 2010 and put up some solid numbers his first year in AA.  He was rushed through the system and promoted up to the majors – and didn’t really do much while he was there.  In 2011, they started him off back in AAA and let him get a little more time in.  Seemed to really pay off when he got promoted to the majors again mid-season last year.  I don’t really see the need to continue to make the same mistakes with a guy like Hague.  Especially not with Marte.

There’s no conspiracy theory for why Diego Moreno isn’t getting fast tracked through the system.  He just simply isn’t that good.  He looks really good throwing hard as a 26 year old at single A – but so far, that seems to be his ceiling.

YanksFanSince78
3 years 5 months ago

Here’s a slightly outdated scouting report I saw on Moreno:

Diego Moreno, rhp, Pirates (high Class A Bradenton): With 95-98 mph gas, Moreno’s fastball has earned 80 grades on the 20-80 scale from multiple scouts. A 24-year-old out of Venezuela, Moreno backs up his heat with a solid changeup and a sweepy slider. Even with high-octane stuff, Moreno has a solid idea of how to locate his stuff, and between Bradenton and Double-A Altoona he has a 2.35 ERA and a 59-to-7 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 38 1/3 innings. About the only negative that’s come this season for Moreno was when the Pirates suspended and demoted him back to Bradenton last month for unprofessional conduct. 

notsureifsrs
3 years 5 months ago

yea that’s what i found on him too. exactly what you want in a wildcard really. cayones seems to have a little less to work with, but impressive discipline for a 19 y/o

YanksFanSince78
3 years 5 months ago

I think most “real” fans and most of his teammates appreciate the fact that he gives it his all and didn’t allow his struggles to bleed over into his attitude. he’s usually the first one to congratulate someone when they do something positive on the team.

MB923
3 years 5 months ago

As Michael Kay says…..SEE YA

3 years 5 months ago

One of the only nice things about the baseball offseason is not having to hear Michael Kay’s voice. And now you’ve put it in my head. Thanks.

YankeeNinja
3 years 5 months ago

 Why not get in the spirit with pitchers and catchers reporting tomorrow. Baseball’s around the corner.

MB923
3 years 5 months ago

Well there are worse ones…..especially that old guy (and woman) calling Yankee baseball on 880 AM.

redsx968
3 years 5 months ago

What you mean the guy who sounds like he’s wobbling his head back back and forth when he says they won?

THAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA Yankkes win!

MB923
3 years 5 months ago

That’s about the only good thing I like to hear from him.

3 years 5 months ago

 His Hr calls are at least entertaining. A-bomb from a-rod, dont cha know cano, a tex message, Its kinda like Family guy you enjoy it cause its so dumb you have to laugh.

Leonard Washington
3 years 5 months ago

Your right….the king of awful Joe Buck (Throws up a little in mouth).

3 years 5 months ago

There it goes…. SEE YA!

3 years 5 months ago

Thanks for game 2 of the 2009 WS. 

raltongo
3 years 5 months ago

booooooooooo

Ethanator99
3 years 5 months ago

Geeze. Even though he is AJ Burnett, he made the Pirates pitching staff better. 

domaug
3 years 5 months ago

exactly.  Yankees fans keep forgetting (or ignoring) the fact that Burnett will enter a significantly weaker division in a league where there aren’t any DHs.  also, the NL Central doesn’t have Pujols and Fielder anymore, two of the most notable “Pirate killers” in the MLB.  of course there are others still there, but none with as much impact against the Pirates than Pujols and Fielder.

MB923
3 years 5 months ago

No we aren’t forgetting that. But I assure you we could care less how he does in Pittsburgh. His numbers in Pittsburgh, no matter how good or average they may be, were not going to match his numbers in NY.

There is no way anone can say getting rid of this guy Doesn’t help the Yankees.

nickseam
3 years 5 months ago

6.5 M a year is reasonable for Burnett. it all comes down to the minor leaguers.

3 years 5 months ago

Addition by subtraction easily makes the Yankees the winner in this trade. The prospects of any level are just a bonus, hopefully they pan out!

notsureifsrs
3 years 5 months ago

paying a player $10M a year to play for another team = winning

Rangersfan32
3 years 5 months ago

Even though the Yankees are paying a ton for this deal to happen, they are, and I really hate to say this, full of win this offseason from a pitching standpoint.

notsureifsrs
3 years 5 months ago

come playoff time, yes. sabathia-kuroda-pineda is a solid top 3 – especially if pineda steps forward this season

Rangersfan32
3 years 5 months ago

The AL powers have all stepped their games up on the SP front. Next years playoffs could be fun to watch.

notsureifsrs
3 years 5 months ago

interesting to rank

angels
rays
tigers
yankees
rangers
red sox

almost reverse the list for offenses, except pujols bumps the angels a bit

MB923
3 years 5 months ago

That’s a good order I’d say.

Tko11
3 years 5 months ago

Not that it really matters but the Red Sox scored the most runs in baseball last year and led in pretty much every offensive category across the board. Not to mention Crawford’s awful season and Youkilis and his injury woes. Id say they are top 3 this year if anything…

notsureifsrs
3 years 5 months ago

…reversing the list would put them on top

Tko11
3 years 5 months ago

Wait so why are they in reverse? Im so confused…lol

Tko11
3 years 5 months ago

Not that it really matters but the Red Sox scored the most runs in baseball last year and led in pretty much every offensive category across the board. Not to mention Crawford’s awful season and Youkilis and his injury woes. Id say they are top 3 this year if anything…

ubercubsfan
3 years 5 months ago

Does not compute.  Cubs are paying Zambrano about 16MM to play for the Marlins.

Cubs≠Winning.

lefty177
3 years 5 months ago

It seems to me that notsureifsrs wanted to put a ? after winning, that’s just what it looks like to me, “paying a player $10M a year to play for another team = winning?” (questioning Dolph Ziggler’s post)

ubercubsfan
3 years 5 months ago

Hmm, you could be right there.

3 years 5 months ago

 Paying $10M a year for possibly another 5-10 wins and one less headcase = winning.

Losing the whipped cream pie celebration = losing. :/

3 years 5 months ago

 Burnett was not good, but he wasn’t a -5/-10 win pitcher. That’s ridiculous.

-C

jaryl612
3 years 5 months ago

You’re too hard on yourself.  That comment was at least a C+.

MB923
3 years 5 months ago

That’s definitely true. However let me put it this way. Assuming Garcia is in the rotation, the Yankees replace Burnett and Colon with Kuroda and Pineda. What do you think is worth more of the money, Burnett (16.5 million and 2 million Colon. Yes I know he’s with the A’s but let’s just say he would have got the same deal) or Kuroda and Pineda (Kuroda, 10 mil, the additional 10 mil the Yankees are paying Burnett, and Pineda at minimum wage)

So again. Would you take Burnett and Colon for $18.5 million or would you take Kuroda and Pineda for $20+ million?

notsureifsrs
3 years 5 months ago

“are the yankees better off now” and “did the yankees win this trade” are not the same question. they are better off and they did not win the trade

MB923
3 years 5 months ago

I don’t call it a win or lose trade. They did what they had to do and got rid of a bad player but are still paying the price. I will say it’s a decent trade for PIttsburgh, but in the end it’s kind of silly when an average pitchr makes up about 1/6th of your team’s payroll.

Again I will say it’s a good trade for Pittsburgh but the Yankees got what they expected. It’s not that the trade was bad, it’s that the contract was bad. Those are 2 different stories. As a Yankee fan, I am glad they got rid of him and are saving him some money. If your team got rid of Lackey for about the same price, would you be pleased too?

notsureifsrs
3 years 5 months ago

“who won the trade” is typically a question of who got more value

the pirates likely got a 2.5 WAR pitcher for $6.5M per year (5 WAR for $13M) + wildcard prospects

the yankees got two wildcard prospects for $20M and a 2 years of a 1.5 WAR pitcher

the funny part of it is that losing this trade makes them a better team in 2012. that tells you how bad burnett’s contract was

i actually like the choices the yanks made in terms of players coming back. as wildcards go, they seem pretty good

MB923
3 years 5 months ago

“the funny part of it is that losing this trade makes them a better team in 2012. that tells you how bad burnett’s contract was”

And this is why I’m happy about it and it says it all.

How would you compare this with the Zambrano trade?

notsureifsrs
3 years 5 months ago

yankees come out way ahead compared to that mess

levendis
3 years 5 months ago

 Giants won the Superbowl, the Knicks are playing Linsane (sorry couldn’t help it), the Rangers have the best record in the NHL, and the Yankees have a solid team that should win their division. Its a nice time to be a New yorker

3 years 5 months ago

Addition by subtraction clearly makes the Yankees the winner of this trade. With the two prospects to boot hopefully they pan out. Thanks for the memories AJ both good and bad.

domaug
3 years 5 months ago

those prospects will most likely be A-ballers.  don’t expect much.  the big reason the Yankees did this was to get salary relief.  i think if the Pirates paid about $15M, they wouldn’t have to send prospects to the Yankees.

MB923
3 years 5 months ago

Diego Moreno is a AA player. High K/Low BB pitcher. Downside I see by his minor league numbers is that he gives up a lot of hits. Better than I expected. Now we await on the 2nd player.

3 years 5 months ago

He is a little old for A+ ball though, no?  He is going to be 26 in July and he hasn’t been able to stick at AA.

MB923
3 years 5 months ago

Oh don’t get me wrong I’m not bragging about him or anything. And I’d be shocked to see him in a uniform anytime soon. I’m just saying he’s a better player than what I would have expected.

Ben_Cherington
3 years 5 months ago

Thanks for laying the ground work for a future John Lackey trade.

3 years 5 months ago

Burnett was healthy all this time and was not as bad as Lackey believe it or not.

notsureifsrs
3 years 5 months ago

he wasn’t as bad as lackey was last year. lackey was fine in 2010

having said that, they aren’t similar pitchers. burnett still has great stuff whereas lackey has never really had that. he’s staying in boston

MB923
3 years 5 months ago

Fine as in healthy or fine as in production? (or both)?

And Lackey in 2010 was about average, but certainly better than Burnett.

In 2011, it wasn’t about who was better, it was about who was worse lol

notsureifsrs
3 years 5 months ago

right. lackey’s 2010 was similar to burnett’s 2009. they didn’t earn their salaries, but they weren’t disasters yet

burnett is still interesting to other teams at $13M though because of his stuff. lackey hasn’t had dominant stuff for years now. he needs stems cells and possibly a lobotomy

3 years 5 months ago

 Kudos to the Angels for cutting bait at just the right time…

notsureifsrs
3 years 5 months ago

yup. what did they offer him, 4/60? that’d be a lot easier to swallow

$3513744
3 years 5 months ago

I doubt it’ll be that cheap to do the same for Lackey.  In fact, I think it’s going to be quite more costly.  I can only imagine how much it would cost to invent a time machine, and then how much it would cost to hire someone to use that time machine to go back and stop that signing from happening.

melonis_rex
3 years 5 months ago

Burnett >> Lackey. 

aricollins
3 years 5 months ago

Lackey has a good chance to come back and repeat his disappointing-but-still-well-above-average 2010. And Boston will exercise his option next year, cutting his annual luxury tax hit by a third for 2013 and 2014.

The only time it would make financial sense to trade him is in 2015, when he’ll be making only $500K but have a luxury tax hit of over $10MM, which won’t matter to 90% of teams but does to Boston. This is similar to Marco Scutaro’s situation this offseason, where his luxury tax hit was more than his salary.

Mike1L
3 years 5 months ago

This trade isn’t a win for the Yankees-it’s an admission of failure.  It’s not an awful trade in the sense that they don’t have to deal with who clogs up the back end of the rotation, and they free up some cash, but it’s not a cause for celebration.   It also makes it a little bit more possible for the Yankees to have a shot at getting under the threshold next year-it’s still highly unlikely, but you never know.

2001morecowbell2001
3 years 5 months ago

Not a cause for celebration? Every fifth day of my life just got a little easier to tolerate.

$3513744
3 years 5 months ago

That’s pretty sad if your life is intolerable because of a baseball game. But I totally understand :)

2001morecowbell2001
3 years 5 months ago

Hey at least we no longer have to speculate which inning will be THE inning for Burnott.

NYCTrancefan
3 years 5 months ago

” This trade isn’t a win for the Yankees-it’s an admission of failure.”

I take it you didn’t have the unfortunate task of watching A.J. Burnett toe the rubber every 5th day in pinstripes.

Pure torture as a Yankees fan, good riddance I say.

No doubt he will pitch better in Pittsburgh, but no surprise given he has 0 expectations or pressure to succeed.

Unlike the bubble guts moments he had in New York that led to him soiling himself quite frequently.

That we were able to get rid of him for very close to half his remaining salary is great news. After all its not like he was going to be starting for the Yankees over CC, Pineda, Nova, Kuroda or Hughes/Garcia.

There is no such thing as clogging up the back end of the rotation, by the time you reach that point of most teams rotation its pretty much pointless.

Not like a #5 starter is very important, even on good teams.

3 years 5 months ago

 I actually just stopped watching Burnett’s starts – I would check the score on my phone about 45 minutes – an hour into the game.  If they weren’t 4-5 runs down by the 3rd, I’d flip it on.   :)

NYCTrancefan
3 years 5 months ago

 LOL exactly, by then the Yankees would be in a big deficit and he is pulled from the game by Joe Girardi. 

3 years 5 months ago

joe trys to let his pitchers get out of jams which in burnetts case they wait until he gives up 6 or 7 runs before bringing him out.

Mike1L
3 years 5 months ago

 I am a Yankee fan.  I’m just a realist.  For whatever reason. AJ joins Whitson and Pavano (I cringe just typing the name) and Vazquez and a bunch of others who just don’t seem to be able to pitch consistently well under this harsh a spotlight. 

BlueSkyLA
BlueSkyLA
3 years 5 months ago

Failure is relative. I think we’ve all gotten way too used to idea that the Yankees can afford to throw big money at players who don’t have much chance of working out.

indybucfan
3 years 5 months ago

The Dodgers could too, if they weren’t busy paying for divorce settlements and lawyers.

BlueSkyLA
BlueSkyLA
3 years 5 months ago

The “Dodgers” aren’t playing for that, but maybe you’ve heard, that sad episode is at an end. Still, I hope the new ownership doesn’t take the Yankees lesson the wrong way.

Smrtbusnisman04
3 years 5 months ago

Thank you for regarding the Pirates rotation optimistically, but I think the AL central is a little worse since the Tigers are really the only strong contender in that division.

aricollins
3 years 5 months ago

If they trade Burnett and sign Chavez and Ibanez, that puts them at ABOUT $203MM for the season, with an additional $15MM or so paid in luxury tax.

JaysNesan
3 years 5 months ago

This offseason, Yankees are the highest spending team in all MLB teams. CC contract rework +30M, Huroda +10M, AJ write-off + 20M. so far they have committed over 50M. which is higher than the annual committment made by Angels and Tigers..

aricollins
3 years 5 months ago

I’ll be the first to criticize the Yankees’ free-spending ways, but this is simply incorrect. They had already committed that money to A.J.; they actually lowered their annual commitment to him by $5MM.

If you want to count Sabathia as a new commitment, they committed $23MM for this year for him and $10MM for Kuroda, minus the $5MM they saved on Burnett. That’s $28MM, which is, okay, that’s TECHNICALLY more than the $25.5MM the Angels will be paying their new commitments (Wilson, Pujols, and Iannetta), but only because the Angels have heavily backloaded those first two deals.

In actuality, the Angels have committed an extra $321.3MM this offseason, divided among those three deals, while the Yankees have “only” committed an extra $127MM, divided among their three deals.

The Yankees have the highest payroll in baseball, and by a lot, but they were far from the biggest spenders this offseason. They blew their wad in the ’07-’08 and ’09-’10 offseasons. 2011-2012 belongs to the Marlins, Tigers, and Angels.

JaysNesan
3 years 5 months ago

When you sell your investment before its maturity, you have to report the total loss the year you sold.

aricollins
3 years 5 months ago

And if players were investments with measurable financial losses and gains, and the Yankees were reporting their federal taxes to the IRS, then that would be a good analogy.

The truth is that the Burnett deal SAVES THEM MONEY. It doesn’t count as a financial commitment for this offseason. In fact, it’s the opposite.

Again, criticize the Yankees’ spending all you want. I’ll join in. Just get your facts straight before you do. They’re the highest spending team in baseball for this year, and for the last decade, and even more than you might think, since they’re paying luxury tax on all that. But they haven’t committed the most money this offseason, not by a longshot.

’08-’09 was a poor offseason for them, since Teixeira has declined, the opt-out they gave Sabathia is forcing them to commit to his mid-30s when no one else was going to give him 8-9 years, and Burnett has been a financial disappointment. But ’11-’12 has been an excellent (and even financially smart) offseason for them.

MB923
3 years 5 months ago


Again, criticize the Yankees’ spending all you want. I’ll join in.”

Aren’t you a Sox fan? (Forgive me if I’m mistaken, I had a chat with a Sox fan on another post and his name looked like yours, so maybe it was you)

Justanotherfantoo
3 years 5 months ago

But you don’t count a one-time write off as what you call an “annual commitment”.

Justanotherfantoo
3 years 5 months ago

The incremental commitment made by the Yankees is minimal.  It was only $2 million per year to C.C. and just a little over $2 million per year to Kuroda when you net out the $6.75 million per year savings on Burnett and the $900,000 per year to Colon who Kuroda effectively replaced.

So they added all of $4.35 million per year in “annual commitment” by my calculation.

UltimateYankeeFan
3 years 5 months ago

Finally

formerdraftpick
3 years 5 months ago

I thought Charlie Morton was supposed to start the season on the DL due to recovering from surgery?  No?

domaug
3 years 5 months ago

i read somewhere that they don’t expect him back until March or April so i’m guessing you’re right.

formerdraftpick
3 years 5 months ago

If that is the case, can they put Morton on the DL (not sure what the rules are)?  Or do they still have to clear a space off of the 40-man roster to place A.J.  If they do, who do you get rid of?  Looking at the players on there, the Pirates will lose a good prospect as a result of this trade.   

YodaMyNameIs
3 years 5 months ago

A timer put on the popcorn and Burnett you will not

nm344
3 years 5 months ago

badum-tsh!

3 years 5 months ago

The Pirates got screwed on this deal…The Yankees wanted to get rid of Burnett and even NEEDED to get rid of him…wow.

domaug
3 years 5 months ago

they got screwed?  i think if they give up REAL prospects, they would have been screwed.  but i don’t see them giving up anyone worth losing sleep over.  whether you know it or not, the NL Central is SIGNIFICANTLY weaker than the AL East, especially with Pujols and Fielder gone.  couple that with the fact that NL teams don’t use DHs and you can likely see Burnett’s production improve, maybe not greatly, but it should still improve.

also, the Yankees are paying more than the Pirates will for Burnett, so how did the Pirates get screwed again?

formerdraftpick
3 years 5 months ago

The Pirates weren’t going to ever place Diego in anything other than an Altoona jersey.  I think he has better stuff than that and you’ll probably see him in the majors within the next two years.  Nice pick Yankees.  I can’t wait to see the other pick. 

As for A.J., the Pirates despirately needed someone who can pitch around 200 innings a year….even if the ERA is high.  Midway through the year, the Pirates needed to relieve the bullpen and a starter who can last deep into the game will help.  So a nice match up.  A.J. will be a winner this year.  

NYCTrancefan
3 years 5 months ago

 Given what the Pirates are seeking in their rotation, innings, innings, innings, Burnett actually fits the bill.

The Pirates were on a nice run last season but then tailspinned as attention started to focus on them competing for the division, then they fell right off the pace.

In that division this season they might actually be able to compete if they hit the baseball.

formerdraftpick
3 years 5 months ago

I agree…there bullpen also started running out of steam.  I questioned the frequency at Hurdle using his relievers too.  There was also a too little, too late factor with the acquisitions of Grilli, Lee, and Ludwick.  If they want to compete, they have to compete all 162 games each year.

domaug
3 years 5 months ago

Moreno’s 25.  if he ever sees the majors, it will most likely be in similar fashion to how Garrett Jones made it to the majors.  but that’s a stretch.  if he’s not in AAA now, he’s probably going to struggle getting to the majors while in his prime.

JaysNesan
3 years 5 months ago

What happened to those two Indian prospects signed by Pirates…would be better than these two..

Todd Smith
3 years 5 months ago

I realize you probably aren’t seriously asking – but figured I’d answer anyway.

Dinesh Patel threw 7 innings in the Gulf Coast League in 2010 and got roughed up and then released.  

Rinku Singh is still in the Pirates organization and has had a little bit of success so far.  He actually made it up to the South Atlantic League last year and had a 3.18 ERA over 17 innings.  He also pitched in the Australian Winter League during the offseason and made the All Star team there.  Kind of a cool story for a guy that had never picked up a baseball before.

Todd Smith
3 years 5 months ago

I realize you probably aren’t seriously asking – but figured I’d answer anyway.

Dinesh Patel threw 7 innings in the Gulf Coast League in 2010 and got roughed up and then released.  

Rinku Singh is still in the Pirates organization and has had a little bit of success so far.  He actually made it up to the South Atlantic League last year and had a 3.18 ERA over 17 innings.  He also pitched in the Australian Winter League during the offseason and made the All Star team there.  Kind of a cool story for a guy that had never picked up a baseball before.

MB923
3 years 5 months ago

Probably nothing more than a bullpen guy for Diego. Lots of K’s and very few BB’s but he gives up a lot of hits. Anyway we shall see. Again I did not expect anything big at all. Diego isn’t a big name, but based on some key stats he doesn’t seem like a scrub.

NYCTrancefan
3 years 5 months ago

 Exactly how did the Pirates get screwed might I ask.

They were trying to get veteran starters to go there and guys didn’t want to go.

They made a move for someone like Burnett who just couldn’t hack it in NYC.

Lets be blunt the NL Central is nothing like the AL East in terms of the hitting.

Even the last place Orioles in the AL East scored 700 runs last season.

In the NL Central Milwaukee, St. Louis and Cincinnati scored 700+ runs

Both are weaker this season with Pujols and Fielder gone from the division.

Burnett’s numbers will get better by mere fact of pitching in a weaker division and the NL sans DH, added to the fact he now has no pressure to succeed, no expectations about World Series title or bust unlike with the Yankees.

Look at Javiers Vazquez looked like a stud in the NL and wet himself when he pitched for the Yankees.

Some guys are scared to play in New York, literally.

dook83
3 years 5 months ago

Both teams got what they wanted.  Burnett could go either way, he’s got great stuff and is pitching in an easier division now, but he is 35yo…Yanks overpaid for him big-time but did get a lot of innings and a few very clutch playoff performances, which for a team like the Yanks is more important than a sparkling in-season ERA and WHIP.

Todd Smith
3 years 5 months ago

They didn’t get screwed.  It’s actually a good deal for both sides.  Yankee fans are just a little over-sensitive and have to try to rationalize everything into a huge win.

Justanotherfantoo
3 years 5 months ago

I don’t see Yankee fans rationalizing this into a huge win.  I just think they’re relieved not to have to watch him pitch.

I think the Pirates have picked the Yankees’ pockets twice before and I think they come out the winner here again.

Crosstownkid
3 years 5 months ago

I have a feeling Burnett is gonna be like Vasquez and put up some pretty sick numbers in the NL. Once he moved back to the NL he had some pretty good years and led the NL in l’s

Tim
3 years 5 months ago

Best thing for both teams. I think AJ will do well with the Pirates. Dont forget NY is a very hard place to play at especially pitch. Burnett would always get frazzled once he had a few bad batters in a row, usually around in 3,4,or5 inning and when the boo birds started it was all over for him. U either thrive or don’t surive in NY. Thank you Pittsburgh!

BarrelMan
3 years 5 months ago

Pirates’ season seemed to turn after that horrendous ump call gave that game to the Braves

scott skink
3 years 5 months ago

Exicardo Cayones appears to be the other player. I’m pretty up to speed on the Bucs minor league system and I never heard of the guy.

Todd Smith
3 years 5 months ago

He was one of the first big international signings the Pirates made after Dave Littlefield was fired.  They signed him for $400K, which at the time was the highest bonus the Pirates had ever given to an international free agent.  That’s pretty much where the excitement ended with him though.  he just hasn’t been able to move up in the system at all.  He finally made it up to the NY-Penn league last year and hit .063 with a .252 OPS.  Only 19 years old still.