A.J.’s trade value, or lack thereof



A lot has been written and said about A.J. Burnett recently and many fans are calling for him to be traded.  The obvious answer to that is that A.J. is untradeable.  For the most part that is true, but clearly if the Yankees really wanted to trade him they could, it would just cost them a ton of money.  Without getting too unrealistic and saying the Yankees should eat $40 million (of the $49.5 million remaining on his contract), what could they possibly get for him?  Let’s take a look at some possible candidates in a Burnett trade and decide if shipping him out of town would be worth it.

Derek Lowe- The Braves had interest in Burnett when he was a free agent, reportedly offering him a 5 year/$80 million contract.  When they couldn’t get him, they settled for Lowe at 4 years the $60 million.  Lowe has two years and $30 million left on his deal, so the Yankees would certainly have to eat some of the cash on Burnett’s extra year.  Would you trade Burnett and $10 million for Lowe, essentially paying $40 million for 2 years of Lowe, who hasn’t pitched in the AL East since 2004 and has a 4.37 ERA in the NL East the past two years?  Though it would be tempting to have one less year of expensive mediocrity, A.J. has had success in the AL East much more recently than Lowe and has more upside.

Barry Zito- Zito has 3 years and $64.5 million remaining on his contract (including a buyout).  I don’t think I need to go much further discussing this one do I?  Despite Zito not being a total disaster the past two years (and that’s a compliment), there’s no way he’d have success in the AL East at this point in his career.  As frustrating as A.J. can be, I cannot imagine watching Zito and his 85 MPH fastballs in the Bronx for the next 3 years.

Carlos Zambrano- A few months back I would consider this an absolute no.  Now I think the Cubs would.  Zambrano is owed just under $36 million over the next two years, so while the AAV is similar to A.J.’s, the extra year owed to Burnett is huge.  Burnett has obviously been a disaster lately while Zambrano has been on a tear.  Since being put back in the rotation in August Zambrano is 7-0 with a 1.27 ERA.  Those numbers are a bit fluky, but there’s no doubt he’s looked much better since coming back.  Zambrano of course has had several disciplinary and attitude issues with the Cubs, would they jump at the chance to get him out of their clubhouse and bring in the well-liked Burnett?  I doubt it, and again, because of the extra year, the Yankees would have to chip in some cash.  If the Cubs were interested in the swap, that could tell us a lot more about his relationship with the Cubs and maybe more behind the scenes issues we don’t know about it.  If that’s the case, would you want the Yankees to bring him in?

Other than these three there aren’t many pitchers out there that you could even consider matching up in a trade.  Dig into position players and you can find the untradeable players due to their contracts such as, Vernon Wells (4 years/$86 million), Alfonso Soriano (4 years/$72 million), Alex Rodriguez (oops).  Clearly trading A.J. would not be easy, and no matter what you get back you’re not guaranteed an upgrade.  Like it or not, A.J. is here to stay, so you might as well treat him like everyone’s crazy uncle. We have to deal with him, but he’s family, so just get ready to grind your teeth for the next three years while A.J. takes the mound.

Categories : Guest Columns
  • http://jorell-rivera.deviantart.com/ Jorell

    I don’t know, as bad as A.J. was this year,last year’s World Series win earned him some slack in my eyes. He’s going to be terrible sometimes, but the fact that he can be great at times(as evidenced by his home playoff starts in ’09) kinda makes it worth while to keep him around. The Yankees just can’t rely on him to be a No.2 behind CC.

  • Nolan

    What about a trade with the cardinals? Brett Gardner, Ivan nova and AJ + half AJs remaing salary for Colby Rasmus. The yanks would save 8 mil per year which they could use for Dharvish. Sign Lee and Pettitte and your starting 5 are CC, Lee, Pettitte, Hughes and Dharvish

    Dave Duncan can make AJ the reclamation project for 2011 and larussa replaces Rasmus with Gardner

    • http://www.twitter.com/deanezag Zack


    • Pete

      Who the hell is Dharvish? Also, and not even trying to be snarky with this, i just thought it was funny – I love how every single name is capitalized except LaRussa, which has two capital letters.

      • Total Dominication


        • Pete

          I know who Yu Darvish is, I was just being a douche about spelling it multiple times with an h. He’s Japanese. Japanese names/words are spelled in english exactly as they sound because there are no phonetic dissonances between faraway medieval villages to carry different spellings across the Sea.

    • 42yankee

      Love your trade quote with Cards, except replace Gardner and Nova with JETER(he’s done stick a fork in him and turn him over) and Joba. You have to admit Jeter has really flunked and lost the title as “””THE YANKEE SPARKPLUG””” He’s more like the Yankee Spark-Slug. Go Yanks. Jeter stopped the Yank rally yesterday, which has been his typical season. The Jeter lovers have to stop living in the past, as it’s the future that counts.

    • ken

      Wow. Guess you got this wrong. Why not give up two of your top prospects and 40 mil for Colby Rasmus. Cause they’re not INSANE. That was, by far, the worst thing I ever heard. I wouldn’t give up Gardner for Rasmus. Rasmus has a LITTLE pop. Otherwise lower average, lower OBP, less SB and not close to as good a fielder. .981 fielding % terrible. Total run value of -8. Gardner +18 in LF. What the hell were you thinking?

  • Sal

    I read this and the 1st thing that came to mind was he’s lowered his trade value big time

    “I told you the other day, this will be my last contract,” Zambrano said. “This will be my last contract. I won’t be playing anymore. I don’t want to play anymore. Life is short. Sometimes you miss things with your family, like very important people, like my daughter. Sometimes you miss things in life because of baseball that you shouldn’t miss. I want to be there any moment for my daughter and my family. Baseball takes a lot of time away from us.”

    I don’t see the Cubs in the playoffs in the next two years so his value is much lower for them and much higher for a team with a good change make the playoff. such as the yankees texas etc..

    I believe AJ will pitch lights out in short relief in the playoffs this years 6th or 7th inning.

    • http://www.twitter.com/deanezag Zack

      Not sure why that lowers his trade value? You’re not trading prospects for him in hopes he’s here for 5-6 years, it’s a salary dump.

  • smurfy

    Dave Eiland should work with AJ this winter to develop his changeup, which he used effectively last week in a game. He is vulnerable to iffiness sensitivity with just two pitches, and needs to develop a broader repertoire. Cutters, sliders, two seamers, splits, betcha he could do plenty.

    • http://www.twitter.com/deanezag Zack

      It’s not really that simply, very few guys go home in the offseason and come back with another ML-caliber pitch.

    • http://twitter.com/riddering Riddering

      I’d prefer Eiland work with Burnett to get his dominant curveball back.

    • ZZ

      He doesn’t need Eiland to help him develop a change. He already has a very good change and has had it for most of his career. It has the potential to be a plus pitch if he would actually not be so stubborn and dumb on the mound and use it.

      • Pete


        • ZZ


          Have you watched his change when he has thrown it?

          Have you followed his career and watch him say almost every spring training how he needs to use it more?

          • Pete

            No because he doesn’t have a “very good change”.

            AJ Burnett used to have an extremely live arm, and still has a fairly live arm. His arm action lends itself to exceptional lateral movement, and his height and the amount of whip he can get out of his arm can lead to devastating action on his pitches. The 3/4 angle he throws at makes his fastball jut across the plate, so when he has command of it he can backdoor it to righties, or pull it right over the inside edge of the plate to lefties.

            That angle naturally has a similar effect on the action of his changeup – when he has command of it, it’s going to move a ton, and be very effective. But when he doesn’t have command of it, it’s going to sail, it may or may not still have movement, but it’s extremely unlikely to be a major league quality pitch. But AJ almost never has command of his changeup, which is why he almost never throws it.

            He needs to work on his command of his fastball, curve, and changeup this offseason. It’s not a matter of just deciding to throw the changeup. It’s a matter of gaining consistency with it along with his other pitches. And my guess is that, after 10 years without gaining consistent command of ANY of his pitches, the changeup’s not going to be any more of a weapon for him next year than this.

            People have a tendency to see the movement of a pitch from the TV camera angle and assume it to be a good/bad pitch based on that. Not only are TV angles inherently deceptive regarding a pitch’s effectiveness, but the quality of a pitch is based on more than just its movement. Every pitcher has a different level of command for each pitch in his repertoire, and in reality those command levels should be thought of as part of the overarching quality of a pitcher’s “stuff”. Without command, a pitch is not useable at the major league level.

            • ZZ

              You have no idea what kind of command AJ has of his changeup. How can you make that kind of evaluation when he never throws the pitch?

              You can evaluate the pure quality of a pitch if you have watched him throughout his career throw the changeup and the type of movement he has on the pitch as well as the arm action he uses and a hitters ability to pick the pitch up from his hand.

              He doesn’t throw his change because he is too stubborn to throw it. Do you know how many times he has said how important of a pitch that could be for him and how he needs to work it in more? Countless.

              However, there is no way you can make the type of determination you are making based on the amount he actually throws it.

              • Pete

                I can make that evaluation BECAUSE he never throws the pitch. As you say, he has said countless times that it could be an important weapon and he needs to work on it. In other words, he knows it could be a weapon. The problem is, he hasn’t been able to command it (or, more importantly, his other pitches), and therefore hasn’t been able to incorporate it.

                What you are suggesting is that because you have seen it a few times and it had nice deception and movement, it is a good pitch, but because i haven’t seen it enough times, I can’t make any valid statements about his ability to command it consistently.

                I could just as easily turn that around – if he could command it consistently, then he would throw it more often. He knows it’s useful, and he’s a smart guy. He doesn’t constantly shake off his catchers, or whatever, so it’s not like he refuses to throw it. It’s just that any time he throws it it may or may not be a complete meatball.

                My thoughts on his ability to command it are not just based on his lack of throwing it, either. They’re also based on the fact that he has shitty command of both of his other pitches, too. If he can’t command a fastball with his two strongest and most dexterous fingers, why would he be able to command a changeup using less coordinated fingers?

                And one more thing – in regards to the whole “pure quality of a pitch” thing, command is still a part of that, even by your definition. A curveball will not break as much or as sharply if it leaves the hand at the wrong trajectory. The exact same is true for any pitch that is intended to have movement. Command is not just related to location – it has a direct impact on the “pure quality” of a pitch.

                So if AJ has shitty command of his changeup, which I think it’s pretty reasonable to assume he does, since he never throws it AND has shitty command in general, then it’s a fairly reasonable step to say that it’s not a good pitch. Remember, we’re not talking about the workings of some wild, untamed high-school arm here, we’re talking about a largely finished product. I do believe that it’s possible that if AJ’s general command returns to 2007-2010 levels, he may be able to start throwing a changeup with a touch of command, which will make it, thrown in proper infrequency, a moderately effective weapon (improving the effectiveness of his fastball and his curve in the process). But right now he has nowhere near enough command of his fastball to be expected to break out a good changeup with regularity.

            • ZZ

              You are also referring to command as some magical thing that may or may not be there on any given night. His arm action doesn’t lead to the conclusion that his command will just randomly be there.

              There are reasons why he can’t command his fastball or curveball that go beyond pure stuff. He is stubborn on the mound and lets his focus come and go leading to a poor delivery and his front shoulder flying open far too often.

              But you can continue to say it is not AJ’s fault and it is all about stuff and it is impossible to get by with what he has.

              I’ll continue to listen to AJ and Brian Cashman admit the mental part of pitching is a problem for AJ.

              • Pete

                I did not say whether or not AJ has a mental problem. I said that nobody besides AJ or people close to him could possibly know that. I also didn’t say his arm action leads to the conclusion that his command could be there or could not be there. I said his arm action leads to the movement on his pitches. If you want to think of the pure quality of a pitch as the action it gets when properly commanded, fine. But that doesn’t make the pitch any more useable if he can’t command it.

                How do you know he is stubborn on the mound? Have any of his catchers said anything about it? Does he constantly shake off catchers? No. People have a tendency to get so pissed off at players for their performance that they turn the player’s performance into a character flaw so as to more easily vilify them for it. Are you sure you’re not doing that? Because otherwise I think you should provide some sort of concrete evidence for his being “stubborn” on the mound, or for his lacking in the mental capacity to succeed.

                To me it sounds like you’re drawing connections between command and what’s going on in somebody’s head. It’s not an altogether illogical conclusion, but it’s not an accurate one. I pitched for 10 years and I can firmly attest to the fact that my mental state never had any bearing on my performance. There were days when my head was all over the place and I had great command and days when I was completely focused and couldn’t command my pitches for shit.

                Command kinda sorta IS some magical thing that may or may not be there on an any given night, at least for AJ. Some pitchers have more consistency with their command, but AJ doesn’t. Sometimes it is there, sometimes it isn’t. Although it’s not really even a “some nights it’s there some nights it isn’t” kind of thing this year, but more of a “some innings its there, some innings its not”, which is why he has been so craptastic overall, rather than solidly above average like usual. He hasn’t really had any dominant performances since April.

                • ZZ

                  AJ has admitted MANY times throughout his career his stubbornness and his lack of focus on the mound.

                  Cashman this week spoke of AJ’s inability to self correct.

                  If you want to continue to ignore that then fine. But, like I have said many times on this board the people that do are not taking the higher road or are more advanced fans.

                  They are just really poor listeners.

                  • Pete

                    Quotes please.

                    AJ has always had the brains to say whatever the media wants to hear. I don’t read shit into what he says because usually he hasn’t said shit.

                    Cashman saying AJ has trouble self-correcting doesn’t mean AJ has a mental problem. I used to pitch, and when my command was off I almost always knew exactly what I was doing wrong. That doesn’t mean I could just automatically fix it right then and there. And if AJ’s fine hand-eye coordination abandons him as often as it does, it makes perfect sense that he can’t maintain the mechanisms he needs to to regain command. Again, that’s a physical thing, not a mental one. Command in general is a physical trait. I don’t get why that’s so hard for people to understand.

                    Think of it this way: if I told you how to play Charlie Parker’s “Donna Lee” on guitar, you would know how to play it. That wouldn’t make you able to play it. (for reference: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yI-1sq5dFD4)

                    (ed. note: I don’t know whether or not you’re an experienced jazz guitar player, and if you are, then nevermind about that last bit, but you get the point.)

                    • ZZ

                      I am not pulling the quotes from Burnett. He says it all the time and now Cashman spoke of it. Not in a physical nature. A mental one. But, again if you want to continue to deny it you can. Look it up if you please or continue to post things that Burnett himself has admitted. That’s your choice.

                    • Pete

                      ZZ, please don’t turn this into “he-said-she-said”. If you can find a quote that truly proves your point and completely disproves my counterarguments, I’ll accept it. But i shouldn’t have to find your evidence for you.

                      I have made many points based both on logic and personal experience, whereas all of yours have been statements about things you couldn’t possibly know backed by quotes you refuse to provide. My not being convinced is not me being in denial, it’s just a lack of convincing argument on your part.

                      What did Cashman say, then? Did he say AJ is a nutcase or has mental problems or something? Saying he has trouble self-correcting does not necessarily mean that he has mental problems, regardless of how you interpreted it. What’s more, Cashman himself could believe that command is a mental thing, never having pitched himself. That wouldn’t make him right.

                      What did AJ say? Did he say that he has mental problems? Did he say that he can’t focus because there’s too much pressure? Did he say that he can’t concentrate because the green Martian fairy keeps muttering in his ears?

                      I do honestly believe that AJ could say “It’s just a matter of getting focused, throwing strikes” without implying any kind of mental incapacity because that’s what struggling pitchers ALWAYS say. If he says it’s mechanical or an injury, the writers will just say he’s making excuses or whatever. Again, I don’t read anything into what he says in interviews.

                      And none of this is proof that he DOESN’T have mental problems or that if he does they don’t contribute to his struggles. My point all along has been that a perfectly stable, intelligent person could have AJ’s exact same problems. You have not disproved that contention. At all. And if that possibility still exists, I think it’s silly to assume that it’s not accurate.

  • detroit_yankee

    Here’s the problem in my opinion:

    – AJ can give you 200 innings (or nearly so); this season 60% have been awful; 40% average (generalization)

    – AJ can put your team in a 5-7 run hole with one bad inning (seems to occur early in the game)

    – AJ can turn around and shut down a team for stretches of time.

    – AJ doesn’t have to have the pressure of front 3 starter next season.

    1. Why would another team take on his uncertainty? (I don’t think anyone would, whether or not the Yanks pay the balance of the contract.)

    2. AJ has a no trade clause (IIRC) – so, my question is, how do the Yanks get out from under that (and, why would AJ agree to be traded to a non-contender whereas he can stay in NY for 3 years and get to the post season).

    Together, those two, in my opinion only, make this an unlikely but not impossible scenario. The options are two few for NY, the ROI too little.

    He’s had an awful year, no question. I believe you roll the dice on 2011 and evaluate after or even at the mid point of the season. Furthermore, AJ does give the team flexibility in bringing up some of the younger AAA starters for spot starts? He doesn’t HAVE to start every 5 days.

  • http://mystiqueandaura.com Steve H

    I asked Chad Finn of the Globe in a chat yesterday if he would trade Lackey (4 years left) for Burnett (3 years left) and he said: “Wow, that’s tough. I might do it. Haven’t seen much of Burnett lately. Has his stuff regressed?”

    Obviously a Sox-Yankees trade would never happen, but I guess that could be another possibility if Lackey and his contract were on another team.

    • Chris

      Difference is Lackey is a bulldog, not a mentally fragile nut case like Burnett who can self destruct at any moment. Lackey has a much better chance of turning it around whether it be learning to pitch with lesser stuff or making some other adjustment than AJ IMO.

      • I Voted 4 Kodos

        What exactly does one have to do to earn the bulldog label? What exactly is it that makes Lackey a bulldog and AJ a fragile nutcase?

      • The Three Amigos

        I cant tell if this is a joke or not.

        • http://twitter.com/biebrichbeats ClayBuchholzLovesLaptops

          Me neither. First I was sure it is a joke, but at the end I wasn’t sure anymore.

        • Poopy Pants

          Of course you can’t.

      • Pete

        “Lackey is a bulldog, not a mentally fragile nut case like Burnett”

        I’m sorry but do you know either of these people personally? If not, I don’t think you can say anything whatsoever about either of their personalities/mental states. No starter can succeed with two pitches and no command, regardless of mental/emotional capacity

        • ZZ

          He has more than 2 pitches

          • Pete

            In reality, though, this season he has had more like 1.5 pitches. He has had mediocre – at best – command of a four-seam fastball and poor command of a two-seam fastball. He has had absolutely no command whatsoever of his curveball or his changeup, essentially rendering them non-pitches.

            I’m just sick of people blaming it on his mentality. It’s a lazy excuse that is in no way verified by evidence. The guy has throughout his career had really inconsistent command, but it has typically been of the “effectively wild” variety – he’d throw a curve in the dirt of a fastball to the backstop, and then spot two fastballs on the black and then bury a doozy of a curveball at a guys feet, getting him to swing and miss.

            This year, however, his command hasn’t been inconsistent. It has just been awful, through and through. He used to throw great strikes and horrible balls. Now he throws horrible strikes and horrible balls. His command of his fastball sucks and his command of his curveball is nonexistent. Nobody in the history of baseball could survive throwing 92-93 mph fastballs with little command and curveballs with none. It doesn’t matter how much of a “bulldog” or a “nutcase” you are, you can’t do it.

            • I Voted 4 Kodos

              This is an extremely accurate summary of AJ’s year. For whatever reason, his command abandoned him entirely in most of his starts. You can still see the movement of the fastball and, for the most part, the break on the curve, but way too many pitches found the middle of the plate.

              I agree completely, I have no idea how that correlates to being a bulldog or a nutcase.

              • DanKirby

                Probably the same way Javy losing 3-4 mph off his fastball makes him a gutless choker or whatever.

              • Pete

                yup. his curve seems to either be flat and shitty or break way too early and bounce 5 ft in front of the plate.

        • Chris

          I don’t know Andy Pettite either but no one would ever argue that he’s not a bulldog on the mound. I’ve heard more than one baseball analyst describe Lackey as a right handed Andy Pettite and Lackey has a long track record of excellence in the postseason. AJ on the other hand has been a career underachiever. Always mentioned among the pitchers with the best stuff yet always mediocre results.

          • Pete

            AJ is inaccurately mentioned among the pitchers with the best stuff, and his results have typically exceeded most definitions of “mediocre”.

            And Pettitte has always performed to his career norm levels in the Postseason. In other words, he doesn’t wilt in high-pressure situations (I’m sure some players probably do, but to be able to make it to the majors – and succeed at all once there – with such a flaw would require insane amounts of pure talent, and nobody comes to mind off the top of my head).

            AJ was dynamite last year in the postseason, too, which would invalidate your claim anyway if your premise for conclusion was at all grounded in reality.

            • Pete

              And to boot, why is AJ mentioned as somebody with some of the best stuff?

              I realize that when he came up he had an electric FB/curve combo where his fastball was upper-90s with great movement and his curve was crazy good, but he hasn’t been upper 90s for a while now, and his command has never improved.

              If you ask me, “stuff” includes command – a pitcher might have the arm action to get devastating movement on a curveball when he commands it, but if he has no command, he is rarely going to get devastating movement on it. Same goes for fastball movement and effectiveness. A little tailing action on a 93 mph fastball down the middle doesn’t register it as “electric”.

              AJ has never had a diverse repertoire, and his stuff itself has always been inconsistent because of his command. When his command is on, his stuff is on. When his command is off, it’s walks and big flies.

          • http://mystiqueandaura.com Steve H

            I don’t know Andy Pettite either but no one would ever argue that he’s not a bulldog on the mound.

            I’ll argue that Andy isn’t a bulldog on the mound. I don’t even know what that means.

            I’ve heard more than one baseball analyst describe Lackey as a right handed Andy Pettite
            Joe Morgan is a baseball analyst. That doesn’t mean he knows what he’s talking about.

            AJ on the other hand has been a career underachiever.
            Nope. He’s actually had a pretty similar career to Lackey while pitching 5 years in the AL East. 4 of those years AJ pitched well. Lackey has been in the AL East one year and didn’t pitch well.

            • I Voted 4 Kodos

              I’ll argue that Andy isn’t a bulldog on the mound. I don’t even know what that means.

              This. What the hell is it that makes someone a bulldog?

              • I Voted 4 Kodos

                And, I should add, I’ve never heard a single person describe Andy as a bulldog.

          • http://youcantpredictbaseball.wordpress.com/ bexarama

            I’ve heard more than one baseball analyst describe Lackey as a right handed Andy Pettite


  • Chris

    Great job by Cashman giving all that money to a guy who’s been wildly inconsistent his whole career. Maybe he can be sent to Scranton to keep Igawa, Cashman’s $47 million dollar AAA pitcher company.

    • http://www.twitter.com/deanezag Zack

      So you wanted them to sign Lowe that offseason?

      • mikebk

        I was hoping AJ went to Atlanta, but cant say i wanted lowe either. i wanted hughes to get another shot last season, but he got it this year

        • http://www.twitter.com/deanezag Zack

          That would mean your rotation going into last year was CC, Wang, Andy, Joba, Hughes.

          An ace, a good #2 who was coming off of a foot injury and advance stats already showed he was being less effective, a 37 year old coming off a season with his shoulder “barking” at the end of it, and 2 unproven kids.

    • Pete

      He has been wildly inconsistent, yes, but up until this year he has been above average every year in the end, and he has had the capacity to hurl gems regardless of his opponent – a valuable ability come playoff time.

    • I Voted 4 Kodos

      Without AJ, we likely don’t win the World Series last year. He’s always been inconsistent, but never like this year.

      • Pete

        He’s always been inconsistent, but never like this year.

        repeated for emphasis

  • mike

    Look, AJ is here to stay and I dont like the options being discussed above for a trade, besides Zambrano is a NL guy how could he fit in the AL East especially if he’s losing, will he blow up again???

    the next spring training (2011), we need to move AJ to either the 3rd or preferably the 4th spot in the rotation and he needs to work on his changeup more.

  • mike

    it just dawned on me, you want to fix AJ, I’ve got two words for you: Jose Molina, get it done Cashman!!!


  • Sal

    Its not AJ’s fault that teams get hot the days he’s pitching and cool off the next day! lmao

  • Reggie C.

    We’ve got to look forward to the idea that AJ will have all of winter to get back his confidence. Maybe he’s no longer a good bet to consistently hit 93-4 anymore beyond a couple innings, but now AJ will have the whole offseason to prepare to pitch with less velocity.

    The lone bright-spot to AJ’s season is the continued display of good health. He’s a workhorse; just not a very good one in 2010. He’ll notch us 190 innings next season , and i’ve got to think that AJ can improve on every single one of his game stats… with some more luck and a better knowledge of he can do.

  • TC

    I think they may need a new pitching coach, I mean I just haven’t seen any evidence that Eiland is doing a good job. Why is he never criticized in these blogs? You guys are always ragging on Girardi!

    • Pete

      A) some people here have a huge problem with Girardi, others don’t. Pretty much everyone hates the fact that he likes having good hitters bunt, but beyond that, people are very split on his managerial style.

      B) There has been more evidence that Eiland has been doing a good job than that he has been doing a bad job, no? Naturally there is no empirical evidence whatsoever in either direction, but I do think that you can give some credit to Eiland for the way guys like Hughes, Pettitte, Robertson, and Joba have pitched this year. Pettitte’s resurgent year and Hughes’s consistency have both far exceeded expectations, and Joba and Robertson have both really turned their seasons around from the beginning. That could have nothing to do with Eiland, but it’s certainly not evidence of his failure.

    • Carlosologist

      Yes, we should fire Eiland. He’s the one going out there giving up seven runs in three innings every fifth day.

    • CBean

      I don’t think it’s as easy as you make it think. With some of the others, when there are mechanical problems, Eiland has been able to work with them to fix it. There hasn’t been any indications from the coaching staff about mechanical problems with AJ and I’m pretty they’re looking so I don’t know how much you can blame Eiland for not fixing AJ when you can’t pinpoint what to fix.

  • Geoff

    Anyone else notice this problem?

    I have MLB Extra Innings on Comcast and they aren’t listing the 9:05 game in their game listings. Who is covering the game? NESN? YES? Does Fox own the time slot and chose not to show the game or allow it to be shown out of market?

    • Kit

      Just a friendly help out, but this is kinda sorta off-topic. But since I was wondering myself and just double-checked, My9 has the 9:05 pm showing.

      • Geoff

        well yeah, I would have kept it on topic if there were a topic devoted to it. I don’t see it being discussed anywhere (on any Yankee fansites) so thought I would bring it up.

        Thanks for the reply but that doesn’t help me either as I am from Virginia and we don’t or wouldn’t get MY9 games. Hence the reason why I would purchase the MLB Extra Innings package in the first place. I would imagine I am (along with many others) are being shut out of the 9pm game

        • Kit

          There’s always the off-topic thread or waiting out the 4:00 game thread since your question is related to the 9:00 game. I was just trying to help you out.

          And sorry to hear. I hope you can still catch the game.

          • Geoff

            that’s a good idea. When the game post for the first game pops up I will post it in there. Thanks!

  • ZZ

    The Yankees may not trade AJ but they will bury him in the bullpen if he continues to pitch like this next season.

    He will hurt this team more than Pavano did if he is this bad going forward and they continue to pitch him.

    They’ll turn to their internal options next season before allowing that to happen.

    • Pete

      My guess is he’s in the rotation through May next year no matter what, and if he is still this shitty then, they’ll do something with him.

  • Chris

    No doubt the Yankees are stuck with AJ. Cashman would rather have that $50 million rot at the end of the bench for the next 3 years then eat 90% of his contract and have him become great for another team.

    They need to sign Cliff Lee and pray he holds up for 5 years with Pettite likely retiring and hope that at least half of the Killer B’s, Phelps, Warren and Nova develop into quality major leaguers and the rotation should be fine.

    I would have liked for them to sign Aroldis Chapman though. A lot of GMs are gonna look bad for cheaping out $30 million for that arm.

    • http://twitter.com/biebrichbeats ClayBuchholzLovesLaptops

      $30M for reliever? If he can be a starter, sure, but not if he stays in the bullpen.

      • Chris

        $30 million for a future closer is a lot? That’s $30 million over 5 years. Damaso Marte is making $4 million and Kerry Wood $11 million this year. Besides, the Reds have every intention of making him a starter.

  • ZZ

    Cashman said this week that AJ is not able to self correct and that is what causes a lot of his problems.

    So people can continue to pretend to take the high road and say its all about his stuff but they are wrong. AJ has admitted it several times and not Cashman is.

    AJs mental capacity as a pitcher or rather lack thereof plays a major role in his struggles.

    • LarryM.,Fl.

      ZZ, I have not heard that about AJ unable to self correct. It may indicate why he is a .500 pitcher for a WS champion and playoff bound team the last 2 years. But where I have hope for AJ is not having high expectations on wins and losses. He’s loaded with fading talent if you call 93-96 mph fastball fading.

      My hope is if its not the demons of baseball and the even crueler demon of family issues it canbe corrected. Given him the opportunity to sit in the 4 or 5 slot and pitch with ease of mind. Thus keep us in games and maybe secure wins with the bullpen help. He would be a fabulous 4 or 5.

  • http://twitter.com/j_yankees j_Yankees

    I don’t want the Yankees to trade AJ Burnett. I want the Yankees to fix AJ Burnett.

  • http://twitter.com/Mattpat11 Matt DiBari

    Something about this quote from LoHud

    “I’m inconsistent,” Burnett said. “But not this inconsistent.”

    has caused be to totally give up on Burnett. Openly admitting and seeming to not care that even on a good day he has no idea what’s going to happen drives me up a wall.

    • Pete

      Where the fuck does he say he doesn’t care?

      • http://twitter.com/j_yankees j_Yankees


      • http://mystiqueandaura.com Steve H

        Good question. I don’t see it either.

      • CBean

        I guess because admitting he’s inconsistent = being okay with it? That’s the only read I can get on it.

        • ecks

          Thought of this as well. Seems to be the only possible way you can read this as him not giving a shit.

        • http://twitter.com/Mattpat11 Matt DiBari

          I just don’t like a major league player who has come to terms with “being inconsistent” as if that’s *okay.*

          Its one thing for Michael Kay or Joe Girardi or Kim Jones to call AJ Burnett inconsistent. Its another entirely AJ Burnett to take that assessment of himself and just accept it. As long as he’s not “too” inconsistent, of course.

          Could you imagine CC Sabathia or Andy Pettitte calling themselves “inconsistent” and not immediately following up with how being inconsistent is completely unacceptable?

          • http://mystiqueandaura.com Steve H

            If CC Sabathia and Andy Pettitte were inconsistent than they would say it. What should he say, I’m extremely consistent when the evidence doesn’t back that up?

            I don’t think AJ consider’s it ok. I’m sure he works on his pitching all the time. It’s not like he’s magically going to turn himself in Pedro circa 2000 though, he is what he is. That’s an above average major league starter, who likey many starters is inconsisent. Inconsistent is better than just flat out sucking, but even the guys who suck still work on trying to get better.

            • http://twitter.com/Mattpat11 Matt DiBari

              I don’t think he should bring up consistency at all. I’m not sure what saying “Well, we usually never know what the hell I’m gonna do, but this year…HOOO BOY!” is supposed to accomplish.

              You talk about how hard this year has been, but you’re going to work hard we’ll see what you’re capable of and so on and so forth. Like he did last year after that game in Fenway. You don’t set the bar for yourself at “mediocre” right out of the gate, because if that’s all you see yourself as, why should anyone else feel any better?

              • Pete

                that’s not what he said, though. Here’s how I read it:

                “I know that I’m not some ace HOF pitcher or anything, but I’m better than this”

          • http://twitter.com/j_yankees j_Yankees


            What you think if he doesn’t say he’s inconsistent he’ll be able to throw his curveball for strikes every game? It doesn’t work that way.

          • Pete

            I see what you’re saying, but I think you’re reading too much of your own perceptions into it. AJ has discussed his disgust with his performance several times this year. He has probably “come to terms” with being inconsistent because he simply is inconsistent – he has never acquired consistency over the course of his 10+ years in the bigs. This doesn’t mean he has stopped trying to get better, it just means he isn’t going to beat himself up for it because there would be nothing to gain from that. He is who he is, and he has to live with that just as we have to. He still tries to be the best he can be, but he’s aware that there are limitations to his abilities, even if people who remember 98+mph radar readings and a sharp curveball aren’t.

            Command improves with some pitchers, but it is always going to be a limiting factor for pitchers and their ceilings. Just as some guys can add velocity as they fill out, others can (pretty much every pitcher who makes it to the majors does and/or has, including AJ) add command as they throw more. But pitchers still have ceilings with their command. AJ’s is just very low. For a long time he had good enough velocity and sharp enough break to be a pretty good pitcher in spite of that limited upside, but that ceiling has always been there, and now that his stuff is declining, his ceiling is declining.

            But I’ve digressed. The point is, AJ is aware of the fact that he does not have the raw ability to be a CC Sabathia, and he has accepted this. I have no problem with that. From that snippet it sounds like AJ has come to terms not with the shitshow that has been his 2010, but with the 190 IP/<4.30 ERA pitcher he had been up to this year. And I have no problem with him accepting himself as that pitcher. There has never been any evidence of him "letting up" and not trying to improve through workouts or whatever, but that doesn't mean he has to hate himself for not being better.

          • Poopy Pants

            Really, he hasn’t been ‘too inconsistent’. He’s been mostly bad, which is less inconsistent.

      • ecks

        Indeed. I think you can even say that the fact that he is able to assess himself accurately is proof that he actually cares about turning it around, because of course, identifying the problem is the first step in that direction.

    • http://twitter.com/#!/riddering Riddering

      Was that a quote from this season? It seems silly to give up on a pitcher due to an honest, self-assessing quote during a bad year rather than a 1.517 WHIP and career high in HBPs.

    • CBean

      But he’s right. This doesn’t sound like him not caring, it sounds like him being honest. He’s always had some blowups; the Yankees knew they were getting an inconsistent pitcher but one who had enough good stuff to be worth it. AJ for all his faults, has never had a year like this.

    • http://twitter.com/j_yankees j_Yankees

      “I’m inconsistent,” Burnett said. “But not this inconsistent.”

      This is called honesty. And i have absolutely no problem with this quote.

      • Chris

        I think AJ does care, but I think he’s obviously frustrated because he has absolutely no idea how to correct himself.

        • http://twitter.com/j_yankees j_Yankees

          Would you not be frustrated? Dude’s having the worst year of his career. Possibly the worst year of any Yankee pitcher that has made as many starts as he has.

          I’m not sure what people want AJ to say. If he says he sucks, people say he doesn’t care. If he says he wants to keep pitching and trying to fix himself, people say he doesn’t get it.

          • Kit

            Or that he continuously feeds the media the same lines because apparently, nothing you can ever say will be right.

    • ZZ

      I wouldn’t read into anything AJ says. He has fed the same lines to the media througout his career

      • http://www.twitter.com/deanezag Zack


        Jeter uses the same cliche whether he goes 4-4 or if he’s going 3-50. Postgame comment means nothing. Girardi says “Yeah Jete is not 100%, he’s battling”, then they cut to Jeter and he says “No I’m good”

  • Chris

    I’m surprised that AJ wasn’t sent down to Tampa to work with Billy Connor like they used to do when high price pitcher sucked like Irabu or Contreras, though it never worked anyway.

  • Chris

    The Yankees are fortunate that their minors are stocked full of quality arms because signing free agent starters is a crap shoot, no matter how good the pedigree. Even Theo Epstein is looking bad for Matsuzake, Lackey and for giving Beckett that huge extension. That being said, Cashman’s track record of bring in pitching is worse than most.

    • http://www.twitter.com/deanezag Zack

      “worse than most”

      Probably not, it’s just more publicized than most because he has a greater sample size.

  • Andrew

    even in mlb 10 the show where you can trade javier vazquez for josh johnson and sergio mitre for ryan madson, aj burnett is untradeable.

    • http://mystiqueandaura.com Steve H


  • bonestock94

    I’d rather have Burnett over any of those pitchers. Keep him, his contract isn’t an issue for the Yankees. His inconsistency will be much less glaring when he’s a #4 or #5.

  • gargoyle

    The only thing to do is hope he gets better.

  • Nick

    The thing about AJ is with a guy with his talent there is always going to be some pitching coach that thinks he can figure AJ out and make him consistent. Where is Brad Arnsburg? He was the pitching coach in Toronto who I believe is with the Astros now. I think if we can pay half his salary he would be worth getting rid of. With Brackman, Betances, Banuelos, Nova and Phelps those guys can throw innings and no one can be worse than AJ this year. They would be cost effective and if they have bad games we can say they were learning. In terms of getting something back I think you just have to cut your losses and find someone you can sell on AJ’s upside. We have the power arms in the minors who can’t be any worse than AJ.

  • BigBBFan

    AJ sure is expensive for a batting practice pitcher.