Blog Entry

Yankees machine scoops up Burnett

Posted on: December 12, 2008 5:30 pm
Edited on: December 12, 2008 7:02 pm

Apparently, one of the amenities at the luxurious new $1.3 billion Yankee Stadium is a printing press.

For money.

That, or it sits on a gold mine.

In yet another one of those moments that will have the New York Yankees and their fans bursting with pride and will leave the rest of the game's blood vessels bursting in anger, the Yankees have bestowed a five-year, $82.5 million deal on free agent pitcher A.J. Burnett, has confirmed.

This only two days after the Yanks signed CC Sabathia to a seven-year, $161 million deal.

The way the Yankees are collecting initials in their alphabet soup of liquid gold, perhaps the week's biggest surprise was that they somehow allowed reliever J.J. Putz to land crosstown with the Mets.

The Burnett deal is not yet official because he must take a physical exam and final language details are being finalized, according to sources.

The Sabathia deal hasn't been formally announced, either, for the same reasons.

Soon, the Yankees are going to need their own air-traffic control. They've got gold-plated starting pitchers stacking up on their runway like airliners.

And there's more to come. The Yankees intend to sign yet one more starting pitcher, probably either Andy Pettitte or Ben Sheets.

Then, on the seventh day, perhaps general manager Brian Cashman will rest.

"There's always work to be done," Yankees captain Derek Jeter said the other day in Las Vegas, after word broke at the winter meetings that Sabathia would wear pinstripes. "Cash was pretty hopeful in wanting to improve some things."


How about the auto industry? The mortgage industry? And, maybe, the bankers while he's at it?

Sabathia can opt out of his contract after three years if he so desires, but if he stays for all seven, the Yankees will have committed $243.5 million to Sabathia and Burnett.

Add them to Chien-Ming Wang, Joba Chamberlain, Pettitte or Sheets and Phil Hughes, and the Yankees rotation today, on paper, by far is better than it was at any time in 2008.

Now, Burnett still could go all Carl Pavano on them. For most of his career, he's been the classic Nuke LaLoosh character from Bull Durham, the classic million-dollar-arm, 10-cent-brain guy. His shoulder and elbow always seem one pitch away from sending him to the trainer's room. In nearly 10 years, he's made 30 or more starts exactly twice.

And gee, coincidentally, those two times came in the seasons in which he was eligible for free agency.

Wait. On second thought, nobody can be as big a hypochondriac as Pavano.

Anyway. The Yankees are loading themselves so audaciously that they will have plenty of insurance against an injury here or an underachieving year there by a particular pitcher.

It's breathtaking and sickening, all at once.

"The commissioner just got done telling us we need to tighten our belts because of the economy," an executive with one of the smaller market clubs said during the winter meetings, referring to Bud Selig's advising clubs not to get too cocky coming off of a record revenue season at the owners' meetings in November. "And the Yankees are continuing to do things none of the rest of us can do.

"We're all supposed to be careful in this economy, while they can do whatever they want? It's a joke."

And that was when the Yankees had only signed Sabathia.

The rich-blooded opponents at their own private country club, of course, will have a chance to do something.

And the way the Yankees are raging through this winter, it should be making Mark Teixeira smile. The Yankees' moves can't help but pressure the Boston Red Sox to do something big to improve themselves, and the best thing they could do at this point is ensure that Teixeira is swinging at Fenway Park in 2009 and not for the Angels, Nationals or Orioles.

As for the Atlanta Braves, who made Burnett their No. 1 free agent target, they can go back to shopping at the thrift shops. They made a strong presentation to the right-hander, reportedly increased their offer to five years and did all they could to land him.

Their misfortune, simply, was targeting someone the Yankees wanted.

The nerve.


Since: Nov 8, 2007
Posted on: December 13, 2008 1:38 pm

Yankees machine scoops up Burnett

Even with the amount coming off the books that you Yankee fans spout about, it would still be in the top 3 for payrolls this year. Don't bring the garbage about finances here, your team is a product of a system that your management is forcing down everyone's throat. The Yankees can't win on a level playing field. At 205+ million, you could not make the playoffs because you can't develop your own players and overpay for whomever is out there. 82,500,000 for a guy who has made 30 starts twice in his career. 160,000,000 for a guy who weighs more than most OL's playing football?

C'mon Yankee fans, defend it. You are in the wrong of course, and you will bring a salary cap fast that will render you guys bottom feeders for years to come, but in the meantime, the Yankees have spent over 1,200,000,000 dollars since winning a WS.

In other news, the Yankees are looking for 245,000,000 dollars from the City of New York to finish their stadium.

Since: Sep 28, 2008
Posted on: December 13, 2008 1:15 pm

Yankees machine scoops up Burnett

maybe people should start complaining about the florida marlins and san diego's of the world. Florida gets more money in revenue sharing than they pay for their roster, so where is that money going? how about the san diego looking to drop payroll and trade one of the best pitchers in baseball because the owner is going thru a divorce and he needs to shed payroll....this is a joke and embarassment to the league. please, sell the teams to mark cuban or pony up and get in the game.

Since: Nov 30, 2007
Posted on: December 13, 2008 1:05 pm

Yankees machine scoops up Burnett

One of the problems with that argument is the Yankees are using a whole lot of tax payer money (not the owners money) to build Yankee stadium. To ask and/or expect the taxpayers to foot such a large portion of the construction of the stadium and then charge such a premium to attend games in the stadium they helped to finance in the first place does reek of greed; especially in these tough economic times. Then they throw ridiculous sums of money to land the players they want makes it seem worse.

Yes, all fans of other teams would love it if their owners could spend like that but no one can. The Yankees are in a financial stratosphere that no other team can match. They have revenue streams that exceed the GNP of some nations. Only Boston, the Mets, Dodgers and Cubs can even come close to the Yankees in payroll and even they have been a little tighter with their money. The Cubs had to pass on trading for Peavy partially because of the finances. The Dodgers are on the verge of losing Furcal, Lowe and non-tendered Saito because of the salaries they will command. Hell, they haven't even guaranteed a 3rd year to Manny because of the fear that his performance will drop off and they can't afford to have an albatross like that on their books.

Since: Sep 18, 2006
Posted on: December 13, 2008 12:56 pm

Yankees machine scoops up Burnett

How many tickets do you think they would sell knowing they have no chance of winning their own division or make the playoffs?  Whats really funny/sad here is the Yankees are building a $250,000,000 stadium that the fans are paying for. They add $240,000,000 to an already ridicules payroll which will lead to ticket price increases and now how many tickets are they going to sell? sure the "fat cats" can afford to go but I don't think the average New Yorker will be buying many tickets. What did it cost a family of 4 to go to a Yankee game last year? Thats the "funny". The "sad" is now other teams will feel the need to spend big money and it will force ticket prices up all through baseball. With the economy struggeling everywhere (except New York), this move hurts a lot of baseball fans. I never usually wish an injury on anyone but C.C.'s money is gauranteed so I hope heblows out an elbow around All Star time. He gets his money and Steinbrenner gets what he always gets...pissed,

Since: Jan 2, 2007
Posted on: December 13, 2008 12:35 pm

Yankees machine scoops up Burnett

blue_osiris. Everyone loses players in the rule 5 draft and other stuff. And yes, NY being a big market should be able to spend more on their team. The issue is that a lot of teams can't compete with this and when the Yankees go out and buy the top 4 or 5 FA's, it hurts the market. Now all the other teams will have to overpay to fill in roster spots and that hurts the league.

The Yankee owners don't care more about their team than their pocket book. They make more money than probably half the teams in MLB combined. They are making these signings for one reason, to make money.

Since: Jan 2, 2007
Posted on: December 13, 2008 12:17 pm

Yankees machine scoops up Burnett

, that was the first reasonable response supporting the Yankees spending I've seen. The problem is what the Yankees should do is build their system up so they don't have to drive the market so hard. Every time the Yankees overpay for a player, it raises the bar. It increases arbitration settlements, it raises contracts for mediocre players, it raises ticket prices across the country.

The Yankees created this mess and they should be made to do it the right way. Stop spending like mad and aquire good prospects and keep them or trade them and build from the bottom up. Look at the players in Boston. Most of those players have come from their minors. You can have a relatively affordable roster if you have most of your players developed from within and cap it with a FA signing here or there.

Buying the WHOLE market isn't good for anyone. It dilutes the game.

Since: Jan 2, 2007
Posted on: December 13, 2008 12:05 pm

Yankees machine scoops up Burnett

Wasting money is just not good for the game. I love the game.

Maybe what they need to do is cap the number of Type A FA's a team can sign. That way CC doesn't work the Yankees. They offer big $'s and CC has to take it before the Yanks sign someone else for less money.


Since: May 24, 2007
Posted on: December 13, 2008 11:49 am

Yankees machine scoops up Burnett

And when Hank sticks 80-100 million in his pocket you will complain about that also.

Since: Oct 15, 2007
Posted on: December 13, 2008 10:28 am

Yankees machine scoops up Burnett



Since: Dec 13, 2008
Posted on: December 13, 2008 10:13 am

Yankees machine scoops up Burnett

EXACTLY, nyteach!

couldn't have said it better...

my arguement to all those yankee nay-sayers is that if u owned a sports franchise & money (to a point) was not an issue, wouldn't U try to get the best players if u truly were in it to win?!?

and lastly, the Yankees don't set the market.  i am so tired of hearing that. there have been MANY teams (including the nationals) offering huge contracts to players. the players & thier agents set the market based soley on the usual supply , demand, and economic factors.

dont hate NY because they are in a huge market with a history of winning for thier devoted fans. when u win, u create a fan base and, in turn, generate revenues to allow u to reinvest in your team. that's how a good business works. 

so buy the best players, win.

 win, and then buy the best players.

makes sense to me.  and talk about k. brown & c. pavano all u want. perhaps they didnt perform in ny, but again at least ny was a team attempting to get talent for thier team. unlike many other franchises who wont spend the $$$ to field a winner for thier fans. there's the old saying, "u cant put the cart ahead of the horse". if u can't compete fiscally with the big boys, perhaps your in the wrong business.

or maybe i just love a winner. & proud to be a new yorker.

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