NL Central Links: Pirates, Burnett, Cardinals, Peavy

The Pirates are not on A.J. Burnett‘s 20-team no-trade clause (as outlined by ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick earlier today), and they are his preferred destination if the Phillies choose to move him, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports (Twitter links). As I speculated in this morning’s post on his no-trade clause, however, Rosenthal notes that Burnett’s complex mutual/player option may be a deterrent for the Bucs, as Burnett could potentially be a spendy acquisition if he makes a full season’s worth of starts. Nonetheless, Pirates players are lobbying with the front office in an attempt to persuade GM Neal Huntington and his staff to reacquire their former teammate, according to Rosenthal.

Here’s more out of the NL Central…

  • Pirates president Frank Coonelly says that the team has financial flexibility to add payroll, tweets Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports. Whether or not that would extend to taking on Burnett’s future commitments, of course, remains to be seen.
  • Cardinals GM John Mozeliak said last night that he expects Michael Wacha to pitch in September, but Rosenthal tweets that St. Louis is still looking for rotation upgrades. The Cardinals are exploring everything from front-line starters to back-of-the-rotation types, he says.
  • Peter Gammons reports that the Red Sox have been scouting Cardinals short-season Class-A outfielder Rowan Wick in case the Redbirds decide to make a run at Jake Peavy (Twitter link).
  • The reason that a deal sending Peavy to the Cardinals has not yet taken place, tweets Buster Olney of ESPN.com, is that Boston wants a prospect of some kind in return. St. Louis, meanwhile, was more interested in doing the deal primarily in exchange for taking on Peavy’s salary. Peavy is earning $14.5MM this year. (A $15MM player option would vest for 2015 if he is able to log at least 137 2/3 more innings this year, though that would appear to be quite a tall order.)

Jeff Todd contributed to this post.


41 Responses to NL Central Links: Pirates, Burnett, Cardinals, Peavy Leave a Reply

  1. Jon Edwards 11 months ago

    Harold Ramirez, low level pitching prospect, and some $$$?

    • BeatEmBucs 11 months ago

      Phillies are going to have to chip in the money if they want a Harold Ramirez type. Even then, I doubt it.

      I’d offer Adrian Sampson and that’s with the Phils eating a large chunk of that contract.

      • flyerzfan12 11 months ago

        Agreed and I’d be on board with a Harold Ramirez for Burnett + cash based deal.

        • Zak Arn 11 months ago

          + cash would be a first since 2005..

          • randyfastman 11 months ago

            They have been buyers nearly every year since 2005, so of course they wouldn’t be throwing in cash when making trades…. the argument would be that Cliff Lee was not traded in 2013 because they wouldn’t add salary relief to any deal, but I’m not sure that’s even true..

          • Zak Arn 11 months ago

            Any trade they’ve ever been mentioned or linked to… they expect the entire salary to be paid by the other team and then are baffled at the lack of return. Their penny pinching is another reason why they have no farm system. They gave up more just to have other teams to include cash.

          • flyerzfan12 11 months ago

            And all of this is just hearsay and rumors, as fans we don’t know any deals that weren’t made because RAJ wouldn’t eat money. LIke randyfastman said, the Phillies haven’t exactly been in a position in trading to have to eat money in trades til recently.

            And this wasn’t a trade but the Phils did eat the final year of Adam Eaton’s $8 million just to rid themselves of him. Posting your same reply on every person’s comment is just lazy and unoriginal. People have been saying the same thing for months, everyone is aware of the Phillies history or lack thereof with eating money.

      • Phillyfan425 11 months ago

        Ehh, my idea is Burnett + $4 M (like 80% of his remaining contract this year) for Ramirez and a guy like Shane Carle. Add in more money if he decides to exercise his option (not exactly sure how it works, but I’d bet it could be done).

        • BeatEmBucs 11 months ago

          Would depend on how much they eat for next year’s. Like you said, not sure how that works. A starting point for a guy like Ramirez would be the deferred bonus money.

          • Phillyfan425 11 months ago

            Oh, since that was a signing bonus (even though it’s deferred), I thought that money was always on the Phillies. If it’s not – then I’d definitely say the Phillies throw in money for that.

    • Henduck 11 months ago

      That’s too much considering AJ’s ridiculous contract.

      • Jeff Miller 11 months ago

        Burnett is guaranteed about $13.5M through next year if he decides to exercise his player option, about $7M if he doesn’t. That’s not exactly ridiculous.

        • Henduck 11 months ago

          If Burnett was dealt on July 31st, he would be owed about $2.5 M this year, plus the extra $1.75 M in bonuses, plus $6.5 M in signing bonuses, plus $12.75 M next year, with the chance to earn the same $1.75 M in bonuses. That’s upwards of $25.25 M over a 14 month span.

          • Jeff Miller 11 months ago

            I think you’re adding money to the deal. He signed a 2-year $22.5M deal that could max out at $30M with the mutual option. He’s already been paid $7.5M in bonuses and about $5M in salary, so that puts the max down to $17.5M through next year. I was wrong in my previous contract number earlier. As of now he’s guaranteed about $3.75M through the end of this season. If he makes 32+ starts this year the player option bumps up from $7.5M to $12.75M and add $1.75M to this year’s salary. The most he’s owed next year is $15M with the mutual option or $12.75M if he makes 32 starts this year. If he decides to retire or not exercise his player option, he’ll get $1M. Not sure how you got $25.25M through next year.

    • Zak Arn 11 months ago

      Don’t kid yourself. The Phillies haven’t included cash in a deal since 2005.

      • Chris Vinnit 11 months ago

        Then I guess AJ isn’t coming back to Pittsburgh. No way are they picking up all of his absurd contract.

  2. stl_cards16 11 months ago

    The way Wick has been hitting, I wouldn’t even give him up for Peavy.

    • bighiggy 11 months ago

      Wick is destroying pitching at that level. I would like to see him jump to A ball. I know they would like to see him set the homer record at short season. But to give up him and pay the rest of peavy’s salary would be a huge overpay and peavy is not gonna get us into the playoffs any better than what we have. If the cards are gonna get a pitcher they need to go big, like price. Then we can include wick in that kind of trade.

      • stl_cards16 11 months ago

        I agree. Buster Olney tweeted the reason Peavy to the Cardinals hasn’t happened is because the Red Sox wanted a prospect in return and the Cardinals only wanted to take on salary. Good to see Mozeliak isn’t willing to trade anyone of note for Peavy.

        Also, I agree on Wick. I’d love to see him move up and get challenged. He has nothing left to prove at State College.

  3. casey 11 months ago

    Cardinals pick up Peavys contract is too much, let alone a TRADE, forget peavy

  4. Get rid of him Boston. He isn’t worth much more than the flight ticket to send him away.

  5. Phillyfan425 11 months ago

    Maybe I’m just being naive – but I feel like Burnett isn’t going to exercise his option. Couple reasons for that line of thought. First, is that he is hurt, and will probably need surgery in the offseason. He’d have to go through the rehab to just get back into “pitching” shape. At 38, he may not want to do that. Second, he had to be talked into pitching this year – I felt like the option was put in there if he had a great season and he thought the Phillies could make a run at it next year. I just don’t believe that the option is something that is that big of a deal.

    • stl_cards16 11 months ago

      If he has to have surgery and he’s interested in earning more money, that’s even more of a reason to exercise the option.

      • Phillyfan425 11 months ago

        He’s made $140 M in his career. I’m not saying he doesn’t want to make money – but the way he was at the end of last season leads me to believe that he wanted to give it one last run this year.

        • stl_cards16 11 months ago

          I don’t really believe that at all. If all he wanted was a chance to win and make one last run he could have signed with the Pirates. It was, is, and will be about the money. He played his hand perfectly last year and avoided the QO. It’s pretty likely he exercises his option.

          • Phillyfan425 11 months ago

            Again, I said it was my belief (and started saying that maybe I’m just being naive). I guess we’ll see at the end of the year what happens.

          • Zak Arn 11 months ago

            He signed that contract because he was 100% certain the Phillies would overpay him, because its RAJ, and that he’d get dealt to a contender, because the Phillies are terrible.

          • stl_cards16 11 months ago

            And he wouldn’t have got that contract if he had been offered a QO and declined. I think we’re pretty much in agreement.

  6. CardsFan1980 11 months ago

    Peavy won’t help the Cardinals rotation. If they are not going for a big trade I’d prefer they go after Milone from Oakland

  7. Benjamin Markham 11 months ago

    The Cardinals are smart enough not to give someone of even Wick’s value for Peavy. I’m hoping the Cards go after Lee, and I would be fine with taking all of his contract in exchange for a meager prospect package. If the Phillies eat $15 million then they can get a mid range prospect

    • Jeff Miller 11 months ago

      The Phillies aren’t just gonna give Lee away.

    • Max Power 11 months ago

      Generous of you – but the Phillies don’t need to get rid of salary, they need prospects. Lee +$15 million for a “mid range” prospect wouldn’t be the least bit interesting.

      • john sands 11 months ago

        we have enough hurt pitchers.. we don’t need Cliff Lee. hurt all the time.

        • Max Power 11 months ago

          Cliff Lee’s number of starts in a season prior to this year:
          31, 34, 28, 32, 30, 31
          This will be the 2nd time in 11 years he fails to make 28 or more starts (the other was 2007).
          So….hurt all the time?

  8. The Virus 11 months ago

    AJ Burnett and all his salary paid by Phillies for Marte

    • flyerzfan12 11 months ago

      I hope you’re joking or I’ll now understand why everyone seems to hate Phillies fans on these boards.

  9. Jeff Snedden 11 months ago

    The Burnett 2015 option is the big issue for a Pirates/Phillies deal. If the Phils would agree to eat 75% of his 2015 salary if the option is exercised, I could see the Pirates parting with a Harold Ramirez and a Class A SP in the deal. Depending on how AJ pitches down the stretch, he could have value in 2015 for the Bucs once Liriano departs for FA this winter.

  10. john sands 11 months ago

    it is a moot point … Cardinals have never had a real interest in him. David Price is another story.. keep watching

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