Newsday: Burnett rumors off the mark, but…

Open Threat Thread: Can a blogger get some hot stove action?
Russo finalist for Stenson Award

We began the day with A.J. Burnett, and we’ll end with the day with him. Courtesy of the soon-to-be-on-vacation (but more on that tomorrow) Kat O’Brien comes a debunking of the A.J. Burnett rumor and news about another team’s interest.

O’Brien reports:

The Yankees still are preparing a formal offer for righthanded pitcher A.J. Burnett, a club official said yesterday, but the Red Sox have become serious competitors to land him.

The Red Sox’s pursuit of Burnett complicates the Yankees’ plans. A source close to Burnett said that a half-dozen teams are in contention for his services: the Yankees, Blue Jays, Red Sox, Braves, Phillies and Orioles. The Red Sox, the source said, have significantly increased their involvement in the pitcher in the past 36 hours and are now “fully engaged.”

The Blue Jays already have offered a four-year, $54-million deal to retain Burnett, according to the Toronto Star. The Yankees’ offer is expected to top the Blue Jays’ in average annual value. However, a source shot down a report that the Yankees would offer five years and $80 million. They will not make an opening bid of more than four years or anywhere near $80 million, the source said.

The Yankees’ source said, “We’re just talking parameters.”

That’s a lot to digest. Take it all in.

First, the good news. The Yankees don’t seem to be offering Burnett that ludicrous five-year, $80-million offer reported this morning. As any sensible team would do, the Yanks don’t want to extend a pitcher, 32 on Opening Day, more than four years. While O’Brien’s source said the deal wasn’t for anything close to $80 million, I wouldn’t be surprised at a four-year deal with the same average annual value of $16 million per season.

Now, the guardedly bad news. The Red Sox seem to be interested in Burnett and are supposedly very involved. Now, I’m on the fence with regards to A.J. Burnett. I think he’ll be wildly overpaid, and based on his track record, he probably won’t avoid the DL during the duration of the contract he is going to sign.

But at the same time, we saw this year what a healthy Burnett could do. He struck out better than a man an inning, and during the second half, he went 8-2 with a 2.86 ERA. In 14 starts, he went 94.1 innings and struck out 105 while walking 29. No one on the Yankees did that this year.

He has the stuff to be an ace. He doesn’t have the consistency or the health to be a dependable starter. But that doesn’t mean I want to see him land in Boston. Yanks GM Brian Cashman has a plan this off-season. I hope that plan doesn’t include watching the Red Sox get better as the Yanks come up empty and have to settle for a Derek Lowe type. As tentative I am of embracing Burnett, he’s clearly the second-best option out there.

Open Threat Thread: Can a blogger get some hot stove action?
Russo finalist for Stenson Award
  • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike A.

    I still prefer Lowe.

    • http://www.new.facebook.com/home.php?ref=home#/profile.php?id=594331910&ref=name Jamal G. aka Omar Moha… Gareef… Something September Eleventh-y

      Ditto.

      • http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/CRsmithT1.jpg tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Mr. Snarky Irrelevant Non Sequitur Jones

        What’s with the new handle?

    • mustang

      I kind of agree the injuries really scare me off for that kind of money.

  • Reggie C.

    In his last 14 starts, the only pressure facing Burnett was personal accomplishment and maybe the outside chance of knocking the Yanks to 4th place in the division.

    Its a suspect 14 starts. I’m not denying his talent, but the injuries just hit this guy too often. The 5 yr/80 Million dollar rumor now De-bunked , i’ll be wiser to brush off anything the Post reports from now on this off-season.

  • steve (different one)

    it will be funny watching everyone who blasted Cashman for supposedly making an offer to Burnett blast Cashman if he signs with the Red Sox.

    • Reggie C.

      I hope enough fans understand that the Yanks can’t sign everybody.

      • steve (different one)

        they don’t.

        • The Scout

          They can’t? Why not?

    • The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

      The post itself was funny. To be fair I don’t remember Ben’s position on Burnett, I just remember Burnett not being a popular target around here (to say the least), so for all I know this post isn’t different from Ben’s position (in particular, apart from the general RAB opinion) on Burnett in the past. Those last two paragraphs were very interesting, though. Does Burnett’s value to the Yankees rise if the alternative is Burnett in a BoSox uniform? If you belive so, perhaps Burnett’s value to the Yankees is higher than some thought it to be before learning of Boston’s interest?

  • Ed

    I wonder what it will take to get Sheets. I’d imagine he’d get significantly less than Burnett due to the injury issues. Maybe he will bite on a 2 year offer after all, which I think I’d gladly do.

    Sure, Sheets is probably even more likely to get hurt than Burnett, but when he’s healthy, he’s consistently good. Think of it kinda like getting Burnett, but replacing the bad starts with DL time.

  • Bruno

    [bold]He has the stuff to be an ace. He doesn’t have the consistency or the health to be a dependable starter. But that doesn’t mean I want to see him land in Boston. Yanks GM Brian Cashman has a plan this off-season. I hope that plan doesn’t include watching the Red Sox get better as the Yanks come up empty and have to settle for a Derek Lowe type.[bold/]

    I hadn’t thought of treating him like Canseco and picking him up just to keep him out of Bahston. In that regard, I guess it would be worth the $64m DL stint lol

  • christopher

    stupid logic on my part but if the sox want him than i want him on the yanks…imo theo is a far superior GM and if he thinks burnett is worth q big deal than i want him in pinstripes

    • steve (different one)

      like i said….

      this morning, no one wanted him.

      now the Sox want him and it’s like “oh man, look at those strikeouts!1!!”

    • Jake K.

      Let the Sox dump their money into Burnett.

    • The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

      “stupid logic on my part but if the sox want him than i want him on the yanks”

      agreed re the evaluation of the logic of that position.

    • http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/CRsmithT1.jpg tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Mr. Snarky Irrelevant Non Sequitur Jones

      imo theo is a far superior GM and if he thinks burnett is worth q big deal than i want him in pinstripes

      Do yourself a favor: Stop reading all sportswriters and listening to all sports commentators other than RAB. You’ve bought into both the pro-Theo and anti-Cashman spin machines, and it’s poisoned your ability to think rationally.

      • http://www.ilikemygirls.com Billy Beane

        +1

  • Lanny

    Lowe will be 40 by the time his deal runs out and hasn’t pitched in the AL in four long years.

    Burnett is who they need. A strikeout pitcher with nasty ace like stuff. A proven AL East pitcher who doesn’t scare in Fenway.

    • Jake K.

      Burnett may have ace-like stuff, but he’s 32 and has never pitched like an ace. What makes you think he’s going to figure it out now?

      • The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

        Ben: “But at the same time, we saw this year what a healthy Burnett could do. He struck out better than a man an inning, and during the second half, he went 8-2 with a 2.86 ERA. In 14 starts, he went 94.1 innings and struck out 105 while walking 29. No one on the Yankees did that this year.”

        • Jake K.

          I’ll take the rest of his (injury prone) career over the last half of his contract year.

          • The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

            Fair enough. Point was just that he HAS pitched well, and recently.

        • http://www.riveraveblues.com Ben K.

          Right. But I’m not saying he’s going to continue to do that. I’m simply saying that’s why so many teams are interested in him. He picked the right time to pitch better than most other pitchers in baseball.

          • The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

            Didn’t intend to put words in your mouth, I just quoted you to show that Burnett has, indeed, pitched “like an ace.” I agree the numbers you cited represent a relatively small sample size, though.

            • http://www.riveraveblues.com Ben K.

              Oh, no worries. I just wanted to be clear that I’m not implicitly endorsing him by pointing out his second half stats. 14 starts is a pretty poor sample.

              • http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/CRsmithT1.jpg tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Mr. Snarky Irrelevant Non Sequitur Jones

                FWIW, Jason Schmidt had also “pitched like an ace” over several relatively short bursts, interspersed between numerous DL stints. The Dodgers bought the ace talk and ignored the numerous and significant injury red flags.

                I think it’s safe to say they regret that decision.

                • The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

                  Come on, there’s a big difference between AJ Burnett in 2008/2009 and Jason Schmidt circa 2006/2007. Correct me if I’m wrong, but I remember Schmidt being a major red-flag case due not just to past injuries, but more due to declining numbers (over the course of a few seasons) amidst wear-and-tear concerns. Clearly the small sample size disclaimer applies when looking at AJ’s numbers late in 2008, but the Schmidt comparison isn’t really fair.

                • http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/CRsmithT1.jpg tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Mr. Snarky Irrelevant Non Sequitur Jones

                  Meh, while Schmidt was 33 turning 34 in the winter of ’06-07 (as opposed to Burnett being 31 turning 32 this winter), Schmidt was actually coming off a longer stretch of healthy play, as compared to Burnett, over the previous 3-4 seasons. And his numbers weren’t declining: look at his SFG numbers from ’01-’06. He was probably a healthier and more dominant pitcher with a better track record than Burnett. But yes, they both had numerous wear-and-tear issues stretching across the length of their careers, and they both had the full trifecta of elbow, shoulder, and back injuries, if memory serves.

                  It may not be the most ideal comp, but I don’t think it’s “unfair”. I’m not saying AJ will be a total washout like Schmidt, just saying, giving big bucks/long contracts to pitchers on the wrong side of 30 who have a lengthy history of nagging injuries isn’t smart money.

              • The Scout

                And what were Pavano’s stats the year before he signed with the Yanks?

    • Jake K.

      Burnett’s best ERA+ was 125. That was ten years ago in 41 innings. The last time he hit an ERA+ of 120 was seven years ago. This past year, it was 105. That’s slightly better than league average, not an ace.

      • Reggie C.

        … and yet according to George King , the Yanks are preparing to pay him like he’s a #1 on a championship contending club. Its crazy. He wouldn’t be the second best pitcher on the team.

        • The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

          Who cares if the Yanks “pay him like a #1 on a championship club?” Given the financial wherewithal to spend that kind of money, do you have a problem with the Yankees overpaying to have the best #3 starter in baseballl, if that’s what it takes to get the guy? (That’s a hypothetical, you don’t have to think Burnett would be the best #3 in baseball to answer that.) Should they not overpay just because another team wouldn’t have to pay that much, or should they use their financial might to get the deal done and assemble the best team possible?

          • Steve

            Yeah, I’m more worried about the years than the AAV in this case. I wont say a word as long as its below 4 years and 20 per.

            BTW-I hope nobody posts that they’d rather give him 80 mil for 4 years than 80 for 5, which somebody did the other day.

            • The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

              “BTW-I hope nobody posts that they’d rather give him 80 mil for 4 years than 80 for 5, which somebody did the other day.”

              I can’t believe someone said that, that’s pretty awesome.

              • http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/CRsmithT1.jpg tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Mr. Snarky Irrelevant Non Sequitur Jones

                …awesomely stupid, yes.

                • The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

                  (If it wasn’t clear that was what I meant… I like AJ but I haven’t completely lost my mind.)

                • http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/CRsmithT1.jpg tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Mr. Snarky Irrelevant Non Sequitur Jones

                  No, it was clear. I was just piling on.

        • http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/baseball/mlb/news/2000/01/18/jeter_ap/index.html steve (different one)

          … and yet according to George King , the Yanks are preparing to pay him like he’s a #1 on a championship contending club. Its crazy. He wouldn’t be the second best pitcher on the team

          not trying to be a dick, but the entire point of this entry was that George King was full of crap with the numbers he made up.

      • http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/baseball/mlb/news/2000/01/18/jeter_ap/index.html steve (different one)

        you guys are seriously underrating 221 innings of 105 ERA+

        that’s somewhere between a #2 and a #3 starter. it’s also the lowest ERA+ of his last 6 seasons.

        so, we have a guy who is almost always above 105 but occasionally gets up around 115-120, and for his career is 111. in other words, he’s a VERY GOOD, but maybe not great pitcher.

        there is TREMENDOUS value in a pitcher of that quality.

        and you are missing his most attractive quality: he’s available.

        i don’t know if the Yankees should sign him or not, but signing Burnett is a FAR cry from the travesty that most of the people here are making it out to be.

        • http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/CRsmithT1.jpg tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Mr. Snarky Irrelevant Non Sequitur Jones

          so, we have a guy who is almost always above 105 but occasionally gets up around 115-120, and for his career is 111. in other words, he’s a VERY GOOD, but maybe not great pitcher. there is TREMENDOUS value in a pitcher of that quality.

          There is. And, if he wasn’t 32, injury prone, and asking for a 5 year deal, I’d be all over him. Those three facts are huge detriments that undercut that value significantly.

          and you are missing his most attractive quality: he’s available.

          As are numerous other pitchers that may not have the upside of Burnett but present a far lower risk threshold. If Burnett was the only FA pitcher on the market, this would be a different discussion. If we didn’t have Wang, Joba, Hughes, IPK, Aceves, Brackman and we were unlikely to add CC and Pettitte and Mussina had already signed with other teams, this would be a different discussion. There are plenty of other “available” pitchers that don’t require a 5 year committment.

          • http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/baseball/mlb/news/2000/01/18/jeter_ap/index.html steve (different one)

            sure, but right now they are talking about a 4 year committment.

            his agent specifically said that getting that 5th year is not a dealbreaker. that he will make his decision based on a variety of factors including the team’s playoff hopes, geography, etc.

            • http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/CRsmithT1.jpg tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Mr. Snarky Irrelevant Non Sequitur Jones

              But if Lowe and Sheets will take 3 year deals, that alone is enough to make me pick them over Burnett.

              All three have upside/boom potential. All three have injury/bust potential. But, with CC-Wang-Joba, plus Hughes-IPK-Aceves-Coke-Sanchez-McAllister-Brackman-Betances-Bleich-etc. still in the system, I’m just not inclined to give a contract of any significant length to any pitcher with significant injury/bust potential. I’d rather stand pat, or better yet, spend the Burnett/Lowe/Sheets money further upgrading the offense.

              4 years of Manny > 4 years of Dunn > 3 years of Sheets > 3 years of Lowe > 4 years of Burnett

  • A.D.

    Burnett, for a non redic contract at least in the realm of logic. I’m not a Burnett fan, and if the Sox are involved that probably just means whomever does sign him, will do so for more than hoped.

  • Alan

    I get the feeling this is all a feint by Boston/Boston media to get the Yankees to cough up more money than they originally planned to in order to keep Burnett out of Boston. Boston’s got Beckett, Matsuzaka, Lester, Buchholz, Wakefield, and guys like Bowden and Masterson waiting in the wings. Epstein has no reason to make a concerted effort to throw money at a non-need position especially when he needs to start planning for post-David Ortiz.

    • blee

      exactly, I agree with you..

      There is no need to panic and overbid for Burnett.. I’d be just as happy with the risk we take on Sheets (if not happier) as with the risk on Burnett..

      Major priority number 1(a)(i) is Sabathia.. getting that ace solidifies our rotation like no other..

      I wonder if CC had any problems w/ Sheets.. lol

      • Reggie C.

        The fact shoulder soreness cost Sheets that last crucial month, it wouldnt surprise me that didn’t sit well with CC.

      • The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

        “exactly, I agree with you.. There is no need to panic and overbid for Burnett..”

        Unless it’s not a feint and perhaps there are people out there (including, perhaps, the Yankees FO) who think Burnett has sick stuff and could be a shutdown starter the next few years (since we’re talking about the future here, not the past).

        • Jake K.

          I don’t understand why we should reasonably expect Burnett to become a shutdown starter at age 32 when he hasn’t been for the past ten years. I simply don’t think we would be having this conversation if Burnett hadn’t had a couple of really good starts against the Yankees this year (who were, by the way, not a great hitting team this year).

          • The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

            “I simply don’t think we would be having this conversation if Burnett hadn’t had a couple of really good starts against the Yankees this year…”

            I’m sure I’ve been a little too strenuous in arguing for Burnett around here lately, but really in the end my point is just that there are some pretty decent reasons to be high on Burnett. At the same time, I agree there are also good reasons to not like him. I’ve been disagreeing with people whose opinions I respect and whose reasoning I do not really question. I just think Burnett is an interesting case, I think there are very good arguments to be made both for and against him.

            That being said… It’s unfair of you to assume that we wouldn’t be having this conversation if AJ hadn’t killed the Yankees this year. I can only speak for myself, but I watch a ton of baseball and think I’m relatively well versed in statistical analysis. I’m a season-ticket holder and I’m into baseball enough that my girlfriend, family and friends (even the big baseball fans) tend to think I’m a little on the crazy side. AJ Burnett happens to be an extremely talented pitcher who had a very good second half in 2008 and whose talent has always been very highly regarded by people/scouts whose opinions we all respect. Don’t assume that people who are pro-Burnett are only that way because he killed the Yankees this year. There are intelligent people out there who might disagree with you, with good reason.

            • Jake K.

              I didn’t mean to question anyone’s intelligence and don’t think I did. But I do think a lot of this is driven by our Yankee-centric world view. I understand coveting Burnett’s stuff. But I would be more inclined to think that his stuff would translate into results if he were 24, 25, 26. He’s 32 and has been doing this for ten years. Yes, he had a great second half, but I wouldn’t want to bet a 5-year contract on that being the pitcher he is going to be from 32-37.

              • The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

                Fair enough, your reasons for not liking AJ are perfectly reasonable. I just think you might want to be open to the idea that there are also reasonable ideas to want this guy on your team for the next few years and not dismiss those who want AJ by saying that they’re just blinded by what he did against the Yankees in 2008.

    • Steve

      Not true, they definitely need a pitcher. That’s like saying we don’t need Burnett because we have Hughes/IPK/Aceves. But they need more of an innings eater-4th starter type than they do a number 2 like Burnett.

      And the depth they have argues AGAINST your assertion. They can sign Burnett and they have plenty of guys who can fill in if/when he gets injured.

      • rbizzler

        I agree with you on Boston’s needs. All reports out of Beanertown is that they are in big on D-Lowe. Now suddenly they are interested in Burnett?

        Seems like they are trying to drive up the price to me.

        • http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/baseball/mlb/news/2000/01/18/jeter_ap/index.html steve (different one)

          Seems like they are trying to drive up the price to me.

          no, it seems more likely to me that Theo realizes that signing Burnett would make them the prohibitive favorites to win the division next year, and that is worth the $15M/year being tossed around.

          Lester, Beckett, Burnett, Matsuzaka, Wakefield/Buchholz.

          ouch.

  • Chip

    He’s got a career .353 OPS against in his career at Fenway. Of course that means nothing since it’s over only 23 innings.

    Wait, what was I thinking? OMG HEZ GONNA BE AN ACE IN THAT BALLPARK!!1!11!!!!

  • josh

    “I hope that plan doesn’t include watching the Red Sox get better as the Yanks come up empty and have to settle for a Derek Lowe type.”

    Arent you the same guy that said on Friday that you’d prefer lowe over burnett???

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Ben K.

      Nope. The only thing I wrote on Friday was about Nick Swisher. I’ve never endorsed or liked the idea of signing Derek Lowe.

      In fact, two times — here and here — I’ve been pretty vocal in not wanting Lowe.

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike A.

      Arent you the same guy that said on Friday that you’d prefer lowe over burnett???

      That was probably me. I stand by it.

      • Steve

        Mike, given our depth at starter (Aceves/Hughes/IPK/Giese, with more on the way) I’d rather have the high upside guy than the reliable innings eater. I’m thinking about who starts Game 2 of the playoffs as much as who takes the ball every 5th day. In that sense, I don’t care if Burnett misses 5-6 starts during the season, just show up healthy for the playoffs.

        Also, Burnett’s injury history has been mostly ticky-tack stuff that’s unrelated to his arm. He did have the TJ in 03, but most of the other trips have been minor nuisance things. I think he missed a start this year because he had root canal or something.

  • yankeefan91 (sign c.c and aj asap)

    sign cc and aj asappppppppppppppppp b4 the red sox jump on any pf themm

    • Ivan

      Yanks are gonna get CC. Well at least I hope they do.

  • Hitman

    The only way for the yankees to get better is start worrying about the yankees not some other team. As for Burnett he’s hardly some great catch. I hope the red sox do get him. Let them be the idiots this time signing an injury prone pitcher to a 4 year deal.

  • RustyJohn

    What would make my off-season would be if Boston signed Varitek to a 4 year deal, signed AJ to a 5 year deal at ridiculous cash AND also decided they needed Kenji Johjima as a back-up to Varitek and traded him straight-up in exchange for Dice-K. Then I remember that Kenny WIlliams isn’t running the Red Sox.

    Please stay away from AJ, a rotation of C.C., Wang, Joba, Lowe, and Pettite with Hughes and IPK waiting in the wings works fine by me.

    I think we went through this whole AJ thing before- he was a pitcher that had a very good year, had a history of injuries, and “upside” if we were to believe the pundits….what was his name? Carl….something, Carla…., Cal…..I can’t remember, I only saw him pitch once or twice in four years….

    • RustyJohn

      Oh, wait! Pavano was four years younger than AJ, I forgot.

      Question- would you sign a 32 year old Carl Pavano to a 4 year deal?

      • RustyJohn

        I have previously stated that Hank should go on a syphilis crazed free agent signing spree and get as many of the 1997 Marlins as possible- maybe he can get the 2004 team instead- resign Pavano, sign AJ, trade for Dontrelle Willis and Beckett…bring back Andy Fox…

    • The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

      Carl Pavano and AJ Burnett are not the same person. Enough with that argument. AJ is an injury risk, as are a lot of guys. He’s got a ton more talent than Carl Pavano, though. Nobody’s ever confused these two guys, talent-wise.

      • Ivan

        Pavano had a very good arm nevertheless. Albeit not as talented as AJ Burnett but Pavano had a good arm. Maybe it’s me being stubborn but if he was healthy, I still think he would of pitch well for the yanks.

        • The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

          I agree wholeheartedly that Pavano would have been useful if he had been healthy. I was talking about the Pavano/Burnett comparisons that seem to pop up around here though, not about Pavano’s unfortunate injuries. I’ll stand by my assertion that Pavano wasn’t deemed to have as high a ceiling as AJ Burnett, and never had (nor has) the talent that AJ has.

      • RustyJohn

        .500 pitchers that have had a couple of good years, Pavano career WHIP is 1.35, Burnett career WHIP 1.29, Pavano has thrown 200+ innings twice in his career, Burnett three times, Red Sox are going to sign Pavano- Oh no, the Yankees must sign Pavano. Red Sox are going to sign BUrnett- Oh no, the Yankees must sign Burnett.

        Yes, Burnett has better “stuff” and a higher K/9 innings- but no way is he worth the money that is being thrown around and he isn’t worth the risk when right now the rest of the rotation consists of a guy coming off of a foot injury, another guy coming off of shoulder problems who hasn’t had a full season as a starter in the bigs, and two unknowns in Hughes and Kennedy. I’d prefer to not have another season with a Rasner/Ponson tandem as 1/2 of the rotation goes down with injury in 2009.

        As some one else noted above, no way is he going to the BoSox- they have a rotation that is set.

        I’d rather have a number 4 starter like Lowe who is going to give 200+ innings of a bit higher than league average pitching than some guy who has a history of flaming out and landing on the DL.

        • RustyJohn

          That being said, I think we can agree that what Sabathia does will determine a lot of what will happen- if he signs, and if Pettite resigns, would you feel comfortable with a rotation of Sabathia, Wang, Joba, Hughes and Pettite?

          • The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

            Are you asking me, or yourself? jk

            I mean, I wouldn’t cry myself to sleep, but I’d much prefer to have another starter on the roster and have Hughes/Aceves/IPK et al be the “6th starter,” and with the Yankees’ resources there’s no reason that scenario can’t play out. Joba’s not going 200 IP in 2009, no reason to have him AND Hughes (or any other prospect/young pitcher) penciled into the rotation on opening day.

  • Ivan

    Lets hope the yanks don’t shoot themselves in the foot with the AJ Burnett situation here.

  • E-ROC

    Sheets on a three year deal, please. Though if the RedSox are serious about getting Burnett, I guess the Yanks should block that potential transaction. IDK. Thank God I’m not Cashman.

    • Steve

      Latest Sheets rumor was TWO years from the Astros. But there’s lots of indications that his elbow is worse than they reported, and it didn’t come from the Brewers, it came directly from him.

    • mustang

      “Thank God I’m not Cashman.”

      I was thinking the same thing. Shit I’m changing my mind from comment to comment.

  • Cash Money Billionare

    So here’s Cash’s plan:

    Offer a large contract to a pitcher you want, which is conceived by the public to be way over market. Red Sox get anxious with the knowledge that their the big market rival is necessarily going to improve (given the potential signing of at least one big free agent.) Talk of a Sox move on Teixeira increases. Next, leak that the plans to make another large contract to a pitcher you don’t want as much, but could still conceivably still sign. Yanks redominate spotlight. Sox become anxious to make a move. Sox offer a contract that incorporates the ‘perhaps’ offer from the yankees, increasing the odds that they overpay in dollars and years and get burnt by it in the future…

    As they say in Angels in the Outfield- Hey, it could happen.

  • BigBlueAL

    I have never understood Yankees fans complaining about giving contracts too long/expensive to players. This ISNT the NBA where a team like my beloved Knicks kill themselves for years by acquiring/giving big contracts to scrubs because there is an actual salary cap. Quite honestly who cares what kind of contracts the Yankees give players, I mean shit look at what they will be paying Arod til he is 42.

    IMHO I would rather have Burnett than Derek Lowe, even though in all honesty neither one is a great fit but thats whats available. Ill take the pitcher 4 years younger who actually has great stuff which leads to alot more K’s which is vital for this team since their defense is pretty bad. Derek Lowe in front of this team in this division I dont think will work out all that well, not horrible but probably similar to what Pettitte/Moose might give you next season. That is fine but I prefer the possibilities that Burnett might give you, money be damned. It would be nice to see the Yankees with a trio of starters (Joba, CC, Burnett) that could flat-out dominate opposing lineups at any given time.

    I understand nobody here is enamored with Burnett and rightfully so, but if the Yankees do sign CC and Burnett almost everyone around baseball will most likely declare the Yankees the team to beat again. I know their opinions dont matter much but while everyone here thinks it may be a bad idea to sign Burnett around the league it sure seems that signing him and CC would make the Yankees the favorites once again for whatever that is worth….

    • Steve

      Estimates are that the Yanks gross revenues will go from 450 mil to 750 mil in the new ballpark. Plus, revenue sharing is reduced which helps pay the added costs of the 1.3 bil ‘mortgage’ on the new place.

      So whatever they spend, its going to be pocket change to them. If they spent half their revenues (200+luxury tax) in the current place, that percentage will go to 1/3 if they keep the payroll the same. If they wanted to continue paying half their gross revenues on player’s salaries, they could have a payroll of 300 mil.

    • http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/CRsmithT1.jpg tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Mr. Snarky Irrelevant Non Sequitur Jones

      I have never understood Yankees fans complaining about giving contracts too long/expensive to players. This ISNT the NBA where a team like my beloved Knicks kill themselves for years by acquiring/giving big contracts to scrubs because there is an actual salary cap. Quite honestly who cares what kind of contracts the Yankees give players…

      It matters because, while there isn’t a salary cap, there is a roster limit. We can only have 25 players on the active roster. So, if we go all willy-nilly and sign CC, Burnett, AND Sheets, now we basically have to keep those players on the roster until their contracts are up, leaving little room for our developing young talent. And, if we’ve overpaid in both years and money, those contracts become unmovable down the road if those players decline in production and we have younger, cheaper, better alternatives we wish to promote. The only avenue we’d have left is to release the player outright, thus allowing them to continue earning salary from our organization while playing for one of our opponents. That’s bad, both from a business and a competitive standpoint. We don’t want to be subsidizing our opponents any more than we’re mandated to.

      Yes, we have a financial advantage and should use it. But no, we do need to be concerned about the individual contracts that we are agreeing to. A contract that is either too long or too expensive most certainly becomes a competitive disadvantage, because it restricts our ability to put the best possible lineup on the field.

      Even with our deep pockets.

  • Nick

    I’m not a big Burnett fan, but if the choice is between Lowe and Burnett, I gotta go with the upside. Settling for an innings eater reminds me too much of the late 80’s early 90’s pitchers that the yanks went after (Rhoden, Dotson, Hawkins, Leary, Witt,etc.) It seemed like each of those acquistions was supposed to help, because they were innings eaters, and all were pretty bad. Probably an irrational fear…

  • Mike in Fla.

    You have to sign CC. We need to give him a deadline. What if he strings us out, like he seems to be doing and then signs elsewhere once everyone else has signed? We would be sol. If I were Cash, I would say you have until Thanksgiving, then we are pulling the offer. Then we have to make the trade for Peavy and sign AJ, Sheets or Lowe. That’s my 2 cents

  • TurnTwo

    eh, if the Saux want him that bad, they can have him.

    he’s got good stuff, but i’m not keen about giving him the contract it would take to bring him to NY anyway.

  • Yank Crank 20

    I wouldn’t be devastated if the Sox overpaid for Burnett. That may very well price them out of a Tex contract and leave a bidding between us and the Angels (and Baltimore I guess).

    • mustang

      “That may very well price them out of a Tex contract and leave a bidding between us and the Angels (and Baltimore I guess).”

      Good point.

      • http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/CRsmithT1.jpg tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Mr. Snarky Irrelevant Non Sequitur Jones

        Yup. I’d be much sadder about missing out on Tex than I would about the Sox giving AJ Burnett 4 or 5 years.

  • mustang

    I’m on the fence on this one, but if I had to be pushed I think I would pick Lowe. The injury thing just hunts my thoughts especially after just getting Carl Pavano of the books.
    Burnett pitched 200 innings 3 times in his career two of those times were on a contract year that doesn’t make me jump for joy. Lowe’s age is a killer. Does anyone know what kind of contract Lowe is looking for? Years? Dollars?

    • mustang

      “Fox also reports that D-Lowe is on the Red Sox’ radar because of his “familiarity with Boston.” But our spies say Epstein isn’t interested in the $16 million a year and the long-term contract Lowe is expecting”

      If Lowe is looking for 16 million and long-term I would take a pass.

      • mustang

        Got this from the Boston Herald.

  • r.w.g.

    I think if the Yankee offense is better in 2009 than it was in 2008, giving AJ Burnett a lot of money is going to be a really bad move.

    Yeah, he was 4-0 against NYY.. but look at our offense. Damon’s power dipped, Jeter was banged up and off-track all year, Giambi can’t catch up to any of the hard throwers anymore, A-Rod gets busted inside at will by any pitcher with a pair, Cano.. well, let’s hope he gives a shit in 2009, and Posada and Matsui were hurt just about all year.

    What I’m trying to say is.. I think adding Mark Teixeira or Manny Ramirez would do more to make sure AJ Burnett doesn’t kill us than acrually signing AJ Burnett would.

  • http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/baseball/mlb/news/2000/01/18/jeter_ap/index.html steve (different one)

    serious question:

    how is AJ Burnett TODAY any bigger injury risk than Beckett was when the Sox traded for him?

    Burnett had TJS in 2003. we know this. he missed 2003 and half of 2004. then in 2006, the scar tissue from the surgery came loose and he missed some time again.

    we know about his TJS. we don’t expect him to have another TJS.

    so why is Burnett this huge injury risk going forward? i just don’t see how Burnett’s surgery 6 years ago makes him an injury risk in 2009.

    he’s a risk like all pitchers are a risk.

    put me in the YES column if Burnett can be had for 4 years.

    • mustang

      Wow. You make a good point. I think I’m going to sit this one out and watch you guys go at it.

    • Yank Crank 20

      hmmm, that’s a pretty damn good point. the only argument i can try to make is that beckett’s injury problems were with blisters and burnett’s have been structural problems, meaning a blown out elbow and TJ. speaking for investing millions of dollars into an athlete, i’d have more faith in somebody who has the occasional blister at age 26 than a pitcher who had had structural damage in the past and is injury prone at age 32.

      • http://www.riveraveblues.com Ben K.

        Beckett’s had more problems than just blisters. I don’t have time to dig up the past, but the blisters are just one of the many injuries from which Beckett has suffered over his career.

        • Yank Crank 20

          oh yeah hasn’t he had some kind of balky back problems too?

    • Count Zero

      I agree. Burnett has tons more upside than Lowe and I’m not sure the whole injury thing hasn’t been overworked.

      At five years — pass. At four years — I’ll take him over a declining Lowe easily.

    • The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

      “put me in the YES column if Burnett can be had for 4 years.”

      Agreed. Sign me up.

    • LC

      I’m not adamently opposed to getting Burnett, but I’m not sure he’s comparable to Beckett. Beckett was only 25 when the Red Sox traded for him, and most of the time that he missed was due to blisters. He did have elbow and shoulder injuries, but they don’t seem to have been recurring. It’s definitely worth it to take a risk on a 25 year old with great stuff who doesn’t have a history of serious injury. Burnett’s history includes a serious elbow injury and shoulder problems in 2007. There’s nothing to suggest that at 32 he’ll become a consistent workhorse. I’m just not comfortable with the Yankees paying him big money until he’s 36 or 37.

      • http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/baseball/mlb/news/2000/01/18/jeter_ap/index.html steve (different one)

        at the time of the trade, it was reported that Beckett’s medicals on his shoulder did not come back clean.

        every pitcher is a risk.

    • http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/CRsmithT1.jpg tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Mr. Snarky Irrelevant Non Sequitur Jones

      http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/players/news?playerId=4153

      November 13, 2008 Declared free agency
      August 12, 2007 Removed from 15-day DL
      August 11, 2007 Recalled from minors rehab
      August 06, 2007 Sent to minors for rehabilitation
      July 03, 2007 Placed on 15-day DL (Sore right shoulder)
      June 28, 2007 Removed from 15-day DL
      June 19, 2007 Placed on 15-day DL (Right shoulder pain)
      June 22, 2006 Removed from 60-day DL
      June 21, 2006 Recalled from minors rehab
      June 12, 2006 Sent to minors for rehabilitation
      May 29, 2006 Transferred to 60-day DL
      April 22, 2006 Placed on 15-day DL (Right elbow soreness)
      April 15, 2006 Removed from 15-day DL
      April 14, 2006 Recalled from minors rehab
      April 06, 2006 Sent to minors for rehabilitation
      March 27, 2006 Placed on 15-day DL (Right elbow soreness)
      December 07, 2005 Signed as free agent
      January 17, 2005 Signed with Florida Marlins
      June 03, 2004 Removed from 60-day DL
      June 02, 2004 Transferred to 60-day DL
      June 02, 2004 Recalled from minors rehab
      June 02, 2004 Transferred to 60-day DL
      June 02, 2004 Recalled from minors rehab
      May 23, 2004 Sent to minors for rehabilitation
      May 23, 2004 Sent to minors for rehabilitation
      April 03, 2004 Placed on 15-day DL (Recovery from right elbow surg)
      December 20, 2003 Signed with Florida Marlins
      February 18, 2003 Signed with Florida Marlins
      March 05, 2002 Signed with Florida Marlins
      May 01, 2001 Recalled from minors rehab
      April 24, 2001 Sent to minors for rehabilitation
      March 11, 2001 Signed with Florida Marlins
      July 20, 2000 Recalled from minors rehab
      July 04, 2000 Sent to minors for rehabilitation
      February 11, 2000 Signed with Florida Marlins
      August 28, 1999 Called up from minors
      August 17, 1999 Called up from minors
      August 17, 1999 Sent to minors

      • http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/CRsmithT1.jpg tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Mr. Snarky Irrelevant Non Sequitur Jones

        That’s Burnett’s injury history, btw (wanted to make sure I wasn’t being confusing, since we’re also discussing Beckett.)

        Since the 2003-04 TJS, he’s had an elbow injury in late ’04, had a scar tissue problem in his elbow in early ’06, had soreness in his arm in mid ’06 and missed two more months, and went in the DL twice more in 2007 with back and shoulder problems.

        10 trips to the DL in 9 years.

        • http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/CRsmithT1.jpg tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Mr. Snarky Irrelevant Non Sequitur Jones

          And remember, he’s reaching an age where pitchers tend to get more injured, not more healthy.

      • The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

        That’s very cute (and snarky), but let’s be fair and pare that down a bit:

        November 13, 2008 Declared free agency [IRRELEVANT]
        August 12, 2007 Removed from 15-day DL [DUPLICATIVE]
        August 11, 2007 Recalled from minors rehab [DUPLICATIVE]
        August 06, 2007 Sent to minors for rehabilitation [DUPLICATIVE]
        July 03, 2007 Placed on 15-day DL (Sore right shoulder)
        June 28, 2007 Removed from 15-day DL [DUPLICATIVE]
        June 19, 2007 Placed on 15-day DL (Right shoulder pain)
        June 22, 2006 Removed from 60-day DL [DUPLICATIVE]
        June 21, 2006 Recalled from minors rehab [DUPLICATIVE]
        June 12, 2006 Sent to minors for rehabilitation [DUPLICATIVE]
        May 29, 2006 Transferred to 60-day DL
        April 22, 2006 Placed on 15-day DL (Right elbow soreness)
        April 15, 2006 Removed from 15-day DL [DUPLICATIVE]
        April 14, 2006 Recalled from minors rehab [DUPLICATIVE]
        April 06, 2006 Sent to minors for rehabilitation [DUPLICATIVE]
        March 27, 2006 Placed on 15-day DL (Right elbow soreness)
        December 07, 2005 Signed as free agent [IRRELEVANT]
        January 17, 2005 Signed with Florida Marlins [IRRELEVANT]
        June 03, 2004 Removed from 60-day DL [DUPLICATIVE]
        June 02, 2004 Transferred to 60-day DL [DUPLICATIVE]
        June 02, 2004 Recalled from minors rehab [DUPLICATIVE]
        June 02, 2004 Transferred to 60-day DL
        June 02, 2004 Recalled from minors rehab [DUPLICATIVE]
        May 23, 2004 Sent to minors for rehabilitation [DUPLICATIVE]
        May 23, 2004 Sent to minors for rehabilitation [DUPLICATIVE]
        April 03, 2004 Placed on 15-day DL (Recovery from right elbow surg)
        December 20, 2003 Signed with Florida Marlins [IRRELEVANT]
        February 18, 2003 Signed with Florida Marlins [IRRELEVANT]
        March 05, 2002 Signed with Florida Marlins [IRRELEVANT]
        May 01, 2001 Recalled from minors rehab [DUPLICATIVE]
        April 24, 2001 Sent to minors for rehabilitation
        March 11, 2001 Signed with Florida Marlins [IRRELEVANT]
        July 20, 2000 Recalled from minors rehab [DUPLICATIVE]
        July 04, 2000 Sent to minors for rehabilitation
        February 11, 2000 Signed with Florida Marlins [IRRELEVANT]
        August 28, 1999 Called up from minors [IRRELEVANT]
        August 17, 1999 Called up from minors [IRRELEVANT]
        August 17, 1999 Sent to minors [IRRELEVANT]

        It’s still not pretty, but it’s a little unfair to say “he look at these 38 roster transactions involving AJ Burnett dating back to 1999” when there are really about 8 relevant line-items.

        • http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/CRsmithT1.jpg tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Mr. Snarky Irrelevant Non Sequitur Jones

          I was just cut and pasting from ESPN.com. Too lazy to edit, but thanks.

          Wasn’t trying to be intentionally misleading, I assumed that people would read and ignore what they new was not germane to the convo.

  • MS

    With the sox involved it means we’ll have to give a 5th year to sign him. I say sign Lowe instead and make a strong push for Tex. I would much rather see that 5 years $80 go towards Tex. (obviously it would cost more than $80 for Tex.)

  • mustang

    After closely analyzing many of the comments I’m going to change my mind and go with Burnett over Lowe. Mr. Cashman you are free to sign him of course if he fails I hold the right to kill you for it.
    LOL

    Damn Cashman’s job sucks!!

    • mustang

      Rosenthal says:
      “The Padres told the Yankees a Jake Peavy deal is possible even without Phil Hughes. They’ve scouted Hughes anyway, but he’s off-limits.”

      All bets are off.

      • mustang

        Wouldn’t it be sweet if the Yanks get Peavy from the Padres without trading Hughes and the Red Sox overpaid for Burnett.

        Please, Santa Claus I been good this year.

  • http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/baseball/mlb/news/2000/01/18/jeter_ap/index.html steve (different one)

    i just wonder if our expectations as Yankee fans have gotten completely out of whack. a decade of success has basically gotten us to the point where we as fans automatically pooh-pooh signing any player who isn’t a surefire superstar.

    everyone is digging up Burnett’s innings totals and numbers from 4-5 years back.

    but go back and look up how David Wells did before coming to NY.

    Wells had a 5.14 ERA the year before he came to NY. what would this blog say about that?? he pitched 120, 187, and 111 innings in 3 out of the 5 years before coming to the Yankees. in other words, he threw 200+ innings with an ERA+ above 100 1 time in 5 years before the Yankees got him, but that was considered a great signing.

    even Jimmy Key had 2 below average seasons in the 4 years before coming to NY.

    it’s really hard to get pitchers who are ALWAYS healthy and great for $15M/year in todays market.

    • The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

      I think you make a very good point, but I think you have to be careful to differentiate between what is considered a great signing in retrospect and what’s considered a great signing at the time of the signing. I don’t remember the reaction to the Wells signing when it happened in 1996, but I doubt it was hailed as some genius move at the time. It’s considered a great signing because it worked out really well (better than anyone expected), but that’s a determination that’s made after the fact.

      • http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/baseball/mlb/news/2000/01/18/jeter_ap/index.html steve (different one)

        but this is kindof my point: that we as fans collectively have NO PATIENCE anymore.

        • http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/CRsmithT1.jpg tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Mr. Snarky Irrelevant Non Sequitur Jones

          HURRY UP AND MAKE YOUR DAMN POINT ALREADY!!!!!!!

          • The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

            /golf clap

  • mustang

    Rosenthal says:
    “Scott Boras is apparently telling teams he wants “a Zito-type contract” for righty Derek Lowe. Lowe is 35, while Zito was 28. Is Boras implying that he wants $18MM a year? Obviously Lowe will not find a seven-year offer.’

    Boras really has to get off those drugs.

    • http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/CRsmithT1.jpg tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Mr. Snarky Irrelevant Non Sequitur Jones

      One of the biggest mistakes in negotiating is not initially asking for what you really want. It precludes anyone from giving it to you.

      That being said, yeah, that’s fucking insane. I think Scott Boras is a great agent who does great work for his clients, but if I’m Scott Boras, I never mention the Barry Zito contract to anyone ever again.

      You don’t hear NASA constantly bragging about how awesome the Challenger was, do you?

      • mustang

        LMAO

  • ko

    I’ll give the Sox Burnett, as much as I like him, if that takes them out of the running for Teixeira who is the guy we need the most. I’d rather resign Pettitte and try to coax Mussina out of retirement than go after Lowe. It may come down to signing Sheets just to fill out the rotation. Also I’d give up Hughes in a heartbeat in a deal for Peavey.

  • Currambayankees

    I don’t think the Yankees should sign Burnett to any ridiculous offer. Maybe offer a bit more then what the Jays offered him but for no more than 4yrs. I see him as the second coming of his close friend Pavano and would have no problem seeing him go to the Blosox and pull a Pavano on them.