Blog Entry

Indians call, but best hope for AJ is Pittsburgh

Posted on: February 14, 2012 4:12 pm
Edited on: February 14, 2012 4:17 pm

The Yankees and Pirates continue to talk about a deal involving A.J. Burnett, and there seems to be continuing optimism a deal could get done between those teams by the end of the week. The best guess is that the Pirates will wind up paying about $13 million of the $33 million owed Burnett while surrendering one or two non-roster minor-league players. The Pirates seem more willing to bend on the money than the quality of the minor leaguers, and that is a testament to them.

The Indians, Angels and a fourth team are also believed to have checked in on Burnett, but the focus remains on a potential Pirates deal. There was some brief discussion of a Burnett-for-Travis Hafner swap, but there's no evidence the Indians would be willing to do that, as they are reluctant to hurt their offense. The Angels are on Burnett's no-trade list, and he has said he would not waive his no-trade to go there. The Burnetts live in Baltimore and want to stay in the East, which is why he put the West Coast teams on his no-trade list in the first place.

The Pirates at some point offered to to pay at least $10 million of the $33 million remaining on Burnett, and once they compromise a bit more on the cash, the sense is there's every reason to believe a deal could happen within the next several days.

Category: MLB

Since: Sep 28, 2010
Posted on: February 14, 2012 6:45 pm

Indians call, but best hope for AJ is Pittsburgh

The Pirates should offer Roy Oswalt 11 million for one year. One year of Roy Oswalt is certainly better than two years of A.J. Burnett.   The NL central will be in contention for the worst hitting division in baseball and Roy should be able to easily post another sub 3.5 era, if not lower.  Better yet, the Pirates should talk to the Rays about a trade for Jeff Neimann or Wade Davis for two prospects.

Since: Apr 5, 2007
Posted on: February 14, 2012 6:39 pm

Indians call, but best hope for AJ is Pittsburgh

Agreed, more fastballs are not in his best interest.  His average fastball velocity has been in freefall for 5 seasons going from 95.9 in 07 to onnly 92.7 last year.  Losing over 3 mph off of your fastball when you are basically only a two pitch pitcher (89.1 of his pitches were FB/CB last year) and when your second pitch is a swing and miss pitch you cant get over, you are in big trouble. 

Though in that guy's defense, AJ threw 33% CB last year, way too much when you can't get it over.  But AJ's stuck now with a less effective fastball, going to a wild curve more often and having to force in a change thats only 4-5 mph from his fastball. 

However even with his piss-poor season in 2011, there's plenty of reason to think he can be worth more than what the Pirates are going to pay.  17% HR/FB last year can't possibly last, especially going from the best offensive division to what's probably the worst.  He still gets tons of GB (just under 50% last year) and still posts respectable K numbers with over a 2-1 K/BB ratio.  But with all the hype behind Yankee stadium doing him in, he posted well over a 6 ERA on the road last year, a 5.76 in '10 and a 4.59 in '09, all numbers which were far higher than his home ERA's.  Figure that one out. 

Overall I think AJ bounces back with an ERA just north of 4.00 with close to a K an inning and around .500.  Good cheap late round pick for fantasy I think, if only for playing those great matchups against everyone in the NL Central except the Reds. 

Since: Jun 27, 2008
Posted on: February 14, 2012 6:08 pm

Indians call, but best hope for AJ is Pittsburgh

Burnett is a .500 pitcher with great stuff and no consistancy. He has been an inning eater the past few years, sfter suffering injuries before hand.  He's worth a $6 million gamble, just don't expect more than 13-14 wins

Since: Feb 19, 2011
Posted on: February 14, 2012 6:05 pm

Indians call, but best hope for AJ is Pittsburgh

Get him to fall in love with the gas when he's ahead in the count not the breaking stuff that every hitter in the league is sitting on.
The problem with his breaking stuff is that he's wild. No one is sitting on the breaking pitches from AJ because those pitches are unhittable. If they aren't 5 feet in the dirt, they're so nasty you can't touch them anyway. Either way, what you're saying is not true at all. When he has some semblence of breaking pitch control, and more importantly, mixing in the change, he throws a better game than most. Aside from the control, it's the over-reliance on heat that catches up to him.

Since: Nov 12, 2011
Posted on: February 14, 2012 5:57 pm

Indians call, but best hope for AJ is Pittsburgh

Pirates fans seem to have mixed feelings about getting Burnett.  Personally, I love the move.  As long as the team doesn't give in and offer anything resembling a decent prospect, there is absolutely nothing to dislike about this move.  If he's a bust, then the team is out $10-$13 million that otherwise will likely go unspent at this point.  If he's a success, then perhaps he likes the organization enough to re-sign a deal as the rest of the Pirates prospects likely hit their stride in a couple of years. 

Since: Dec 6, 2010
Posted on: February 14, 2012 5:01 pm

Indians call, but best hope for AJ is Pittsburgh

Well I guess if you are the Pirates Burnett would be an upgrade.  Even if you were the Indians he would be an upgrade.  None the less the Yankees are in between a rock and a hard place in trying to move him.  The Hafner deal makes the most sense for the Yankees.  You know a LH power hitter but he's an unknown at this time due to age and injuries of late.  The Indians don't want to "hurt" their offense.  I didn't know they had one.  I just don't see the Yankees eating $23 mil of A.J.s contract and getting a couple of non roster players for him in return.  If the Yankees have given up on Burnett lose him.  Try his hometown Orioles or the Marlins again.  Or wait and see if Rothschild got through a little last year.  The guy isn't a total waste.  170K's in a 190 innings isn't too bad.  Get him to fall in love with the gas when he's ahead in the count not the breaking stuff that every hitter in the league is sitting on.

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