A.J. Burnett Rumors
Now that the calendar has flipped to March, Opening Day seems that much closer. Here are some links from around MLB, starting with a pair of injury updates...
- The Pirates announced that A.J. Burnett has an orbital fracture of his right eye and will require surgery. The club didn’t provide a timetable for the right-hander, who was acquired from the Yankees last month.
- The Indians announced that Grady Sizemore underwent a “minimally invasive low back procedure” and is expected to miss two to three months.
- Agent Jeff Berry told Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle that no discussions about a multiyear deal for Giants catcher Buster Posey are expected to take place before Opening Day. Posey hasn't played since last May 25th, so it's more likely that an extension would become a priority next offseason.
- Yankees managing general partner Hal Steinbrenner confirmed to reporters, including Marc Carig of the Star-Ledger, that he is intent on lowering payroll below $189MM by 2014 for luxury tax purposes (Twitter link).
Let's celebrate perhaps the last year of a six-team NL Central with spring training links for all the clubs...
- Pirates infielder Gustavo Nunez, who was taken from the Tigers in December's Rule 5 draft, was placed on the 60-day DL with a right ankle injury, tweets Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. Side effects of the move: the Pirates buy some time before deciding whether to put Nunez on the 25-man roster, and a 40-man roster spot is opened for new acquisition A.J. Burnett.
- The Burnett acquisition creates competition at the back end of the Pirates' rotation, writes Biertempfel. He believes Kevin Correia and Jeff Karstens will battle for the last spot, if everyone is healthy. Burnett talked to reporters this morning. One interesting news tidbit was his comment that one ever asked him about a potential Angels trade, though he confirmed he's not interested in the West Coast for family reasons. Unprompted, Burnett debunked the rumors about his wife's transportation preferences, saying with a smile, "She loves to fly."
- Ryan Madson's $8.5MM commitment with the Reds is spread out over three budgets, explains ESPN's Buster Olney: "$2MM during the 2012 season, $2MM in deferred salary on Nov. 1, 2012 -- which is the start of the 2013 budget -- and another $2MM in deferred salary, without interest, on Nov. 1, 2013, at the outset of the 2014 fiscal year. In the middle of that, they have a $2.5MM buyout on an $11 million option for 2013." On the topic of his one-year deal, Madson told MLB.com's Mark Sheldon, "I take it as motivation to show people again, to prove that it's real. It's unfortunate it's that way but I'm not complaining. I'm very happy. I'm very privileged to have this opportunity, and I just want to run with it and show people that I will be OK."
- Righty Brett Tomko always wanted to come back to Cincinnati, he told John Fay of the Enquirer. Tomko said it's taken two years to recover from a 2009 pinched nerve.
- The Astros could have a new player at all nine positions for Opening Day 2012 compared to '11, writes Zachary Levine of the Houston Chronicle.
- Astros 2010 supplemental first-round pick Mike Kvasnicka is moving back to catcher from third base, tweets Levine. Kvasnicka was recently ranked 25th among Astros prospects by Baseball America.
- "I'm not one to look back with animosity, however people or fans want to view my time there," former Cubs GM Jim Hendry told Joe Cowley of the Chicago Sun-Times. Hendry noted that it was "just nice" to be wanted by the Yankees, "the most storied franchise in sports." He's now with the Yankees as a special assistant to GM Brian Cashman, and isn't worrying about becoming a GM again.
- "They always say contract years turn out to be great years," Brewers starter Chris Narveson mentioned to Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel. Zack Greinke and Shaun Marcum are entering contract years, while Randy Wolf has a $10MM club option for '13 with a $1.5MM buyout.
- Cardinals starter Adam Wainwright refuses to put a limit on his innings following 2011 Tommy John surgery, he told MLB.com's Jenifer Langosch, but she notes that GM John Mozeliak has said 200 frames is likely out of the question.
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.
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.
Here's a look at today's links as players settle in for Spring Training..
- Athletics skipper Bob Melvin expects to see roster additions on pitching and position player sides before the full camp opens, according to Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle (via Twitter).
- The Phillies were exploring a three-way trade to land A.J. Burnett, tweets Joel Sherman of the New York Post. A third team would have been brought in to allow the club to unload Joe Blanton.
- The Diamondbacks might have to find a more permanent solution at shortstop if Stephen Drew doesn't fully recover from his ankle injury, writes Buster Olney of ESPN.com. Arizona holds a $10MM mutual option on Drew for 2013.
- Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports (via Twitter) be surprised to see the Angels make two trades before the end of Spring Training due to the amount of redundancy on their roster.
- Manny Ramirez worked out for the Athletics and the club could sign the slugger within the next week, writes Jane Lee of MLB.com.
The Yankees agreed to trade A.J. Burnett to the Pirates yesterday, two days before their pitchers and catchers are scheduled to report to Spring Training. With less than 24 hours officially remaining in their offseason, let's round up the latest news surrounding the team...
- Burnett will take his physical tomorrow and final approval of the trade from the commissioner's office is likely to come Monday afternoon, reports Erik Boland of Newsday (on Twitter).
- Even after the Burnett trade, the Yankees have room in the budget for Eric Chavez or a left-handed DH but not both, according to Joel Sherman of The New York Post (Twitter links). Team executives plan to meet after the trade becomes official to discuss whether room can be made for both.
- The Yankees still prefer Raul Ibanez to Johnny Damon because he's better against right-handed pitchers and on defense, but Damon is not entirely off the board according to Sherman (on Twitter). MLBTR readers were split pretty evenly between those two (and Vladimir Guerrero) in this morning's poll about the club's DH spot.
- Hiroki Kuroda reported to camp today and spoke to reporters (including Chad Jennings of The Journal News) about his decision to stay with the Dodgers at the trade deadline last year. The 37-year-old right-hander also wouldn't commit to any plans beyond this season.
- Joe Brescia of The New York Times chatted briefly with Gene Michael, the team's former GM and current advisor to Brian Cashman. He talked about the Jesus Montero-Michael Pineda trade, the difference between how the Yankees are run now compared to George Steinbrenner's heyday, and more.
Friday Night Links..
- While one source told Jeff Wilson of the Star-Telegram that a trade of Koji Uehara could free up enough money for the Rangers to sign free agent Roy Oswalt, another source said that any money saved would be pocketed rather than be used on Oswalt or Mike Gonzalez.
- The other team involved in the A.J. Burnett talks was the Phillies, tweets Buster Olney of ESPN.com. However, the club would've had to clear Joe Blanton's to make the deal work.
- The Diamondbacks will be on the lookout for catching depth through Spring Training, Olney tweets.
- In his blog for the Detroit Free Press, Jamie Samuelsen writes that the Tigers should stay in-house when it comes to their fifth starter position rather than scour the open market for an affordable arm. The highly-touted Jacob Turner is among the candidates for the backend of the rotation.
As we heard yesterday, the reported framework for an A.J. Burnett trade between the Pirates and Yankees was that Burnett would join the Bucs in exchange for two minor prospects and $13-$15MM in salary relief. The trade is expected to be finalized within the next day or two, so here's the latest news...
- The trade is "nearing [the] finish line," tweets Joel Sherman of the New York Post. The two prospects the Yankees will receive in the deal are A-level players and "not considered much."
- The deal is "a bold, sharp major-league move" for the Pirates, writes Dejan Kovacevic of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.
- The Pirates and Yankees hope to take the proposed deal to the Commissioner's Office today, tweets ESPN's Buster Olney. The trade requires league approval due to the large amount of cash involved.
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.
The Pirates and Yankees are discussing an A.J. Burnett trade, as the Yankees look to unload some of the $33MM owed to him for 2012-13. The latest:
- Marc Carig of the Star-Ledger hears four teams are in the mix for Burnett and that "a deal will get done with somebody.“
- The Yankees are engaging the Pirates and one other team about Burnett and a deal seems increasingly likely, David Waldstein of the New York Times reports. It doesn't appear that Burnett would block a trade to either one of the two possible destinations.
- The Yankees tried to convince the Angels that Burnett could be their fifth starter, according to Wallace Matthews of ESPNNewYork.com. The Yankees would have obtained Bobby Abreu in the proposed trade, but Burnett rejected the deal because he'd prefer to play on the East Coast.
- The two clubs remain at an impasse, reports Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports. As the day before Yankees pitchers and catchers report to spring training, Saturday represents a soft deadline for the trade talks. A trade is not likely with any of the three other teams interested in Burnett, as the Indians never got serious, Burnett will not approve a deal to the Angels, and the mystery team has lukewarm interest.
There’s a feeling the Yankees and Pirates will complete a deal involving A.J. Burnett and judging by the most recent rumors, Pittsburgh would take on $10-15MM of the $33MM remaining on Burnett’s salary if the trade goes through. Here are today’s rumors:
- A fourth team has checked in on Burnett, Heyman reports.
- The Hafner for Burnett deal is no longer on the table, MLB.com's Bryan Hoch tweets.
- The Indians have checked in, Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com reports (Twitter links). Talk between the Yankees and Indians has revolved around Burnett and Travis Hafner, though the Indians aren't sure they'd make that trade.
- The Angels are interested in Burnett, but they're on his no-trade list, Rosenthal tweets.
- Momentum for a deal stayed strong last night, according to Joel Sherman of the New York Post. The Yankees continue to engage two other teams, but the Pirates are the favorites to land Burnett. Pittsburgh has offered to pay $10MM and if they raise their bid to $13MM, the Yankees would be more inclined to accept lesser prospects in return. The Pirates view the Derek Lowe deal as a relevant point of reference for their discussions with the Yankees.
- The teams are still trying to decide which players would head from Pittsburgh to New York, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports (all Twitter links). Some Yankees people oppose trading Burnett now, and believe they could obtain more in return at the trade deadline.