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Blog Entry

Update on Burnett-to-Pirates trade talks

Posted on: February 12, 2012 11:46 am
Edited on: February 12, 2012 3:45 pm
By Matt Snyder

This past week, trade talk connecting maligned Yankees starting pitcher A.J. Burnett to the Pirates picked up. Here's the latest, via insider Jon Heyman.

The Yankees and Pirates are still talking and there's been "progress and continuing optimism" on getting a deal done. One obvious snag to this point has been money, as Burnett is due a whopping $33 million for the next two seasons. The Pirates are willing to take on more than $10 million while the Yankees would prefer a 50/50 split, but there are indications of a compromise on the horizon. Next, the Yankees are seeking "at least a reasonably decent prospect" in return, but the Pirates are actually more willing to compromise on the money issue than prospects.

Pirates, Yankees talk trade
Burnett, 35, was 11-11 with a 5.15 ERA, 1.43 WHIP and 173 strikeouts in 190 1/3 innings last season for the Yankees. He led the majors in wild pitches, one season after leading the majors in hit batsmen. He's currently ticketed to be the Yankees' fifth starter, but shedding his salary would help free up some extra money to sign a left-handed designated hitter like Raul Ibanez, Johnny Damon or Hideki Matsui.

If the proposed trade comes to fruition, Burnett would probably bump Jeff Karstens from the Pirates' rotation, joining Erik Bedard, James McDonald, Kevin Correia and Charlie Morton. Of course, Morton's health is in question to start the season and Bedard's health is pretty much always in question, so there would be a great bet that all six of the pitchers would get a good amount of starts.

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Since: May 17, 2007
Posted on: February 13, 2012 1:48 pm

Update on Burnett-to-Pirates trade talks

8 pages of comments on whether to deal a 35-year-old pitcher to the Pirates.
I am glad I was able to contribute.

Be still my heart when this trade is finally made.

Since: Oct 25, 2007
Posted on: February 13, 2012 12:55 pm

Update on Burnett-to-Pirates trade talks

Curious as to how this would be a salary dump if the Yankees wind up having to pay over $20 million for a guy pitching for someone else.  I assume this would save them a little money on the luxury tax as Burnett's entire salary would be be charged to the Pirates but that's about it.  I wonder if they could actually sign either Ibanez, Matsui or Damon for around $5 million, which is what it sounds like they'll actually be saving.  With Andruw Jones, Russell Branyan and one of the above the Yankees seem to be cornering the market on old guys who come cheap.  I guess even the Yankees have a budget and after blowing over $90 million on CC, ARod, Jeter and Tex looks like they have to cut corners somewhere.  

Since: Mar 24, 2008
Posted on: February 13, 2012 12:32 pm

Update on Burnett-to-Pirates trade talks

Why in the world would the Pirates want this washed up pitcher?  I don't care how much of the salary the Yankees pay because the Pirates will be on the hook for some prospects going to the Yankees.  The Yankees can't make this transaction fast enough.  It is very rare that the Yankees trade anyone that actually does anything with his new team.

Since: Apr 5, 2007
Posted on: February 13, 2012 12:15 pm

Update on Burnett-to-Pirates trade talks

When the Yankees signed Burnett, he was outside the top 20 in the AL and coming off of a career year.  He pitched for the Blue jays for 3 seasons in between Florida and NY. 

Since: Dec 6, 2010
Posted on: February 13, 2012 12:05 pm

Update on Burnett-to-Pirates trade talks

If you do a fast reverse to when the Yankees signed Burnett he was pretty much one of the best SP in the NL along with Josh Beckett.  Who's been the bigger disappointment?  Pretty much a tie but I will give the nod to Burnett because the expectation is ALWAYS higher in New York and always will be than in Boston.  For the life of me why is Pittsburgh interested?  They actually played decent ball for half of 2011.  You would think they would want to get better SP or bullpen help not worse.  The Burnett contract is just one of those deals that did not pan out.  It should be a case study for every MLB GM on large long term contracts....don't do it!  The bright lights and big city put the psych on his head. Classic "Nuke" LaLouche stuff here.  Burnett has finally got the coaching he's needed in Larry Rothschild but at 35 years old its too late, the die has been cast.  I believe the story is merely just that a story.  In the winter of our discontent and the big prizes (Fielder & Pujols) gone the writers do have to entertain themselves and us with fantasy.

Since: Feb 13, 2012
Posted on: February 13, 2012 11:29 am

Update on Burnett-to-Pirates trade talks

Burnett is/has been a huge disappointment for the Yankees. Obviously, for any team, he is NOT worth $16.5 million/year. The Yankees can't move the guy into the bullpen, because how can any team seriously justify having a guy making that much not starting? They didn't give him $82.5 million to be a reliever/mop-up guy, no matter how inconsistent AJ's been. Everyone being honest with themselves, however, KNOWS the guy has incredible talent, and who the heck knows what the issues are regarding why his performance has been what it's been? Plus, I'm probably not the only Yankees fan thinking, "This jabronie's going to go to Pittsburg and roll out a 17-9 record, ERA under 4, and whatever else." Again, the guy's been a huge disappointment for NY, but he DOES have the talent. That said, there is worth to be had by Pittsburg. While he's certainly not worth $16,500,000 for two years  (to anyone), I believe that he's certainly worth $5M for two years to ANYONE. Even for Pittsburg, where $10 million is far more of a signifant sum than for the Yankees, it's worth the risk. Look at Miami taking on Zambrano. The guy might be a shell of what he was a few years ago, but they're only paying $2.5M of his $18M contact (in addition to giving up Volstad, and Zambrano's 2013/$19.25 option only vests if he's healthy and in the top 4 for NC Cy Young - doubtful), so it's probably a very acceptable risk.

So, if the Yankees kick in $23M (or however much) to make the deal with Pittsburg, they should get a little more than the pleasure of not having him on the roster, a stale box of Cracker Jacks, 3 12-packs of Meister Brau, and a minor league prospect who's supervisor at the local UPS facility expects him back to work on May 1.

Since: May 17, 2007
Posted on: February 13, 2012 11:11 am

Update on Burnett-to-Pirates trade talks

So what's the latest in the Burnett talks?
I've been waiting for updates for two days now.

Since: Sep 20, 2006
Posted on: February 13, 2012 10:34 am

Update on Burnett-to-Pirates trade talks

Writers have to eat too, even when there is nothing to write about.

It's a pretty bleak market when A.J. Burnett is the biggest rumor mill news out there, huh ?

The only real news here is that Brian Cashman is trying to dump one of his (expensive) mistakes on a franchise (Pittsburgh) that has been signing (cheap) mistakes as a routine course of business for two decades. 

Maybe the Pittsburgh ownership feels obligated to take Burnett off the Yankees hands...because the Yankees are the perennial "Luxury Tax" provider, and Pittsburgh is THE team that budgets to make a profit based on their share of it. In that regard, the Yankees give  more to the Pirates than most franchises give to a minor league affiliate. 

Unlikey ? Then YOU give a logical excuse why ANY team would take A.J. Burnett at $5 mil a year or more.... I'm all out.     

Since: Mar 9, 2007
Posted on: February 13, 2012 10:10 am

Update on Burnett-to-Pirates trade talks

As much as I want to see AJ gone, Pittsburgh fans don't deserve this crap. They could do so much better than Burnett, but instead Pirates owners go for another big name on the junk heap. Anyone with a notable name and minimal financial ties is what Pittsburgh is looking for. That's nice for filling out a roster, but shouldn't be your model for an entire baseball team.

If Pirates owners want to be "serious" about winning start by giving Andrew McCutchen an Evan Longoria type deal and lock him up as your center-piece for 5+ years. Make it a nice offer so other players will see you are willing to spend. Fire your GM and hire a big name to a multi-year deal, overpay him to come and clean up the mess (lord knows its a big job). Give that GM a three year window of modest spending. Nothing crazy, how bout we start with spending as much as St. Louis or Atlanta. Sign a couple of players to nice short-term deals with contract incentives and bonuses. Spend money on the draft and the farm. By year 3, watch the plants grow.

Since: Dec 3, 2008
Posted on: February 13, 2012 9:54 am

Update on Burnett-to-Pirates trade talks

Burnett is done!!!!

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