Possible Fits For A.J. Burnett

1:40pm: The Pirates have spoken to the Yankees about Burnett, reports Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports, "though those conversations failed to progress and perhaps qualified only as due diligence."  Rosenthal says that Burnett hopes to stay with the Yankees, but notes that the Pirates are not on his no-trade list.

8:05am: Righty A.J. Burnett has provided innings for the Yankees over the last two years, 377 in the regular season to be exact.  His peripheral stats suggest a brighter future, but Burnett posted a 5.20 ERA over 2010-11.  How does the free agent market deal with starting pitchers who provide innings and good stuff but lack the hoped-for results?

The free agent market just valued Edwin Jackson at $11MM for one year, but his ERA over the last two years is a full run lower than Burnett's, and with 32 additional regular season innings.  He does seem to have Burnett's reputation of good stuff without the results to match, though Jackson is significantly younger.  Had Jackson set out to find the best two-year offer possible, perhaps he could have gotten $20MM.  A year ago, Carl Pavano signed for two years and $16.5MM, and he too was coming off a better two-year performance than Burnett.  Pavano, however, lacks the upside of Burnett or Jackson.  The bottom line is that as a free agent, I think Burnett might find $12MM if he were set on a two-year deal.

Word from Joel Sherman of the New York Post is that the Yankees are "quietly — but diligently — still working to trade" Burnett to create additonal payroll flexibility for both Eric Chavez and one of Johnny Damon, Hideki Matsui, or Raul Ibanez.  GM Brian Cashman lacks leverage, as Burnett hasn't pitched well over the last two seasons and will be battling this spring to crack the Yankees' rotation.  So if Burnett's free agent value is around $12MM over two years, Cashman might have to let a team take him for $8-10MM over that span.  That could be the possible savings for the Yankees against the $33MM owed to the 35-year-old.

Possible fits for Burnett:

  • Pirates: The Pirates can't seem to convince free agent starters to take their money, and Burnett could reject them as well if they are one of ten teams covered in his limited no-trade clause.   Still, they'd represent a fresh start back in the easier league, and Burnett could be a big fish in a small pond.
  • White Sox: If the White Sox add Burnett, they'd have the rotation depth to trade Gavin Floyd for prospects without decimating their rotation.
  • Orioles: Their rotation has plenty of options, but without Jeremy Guthrie, the veteran role falls to Jason Hammel.  Burnett's wife is famously a Maryland resident, as we learned from past trade rumors and his free agency process.  Burnett could work for the Orioles, but only if they found some payroll flexibility, had the desire to add yet another rotation candidate, and Cashman was willing to trade within the division.
  • Athletics: When Bartolo Colon is your innings guy, a little more veteran depth wouldn't hurt.


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153 Comments on "Possible Fits For A.J. Burnett"


bobbleheadguru
3 years 6 months ago

Tigers seem like a near perfect fit. They are looking for a veteran 11-11 innings eater like Brad Penny was last year. Only 2 problems:

1.They want this veteran to go to the pen (long relief) if things work out with one of their younger pitchers.

2. Burnett’s price is too high.  They will likely go $3M/year tops. I suppose they might bite if the trade included Brandon Inge.

Since_77
3 years 6 months ago

I think Ca$hman would go for this deal but I can’t see it happening because the Yanks and Tigers are post season rivals.

3 years 6 months ago

 I doubt a trade to Detroit is a fit. The Yanks don’t want Inge and more salary. This is a salary dump for a mid level prospect. Also Yankees will eat 13 million of the 2 years remaining but no more.

3 years 6 months ago

 If you mean $13MM/year, something may get done. No one’s taking Burnett at 2/$20MM.

-C

HalosFan8
3 years 6 months ago

Trade him to Anaheim for Vernon Wells :)

BG2310
3 years 6 months ago

Soriano for Burnett? Yankees DH solved

3 years 6 months ago

The Cubs are not making a trade for AJ Burnett. The Cubs are trying to cut salary and get younger. Burnett makes more money than Soriano and he’s in his mid-30’s. Also, Burnett wouldn’t make the rotation when the Cubs have an excess of starting pitchers. Returning starters include Matt Garza, Ryan Dempster and Randy Wells. Then add in the the young guys they’ve signed or traded for in Malhom, Volstad and Travis Wood and that’s six starters already. Just because it would be trading a bad contract for a bad contract doesn’t make it a good trade. Burnett’s contract is worse and he doesn’t fit the mold of what Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer are trying to do in order to build this team for the future.

And that is just on the Cubs side. The Yankees don’t want Soriano either. They want a cheap lefty that hits for average. Not an over-paid, right-handed slugger.

BG2310
3 years 6 months ago

Burnett + Banuelos and Betances for Garza + Soriano ?

3 years 6 months ago

Cubs don’t want old players. Yankees don’t want an expensive DH…Not. Going. To happen. Period.

BG2310
3 years 6 months ago

Word, was just throwing out a scenario. I didn’t think about the Yankees short porch in right.

3 years 6 months ago

lol, why would the Yankees do that?

BG2310
3 years 6 months ago

Garza is a legit #2 with success in the AL East. Banuelos and Betances have not proven anything to this point. I am a Cubs fan, so I admit a bias

3 years 6 months ago

and yet banuelos and betances are also top prospects. sorry to say unless the cubs had king felix and were trading him the cubs will never see those prospects landing in chicago, not even for garza. obviously

YanksFanSince78
3 years 6 months ago

In the AL East he has not pitched like a “true #2″.

captainjeter
3 years 6 months ago

are you  kidding?

BG2310
3 years 6 months ago

About Garza being a legit 2, or Banuelos and Betances not being proven?

3 years 6 months ago

about including Soriano. The Yanks will not take him back. Horrible player, even more horrible contract.

BG2310
3 years 6 months ago

I just want him out of Chicago! I guess I was dreaming.

3 years 6 months ago

Hallucinating is more like it.

cyberboo
3 years 6 months ago

How many major league innings have Banuelos and Betances thrown?  If the answer is zero, they are unproven and a huge question mark.  The top prospects in baseball have fizzled and disappeared over the years.  Until they prove they belong in the majors, they are UNPROVEN – period and anyone saying otherwise is an idiot.  lol.   The minors and majors are like night and day.   Totally different and no one should confuse success in the minors with the majors.  Many fail and are never heard from again. lol.  

YanksFanSince78
3 years 6 months ago

Can’t see the Yanks trading away Bets and Bans for Garza anyway, especially since they have CC/Kuroda/Pineda/Nova/Hughes/Garcia left.

YanksFanSince78
3 years 6 months ago

The deal doesn’t make sense for either side in terms of on field production but FOR THE RECORD, Soriano is owed 3/$54 while AJ is owed 2/$33 mil so you are wrong in the ”
Burnett makes more money than Soriano and he’s in his mid-30’s” statement. Again, it wouldn’t make sense for either team in terms of production BUT AJ is still cheaper than Soriano. Realistically it would defeat the purpose, from the Cubs perspective, for them to send $$$$ to the Yanks to balance out the difference. Not happening at all and it shouldn’t.

3 years 6 months ago

the yankees want a lefty not a righty.

3 years 6 months ago

Is the possibility that Burnett has a bounce back year completely out of the realm of possibility?

Tirameenlasbolas
3 years 6 months ago

Yes.

3 years 6 months ago

Is the possibility of me using the word “possibility” too many times in one post completely out of the realm of possibility?

Tirameenlasbolas
3 years 6 months ago

Yes :)

crashcameron
3 years 6 months ago

mission: impossibility

3 years 6 months ago

The gut says no but the numbers say yes: 3.69 xERA, 49% groundballs, 2.1 K/BB. He basically needs more luck, luck hasn’t been on his side over the last 2 years.

YanksFanSince78
3 years 6 months ago

Not it absolutely isn’t. He still throws hard and he induces a good amount of GB. He is simply an enigma rapped in a conundrum. His stuff simply doesn’t translate into positive number. Good xFIP..horrible ERA.

Marc C
3 years 6 months ago

I would trade him to Baltimore for Gary Thorne.  The Yankees are supposed to be the first class organization of baseball, yet I can’t imagine it being possible to find worse announcers than John Sterling and Susyn Waldman.  They are horrific.  Gary Thorne is the guy who called Mattingly’s big HR in 1995.  That call still gives me chills.  But he just calls a good game.  He’s not more into his catchphrases than the game, and he knows when to shut up and just let the crowd noise take over.   Plus, the idea of trading for an announcer is damn funny.

Lastings
3 years 6 months ago

Not nearly as funny as trading for Vernon Wells and taking on his massive contract…

stevekc43
3 years 6 months ago

I so agree with this post. Sterling and Waldman are terrible.

Chillin_in_California
3 years 6 months ago

Yankees win. THE YANKEES WIN

Plus their homerun calls are stupit like Its an A Bomb by A ROD or mark texiera sends a text message into the seats, You’re on the mark texiera.

roomwithamoose
3 years 6 months ago

just imagine if Barry Bonds was on the Yankees we’d have to hear something terrible like Barry Bombs! or something to that extent

chico65
3 years 6 months ago

“Stupit”

Seriously, you’re killing me man

chrisn313
3 years 6 months ago

Ah, Irony.

Jeffrey Parker
3 years 6 months ago

As an Orioles fan, no thanks. O’s have made numerous runs at him in the past and he has balked, so I want no part of him in Baltimore.

Rabbitov
3 years 6 months ago

Yankees signed him for $82.5 mil .  .  . 

3 years 6 months ago

I say bring him to Baltimore.

Beggars can’t be choosers, right?

3 years 6 months ago

He’d probably do a lot better in a place where he wasn’t being expected to shoulder such a huge responsibility. As many people have said in these pages, the location that most affects AJ Burnett is the six inch gap between his ears.

soxin10
3 years 6 months ago

I think the word “innings eater” can be misleading. Teams like the Red Sox and Yankees that score 8 runs a game can allow guys like Burnett and Lackey to stay in after giving up 6 runs after 6-7 innings. Does anyone beleive that if Brunett or Lackey pitched on the A’s, Pirates, Orioles or any team with an average offense they would be left in past the 4th inning when they have given up a bunch of runs? in 2011 half of Burnett’s wins were when the Yanks scored 6 or more, Lackey, 11 of his 12 wins were when the sox scored 6 or more. Do the White sox really want to take on Burnett and give up Floyd?

Rangers4Life
3 years 6 months ago

No one’s taking Oswalt for crying out loud. Who’s going to take Burnett?

3 years 6 months ago

The money isn’t apples-to-apples, of course: If Yanks ate most of the contract, Burnett might be perceived as a better value. If nothing else, the array of potential suitors (speaking only in terms of affordability) is considerably wider for Burnett.

3 years 6 months ago

The Angels, Rangers and Cardinals are all in the running for Oswalt. He is making up his mind on where he wants to pitch. It’s not that no one wants him.

PeanutTheKidnapper
3 years 6 months ago

False

3 years 6 months ago

Peter Angelos paying AJ Burnett for 2 years at 16.5 MILLION per season, Hahahahaha!
You must be speaking of a different Peter Angelos! The Peter Angelos that I know and disdain wouldn’t even pay for half of that. As for me I wouldn’t even want him (Burnett) even if the Yankees gave him to us for free! Although, I do have to say this from I read about Cashman this past week and have observed from Duquette since he’s taken over the Orioles, those two birds deserve each other! So I could see a deal getting done now.
PS I was watching MLB Network last night and they were discussing the Orioles possible picking up Manny Ramirez. The final question on the matter was “Would you sign Manny Ramirez”?
Answers and commentary are as follows
Dan Pleasac. No! I knew there was a reason why I like him as an analyst!
Sean Casey. No! I don’t know him that well, but I like him. Thumbs Up!
John Hart. Yes, he would sign him. Well John, you’re now a “SpineLess Jellyfish” in my eyes now! No Soup for you ever again, you’re on my list!

jb226
3 years 6 months ago

Somebody is a spineless jellyfish for not agreeing with your conclusions on a player?  Spineless would be going “no!  I mean yeah I would, but I don’t want that Lefty fella on the Intertubz mad at me!”

lefty177
3 years 6 months ago

I think the only reason John Hart said yes was b/c wasn’t he the Indians’ GM when they signed Manny? He probably still has a mancrush on him

PeanutTheKidnapper
3 years 6 months ago

The Yankees would have to eat the majority of AJ’s contract, but the O’s already have more than enough options for the rotation. 

3 years 6 months ago

How about the Softbank Hawks of Japan’s Pacific League?  It seems like the perfect place for Burnett.

3 years 6 months ago

He’d probably be friggin’ awesome in Japan, and everyone would look foolish in hindsight over how it all went down in NY — including him.

tiger313
3 years 6 months ago

That team would be amazing with AJ and Penny.

Ian_Smell
3 years 6 months ago

Heck, if they sign Pudge they’d pretty much have the core of the 03 Marlins.

captainjeter
3 years 6 months ago

The  only way I see this happening is if the Yankees are willing  to eat  around 17-19 million of Burnett’s remaining  33 million contract. That  would save the Yankees  between 14-16  million and the other team would be left  with a starter  making  around 7-9 million  a year for the next  2 years. For  a starter that is cheap.
Burnett  belongs back in the NL , where he gets an automatic out in the other pitcher and in alot of cases  the catchers. He needs to go back to a  team where the media is not as  bright so he  can fly under the  radar as he did  with the Marlins and Jays.
I don’t think Cashman is against trading within the divison. The problem with the Orioles is that their owner  still holds a grudge  against  George and most likely would  never allow any trade with the Yankees.
I would rather  see him traded to other  NL teams and besides including 17-19 million of  his salary, maybe include 1-2 very good prospects , so that Cashman could get something of value back.

andrewyf
3 years 6 months ago

Why would Cashman trade prospects along with Burnett? What would he want to get back? The only real Yankee needs for 2012 are at DH, and that’s the easiest ‘position’ to fill via FA.

captainjeter
3 years 6 months ago

why? to help  build the future. We need to be concerned about  who repaces A Rod and Jeter. And if they can’t  sign Cano after next year, that could be a  problem.
You never have too much. You keep the best for your own team and trade the  excess  to solve other  issues.

Nick
3 years 6 months ago

So you want the Yankees to strengthen the farm system by trading prospects?  Logical!

andrewyf
3 years 6 months ago

Why would Cashman trade prospects along with Burnett? What would he want to get back? The only real Yankee needs for 2012 are at DH, and that’s the easiest ‘position’ to fill via FA.

MetsEventually
3 years 6 months ago

Are you kidding me? How does a 4.79 ERA,1.447 WHIP, 16 million dollar contract get you 1-2 good prospect? “Very good prospects” mean Top 50 list guys, which Burnett is NO WHERE near that value. They would be lucky to get a 25 year old A ball player out of him. 

Let_Timmy_Smoke
3 years 6 months ago

I think Burnett would be

3 years 6 months ago

Possible AJ destinations….Miami, St Louis, Atlanta, Washington, Milwaukee, White Sox, Oakland, Seattle and Cleveland. I think these are the teams Cashman is having extensive talks with about Burnett.

tiger313
3 years 6 months ago

Cashman is having “extensive” talks with 1/3 of the league?

3 years 6 months ago

not to mention washington isnt looking to add another SP. their rotation is set already and have 7 starters to work with. so i highly doubt they make a move for burnett

3 years 6 months ago

Atlanta has zero use for Burnett. If they wanted Burnett now, why wouldn’t they have just kept Lowe instead??

-C

TheHotCorner
3 years 6 months ago

Atlanta?  Not a chance.  Makes no sense.  They could have kept Lowe and given up nothing in return.  Not going to happen.

JaysNesan
3 years 6 months ago

Toronto would be an ideal place for AJB. He did well in Jays uniform. If Yankees are willing to eat 2/3 of his contract, I think AA could consider him. Jays are looking for a vetern innings eater to their young rotation.

tdot32
3 years 6 months ago

let’s say, for the sake of argument, that you’re not joking and you’re being serious… how is trading for a bad pitcher going to solve anything?

JaysNesan
3 years 6 months ago

He is under tremendous pressure to perform well in front of fan(atic)s and autocratic owners. Always his performance is compared with CC. Boston and NY rivalry also plays huge part in his performance.
You won’t see any of this affect his performance in Toronto

Let_Timmy_Smoke
3 years 6 months ago

Look, there’s no way to argue that Burnett isn’t cutting it in the Bronx.  But I think looking at his ERA the last few years and just writing him off as a bum is a mistake. 

Some pitchers, for whatever reason, have a track record of success, fail in NY, and then go back to their old winning ways once they leave.  Most recent examples have included Javy Vazquez and Carl Pavano.  I think AJ would be one of these guys.  The stuff is still there (8.18K/9), he’s just inconsistent, wild, and gives up the big innings too often with the Yanks.  Those seem to go hand in hand with temperament.

As lousy as his 5.15 ERA looks, his xFIP last year was 3.86.  That’s on par with what Ryan Vogelsong put up (his ERA was 2.71) and better than Ervin Santana, Ivan Nova, Shaun Marcum, and Mark Buehrle’s. 

So we’re looking at a guy who was about a 3.85ERA kind of guy before he went to the Bronx, who hasn’t gotten it done there, but his peripherals have maintained.  To say that Burnett could get traded and put up a 4.00 ERA is not ludicrous.

Do you think there’s a market for a guy who can pitch 200 innings, strike out 8 a game, with a conservative estimated ERA of 4.25?  Especially if the Yanks would either kick in salary offset, or seek a lower package in return for shedding salary?

soxin10
3 years 6 months ago

Burnett has been in MLB for thirteen years. Take away his contract year 18-10 record with Toronto and you basically have a .500 pitcher. Peripheral stats may be one thing, but at the end of the day, a man making that much money has to produce. He is 34 years old, not 26 so his upside is limited and it is hard to explain his losing record in NY on a team that wins about 95 games a year. Could he come back, possibly, but he is not getting younger and his control is not improving, his whip is trending higher so how much would you pay?

3 years 6 months ago

You know that’s all very interesting and quite frankly a well written piece; however Bartolo Colon and even Freddy Garcia both outpitched Burnett in 2011. I still don’t want Burnett and would be more than happy to see the Yankees continue to eat his bad contract and watch them suffer in the standings because of it.
PS@ JB: This Youtubz fella isn’t mad at John Hart, I just was disappointed in him. I am also very disappointed in Duquette and Angelos if that makes you feel any better.

3 years 6 months ago

suffer in the standings? ummm you do realize they have won a world series and won the division with him in their rotation right? i dont know what standings your looking at.

3 years 6 months ago

No, Not really what happened in 2009? :p

Brian
3 years 6 months ago

Burnett for Zito!!!! Please?

sportsnut969
3 years 6 months ago

Yankees Trade

AJ —  Yankees pays for 6 mil this year and 6 mil next year of AJ’s contract + Swisher — Yankees pay 3 mil of Swishers contract this year.  TO Cleveland for Hafner DH + Brantley LF / CF ( future Lead-off guy )

In this move the Yankees also Save approx 13 mil this year & 10 Mil in payroll next year.

The Indians still looking for another starter and they have talked to the Yankees several times about a deal for Swisher since the winter meetings but have yet to work a deal out.

This move also frees up the cash to go out and sign Ibanez + another body if they need to.

3 years 6 months ago

 The Yankees will be lucky to trade away Burnett with the other team paying $6MM/year. They aren’t going to get MLB players for him, either.

-C

Let_Timmy_Smoke
3 years 6 months ago

Seems like the Yanks’ focus on getting rid of Burnett would be in shedding salary so they could sign a DH to platoon with Jones.  So I don’t think they’d be asking for too much.  Maybe a reliever. 

Were I to do a deal with the Tribe involving Burnett and I ate quite a bit of salary, I’d ask for a LHRP like Hagadone or Perez.  Otherwise, maybe go after a SS prospect like Wolters or Ronny Rodriguez.

captainjeter
3 years 6 months ago

12 milion of  the remaining 33 is not  going to cut it. More likely, Yankees would have to send around 17-18 million to the other team. No team is  picking up  21 million.

udenginerd
3 years 6 months ago

Um… No. The Indians are looking for controllable pieces moving fwd. Brantley is the only player the Indians can control in that OF for years to come. Sizemore won’t be back next year and Choo will get way more money than the Indians are willing to pay. Nix Swisher and Brantley from the equation and they may be interested. What world do you live in where the Indians are willing to take on bad/expensive contracts?

udenginerd
3 years 6 months ago

I mean think about it… The Indians are paying Lowe $5mil and Atlanta is paying the other $10mil. So the Yanks would need to eat easily 2/3 of Burnetts salary to make it happen.

JacobyWanKenobi
3 years 6 months ago

 Just send him down to AAAA Pittsburgh. He has options left right?

macdice
macdice
3 years 6 months ago

Burnett to Seattle for Chone Figgans.