Burnett headed to Pirates in salary dump trade

The RAB Radio Show: February 17th, 2012
Okajima fails physical, will not be in camp with Yankees
So long, A.J. (Nick Laham/Getty Images)

After three years, A.J. Burnett‘s time in pinstripes is coming to an end. The Yankees have agreed to trade the right-hander to the Pirates for prospects Exicardo Cayones and Diego Moreno. Pittsburgh will pay $13M of the $31.9M left on his contract, broken down into $5M in 2012 and $8M in 2013. The deal is pending physicals and MLB’s approval because of the amount of money changing hands. Ken Rosenthal, Joel Sherman, Dejan Kovacevic, Buster Olney, and Jonathan Mayo all had a hand in breaking the news.

Burnett made 98 starts in three years for the Yankees, pitching to a 4.79 ERA and a 4.63 FIP. Kinda hard to believe that his greatest attribute was his durability when that was the biggest question at the time of his signing. Burnett helped the club to the 2009 World Championship but was a total dud in the two following years. At age 35, he is unlikely to improve in a meaningful way going forward. Moving out of Yankee Stadium and the AL East and into pitcher friendly PNC Park and the NL Central should certainly help his performance.

Moreno, 25, is a hard-throwing right-handed reliever. Pirates Prospects says he routinely runs his fastball up to 97 with a mid-80s slider. He struck out 45 (9.1 K/9 and 23.4 K%) and walked 18 (3.6 BB/9 and 9.4 BB%) in 44.2 relief innings split between High-A and Double-A last season. No team took a shot on him in December’s Rule 5 Draft. The Pirates suspended Moreno in 2010 after he got caught kissing a fan in the bullpen, believe it or not.

Cayones, 20, hit .228/.333/.325 in 135 plate appearances split between the Rookie Level Gulf Coast League and Short Season NY-Penn League last season. Pirates Prospects says he has an advanced approach to hitting (career 9.5 BB%) but apparently not much power (.108 ISO), which is a problem because he’s a left fielder. His best tool is his name, which is a straight 80 on the 20-80 scouting scale. Neither Cayones or Moreno were among Pittsburgh’s top 30 prospects in Baseball America’s Prospect Handbook, and neither would have cracked my Top 30 Prospects List.

The Michael Pineda and Hiroki Kuroda acquisitions crowded the pitching staff, leaving Burnett to fight for the fifth starter’s spot with Freddy Garcia and Phil Hughes. The Yankees obviously decided that getting some salary relief was the best way to go. Rumor has it they’ll soon sign Eric Chavez and Raul Ibanez to fill out their bench and DH spots, respectively. Burnett was incredibly frustrating to watch, especially the last two years, but he came across as a stand-up guys in interviews and was generally regarded as a positive force in the clubhouse. I’ll miss A.J. the person, but not the pitcher.

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The RAB Radio Show: February 17th, 2012
Okajima fails physical, will not be in camp with Yankees
  • Craig

    Chavez and Raul done by days end?

    • Dan

      I really don’t like the Ibanez idea. The guy can’t really hit righties terribly well anymore and he is not playable in the OF. Try and sign Damon on a cheap deal, let him hit 7-8-9 and have Branyan in reserve if Damon falls apart.
      Really, my thought process is ANYONE but Ibanez

      • Steve (different one)

        From all the reports, it might be Damon who is resisting the Yankees. It’s not necessarily that they prefer Ibanez. Apparently he is obsessed with 3000 hits. Take that with a grain of salt

        • G

          Damon said he believes the Yankees are a perfect fit. Doesn’t sound like resistance to me.

      • Ken

        I agree. Say No to Ibanez. Bring in Damon or Matsui. The 2 guys that pretty much won the 2009 World Series for the Yanks.

        • OMG! Bagels!

          AJ helped us win the 2009 series. You can’t sign (or keep) people based on what they did 3 years ago.

          • MannyGeee

            which is what the Yankees are kinda doing with Ibanez, no?

        • http://aol Matt

          Yankees failed a trade with burnett and abreu, another fit.

      • http://yahoo.com m valentine

        ME TO.

    • Plank

      I really hope not.

    • jsbrendog

      eric chavez sucks at baseball

      • Jake

        Yeah, I don’t get why people are clamoring for Chavez either. He hasn’t been a league average hitter since 2007 and he can’t stay healthy.

        • Slu

          Yup. The Chavez stuff is out of control.

          If they traded AJ to sign Chavez and Ibanez, I would have preferred they just kept AJ as insurance and kept him in the bullpen until he was needed in the rotation.

          • Genghis

            In this hypothetical situation, it would be Chavez and Ibanez in 2012, something else in 2013.

        • Harrill Lovelace

          Chavez is more valuable than anyone the Yankees are looking at right now. He can play 1st, 3rd, hit as a DH, a PH, and will make about 1.5 million. The corner infielders can get a half a day off to keep them fresh throughout the 162 game schedule. I’d like to see Vasquez get a try seeing as he hit 39 HRs last season in the minors, or get a LH pull hitter for that rightfield wall. Ibanez, Matsui, and Damon cannot play defense, and therefore cannot rest Teixeira and ARod, because they don’t play the positions, nor can they give rest to Granderson, Swisher, or Gardner. Why even consider those guys? Chavez is logical, and if his shoulders hold up he could have some extra base hits to boot.

          • jsbrendog

            except he can only play in 52 games. and have an atrocious wrc+ and ops+. and only hit 2 hr.

            eric chavez is no longer good at baseball.

            • Ted Nelson

              Repeating it over and over doesn’t make it true. He was pretty clearly better before he got hurt last year. He was solid defensively. He can’t stay healthy, but he can still play baseball when he is.

              I they do bring him in it’s to compete with Hall, Laird, and Chato… None of those guys are good either.

    • CJ

      Makes you think multiple deals could pop a la Pineda Kuroda. I really hope there’s something more interesting like a trade for Billy Butler or even Seth Smith. AJ out and signing Raul Ibanez, mike Gonzalez and Eric Chavez will be a big let down.

  • Plank

    So… AJ Burnett traded and top 30 prospect list comes out on the same day. I hope you have 6 hours set aside for the chat today.

  • pacman

    YES!!!!!!!!!!! chavez, gonzalez maybe and Ibanez-reading they like his defense more than Damon…I like Damon better…but Ibanez works too I guess…But thankful AJ is gone…Loved the pies in the face, and he had some good stuff to work with–but mentally shot…so woooo hoooo on him gone…

  • Jesse

    Hallelujah! Now he’ll be Pittsburgh’s headache, and not ours anymore, which is nice since I won’t have to take an Advil every fifth game during the baseball season.

    • RLRUSKIN

      Jesse..i could NOT av put that ANY better myself. A.J.Bernett SUCKS!!

    • RLRUSKIN

      Jesse..i could NOT av put that ANY better myself.

    • http://bleacherreport RLRUSKIN

      AJesse..i could NOT av put that ANY better myself. Aj bernett SUCKS!!

      • LI Kevin

        3rd time wasn’t a charm.

        • FachoinaNYY

          I laughed

    • http://Bleacherreport Dubcee

      Glad we got rid of that clown and a rod! We should of did the deal earlier and got david ortiz!

      • Steve (different one)

        Not sure if serious.

        • OMG! Bagels!

          Not sure if English.

    • Plank

      Wow, that guy really liked your comment.

      • I am not the droids you’re looking for…

        I laughed.

  • Max

    Farewell “Electric Stuff,” it was…well, interesting.

    Do not understand for the life of me why they’d use any of that money to sign Ibanez to an ML deal, but what do I know.

    • Max

      *a ML deal

    • Rainbow Connection

      Jeter is the worst GM ever. Only CC could possibly be worse.

  • shaun

    And Okajima failed his physical…..

    • MannyGeee

      uh oh. Mike Gonzalez’s agent just peed a little bit with this news right here

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

    HOORAY!

  • ABS

    What in the WORLD is up with the Ibanez obsession??? Damon is WAY, WAY better, and really wants to come back. Look at the numbers last year, they are FAR superior, and he’s a year younger! Further, as far as this defense thing is concerned, it is ABSURD! He’s going to be the DH! And Ibanez SUCKED in the outfield BEFORE he got old, there is no way he is discernibly better in the OF than the younger, faster Damon! Plus, he has got to be at least as good a clubhouse guy, he was loved by his teammates when he left, and a bunch are still here. It just makes no sense whatsoever to be hot on Ibanez. If they sign him, my prediction is he doesn’t last any longer than the similarly stupid Randy Winn signing.

    • Jahmal

      First of Damon hasn’t played in the OF regularly for almost 2 years so he isn’t a viable outfield option. At the the plate look at the numbers he and ibanez are a wash. If god forbid Gardner went down he could play LF something Damon of matsui surely couldn’t. He just adds more flexibility to the Yankee bench cause as we know it’s a long season. That being said who doesn’t like Johnny Damon, but it’s not a who more likeable contest.

      • CJ

        I would bet Vlad and Damon have $2 million deals on the table but neither is interesting enough to negotiate beyond that. Same for mike Gonzalez, 1/1.5 sure but no negotiating.

      • Harold Hashinsky

        Hi: Damon is the best choice amoung current eligible D.H.’s- for sure. He can hit (and also hit lefties), run, and the rightfield porch in Yankee Stadium is still in his every at bat reach. Open your eyes, Yankees!! Check out his credentials!!
        Harold Hashinsky

    • CMP

      The difference between Damon and Ibanez is probably negligible.
      Neither one should be allowed near the outfield and both would probably be no better than league average at this point in their careers.

      • http://riveraveblues.com Rich

        At least Damon still has good speed on the bases which should tilt the scales in his favor.

    • Broll The American

      You’re skipping the obvious fact that Damon probably doesn’t want to come here. He wants 3000 hits, which means he wants to play everyday near the top of the order. That won’t happen here.

      • RetroRob

        Ummm, who is going to give him the playing time? The Yankees can offer him 400 PAs. Looking at the other options, I don’t see any other team that can guarantee him more.

  • MattNC

    Hopefully this deal will happen, freeing up some cash for Damon.

    WAR last 3 seasons:

    (Baseball Reference, then Fangraphs):
    Damon 9.3, 7.4
    Ibanez 2.6, 4.3

    WAR Last year (Baseball Reference, Fangraphs):

    Damon: 2.8, 1.5
    Ibanez: -0.4, -1.3

    Fielding, last 3 seasons (Baseball Reference, Fangraphs):
    Damon +8, -4 (Games in OF last 3 years: 133, 36, 16)
    Ibanez -18, -28 (Games in OF last 3 years: 129, 145, 134)

    Damon is more likely to put the ball in play (addressing a chief Yankee failure in recent postseasons). He also runs the bases better than Ibanez (despite a fall-off in base running by Damon last season). Ibanez has played a lot more OF in recent years, but he is still a poor fielder. Pay a little more for Damon.

  • Erica

    YAY!!!!!!! I will miss those pies to the face… and that’s about it.

    Do not want Ibanez; would rather have Damon.

  • MelHallsBattingGlove

    i would prefer neither damon or ibanez…keep that 6 million in their back pocket and use it at the trade deadline when you can get half a year out of a 12 million dollar player. the offense is still pretty damn good with no DH

    • CJ

      No Damon, no Ibanez, no back pocket. Get a bat now. Yankees have deep pockets. Plus hopefully they will be in a position to dump Freddy garcia and his $4m if they need back pocket money.

      • Havok9120

        That 4 mil is a guarenteed contract, I believe. So no “dumping,” especially now that AJ is gone.

        And we understand that you are convinced the Yankees have absolutely no budget, but most of us are working with off the assumption that Hal really has cracked down and said “no more this season.” And really, who’s out there that you would break the bank for? Bonds? Or are you talking about a trade?

        • CJ

          I want a trade ranging from Seth Smith on low end to Billy Butler on the high. No breaking the bank but trading necessary prospects. Garcia is sixth starter for 4 mil, so if hes pitching either Hughes stinks or there is an injury I dont want to think about. If you believe in a budget, they will tell you any savings goes for signing of Kuroda which is unacceptable.

          • Havok9120

            Why? I mean, they’d actually say the savings went toward whomever they sign to fill the last 25-man roster spots, not Kuroda, but why would that be unacceptable?

            And who do you see as “necessary prospects?” I’m not being nasty here, I’m just curious who you’d be willing to part with for those guys.

  • Mike

    Ibanez sucks !

    Aj…. like the great Hawk Harelson said ….. .HE GONE

    • Dale Mohorcic

      I think you meant grating

  • kevin w.

    Merry Christmas guys

  • Rob

    Im just happy that the buccos finally try to make moves!

  • OldYanksFan

    The Ibanez talk is just a smokescreen to get JD to come down on price.

    • RkyMtnYank

      That’s what I’m hoping for too. Even paying a little more for Damon is well worth it over Ibanez.

  • Thomas

    Vlad Guerrero. WIN

    • FIPster Doofus

      LOSS.

    • MannyGeee

      Vlad Guerrero (in 2007) – WIN
      the saying “WIN” (in 2007) – EPIC WIN

  • Foghorn Leghorn

    At the beginning of this off season if you told me that the yanks would land Pineda and Kuroda and rid themselves of Burnett in a matter of weeks…well, I wouldn’t have been more surprised if I woke up tomorrow morning with my head sewn to the carpet.

    • I am not the droids you’re looking for…

      Cool. What part of your head?

  • Peter North

    The only good thing about signing Ibanez would be shouting, “RAAAAAAUUUUUULLL!!!!!” when he comes up to bat. Otherwise prefer Damon.

  • Andrew J.

    Well, u better get those stitches out of your head, along with the carpet burns!
    AJ

  • Ben

    I don’t care if any underlying peripheral statistics hinted at AJ not being bad. I don’t care if he goes on to enjoy relative success with the rest of his career (In fact, I wish him the best and hope he does). I’m just overjoyed that I don’t need to sit through another AJ start. Holy stress.

  • BK2ATL

    Brian Cashman had the best offseason of any GM. He should be exalted from the high heavens forever for what he just pulled off.

    Standing ovation for 5 minutes needed.

    • Foghorn Leghorn

      I beg your pardon!!!

      Signed,
      Ben Cherington

    • OMG! Bagels!

      Other than the affinity for crazy blonde ladies.

      • Bubba

        You say that like it’s a bad thing

  • http://www.twitter.com/JoeRo23 The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

    I was one of those who was behind the AJ signing because I thought he’d be reasonably healthy (not to mention the gigantic hole at the front of the Yanks’ rotation at that point, etc.) but didn’t see his numbers falling off a cliff like they did, so maybe I’m a little more of a fan of his than most to start with, but I’ll never get the disdain many fans have for players like AJ. The guy came here and by all accounts worked hard and did what he could, the results just didn’t work out for him. It’s not like he didn’t go out there every fifth day and try.

    So anyway… Wish him all the best in Pittsburgh, hopefully the change of leagues and scenery will do him well.

    • Slugger27

      the disdain is because he sucks. i dont care too much if hes a nice guy or what hes like off the field. he seems to be well liked by his teammates, so im sure hes a good dude, but i personally dont hang out with him. i have no ill wishes toward him in pittsburgh, though. i think the majority of the commenters just wanted him off the team, yet have no ill wishes for him in pittsburgh.

      • http://www.twitter.com/JoeRo23 The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

        “the disdain is because he sucks.”

        Without venturing too far into snark – Yes, obviously, I get this. I didn’t think people were happy to see him traded because he killed their pets or anything.

        Just explaining my somewhat different reaction.

        • Slugger27

          you asked an obvious question, so i gave you an obvious answer.

          read through the comments here. other than jesse, nobody seems to be saying anything overly negative or hateful toward him. in fact i think your reaction (wishing him well) is the consensus, and a viewpoint i agree with.

          maybe you meant to say “i’ll never get the disdain many fans have for people like aj”… but again, the vibe i get from this thread and others is that people actually DO generally like the guy, theyre just sick of seeing a shitty pitcher. kinda similar to the whole jeter/leadoff spot thing

          • http://www.twitter.com/JoeRo23 The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

            I didn’t ask any questions, you just took it upon yourself to point out the obvious.

            Fuck it, this is why I never comment anymore. Just not for me.

            • Slugger27

              its ok, i dont think anybody loses sleep over you not commenting. i know i dont.

              “i dont get why theres disdain for aj…” to me is the same as “why is there disdain for aj?” … sorry to accuse you of asking a question, but its semantics

              if youre asking why people have disdain for aj the person, im saying i dont think they do. i see lots of people saying they like him. if youre asking why people have disdain for aj the player, then… im not sure what to say to that. its obvious. thats all i was saying.

            • jsbrendog

              exactly. i just lurk too. seriously, if one more person acts like they know he has mental problems or something else subjectively random im going to scream.

              • TomG

                Too bad man, I enjoyed reading comments from the both of you years back. Can’t say I blame you though.

                • http://www.twitter.com/JoeRo23 The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

                  Thanks man, that’s nice of you.

                  And suck it, Slugger27. Someone out there cares.

                  (A solitary tear drips down my cheek.)

          • Havok9120

            He was just stating his opinion. He didn’t ask a question or solicit a response. He was just venting. You’re the one who started picking his statement apart to start arguing over semantics.

            And while most people are no longer actively badmouthing him now that he’s no longer our problem, they’re being much more lenient then they were a week or two ago. Heck, go read the comments thread in the article making a case for AJ getting the 5th spot in the rotation, or the one that made a case for a possible rebound. Nearly everyone is being classy and reasonable as he leaves, but they weren’t last month.

            • http://www.twitter.com/JoeRo23 The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

              Havok9120, you see right through me.

              • Plank

                How could you say that? Are you invisible or something?

                • jsbrendog

                  not at his weight (couldnt resist, i miss the good ol days)

                  • http://www.twitter.com/JoeRo23 The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

                    (burps in agreement)

              • Havok9120

                A positive comment from one of the Old Hands always makes me happy.

            • Slugger27

              by posting his opinion hes soliciting a response. if you dont want people to comment on your post, dont post. also, if he was referring to comments made in a post a month prior to this one, he shouldve stated that, it would have made his point more clear.

              “picking his statement apart”??? are you kidding?

              • Havok9120

                No, I’m not. Guy, you were telling him which words he should have inserted into his sentence in order to make you happy. That’s almost the definition of picking a statement apart. What’s more, he also didn’t say he was responding purely to this thread, should he have? In fact, his comment READS as one directed at feelings toward AJ in general, not in this thread in particular.

                I have no quarrel with you, and you’ve all-but-admitted that you misread the intent of his post, so can we please drop it?

          • Jesse

            Just because you took my comment as “hate” doesn’t mean I don’t wish him well in Pittsburgh.

    • UncleArgyle

      In full agreement with you. I was in favor of the AJ signing and he was an asset on a Championship Team. He could have easily faked an injury and avoided pitching when things went south, but he still took the ball every 5 days. That means something. It was time for him to go, but I wish him luck in Pittsburgh.

      • Foghorn Leghorn

        In other words, he could’ve “Lackey’d”

        i’m still skeptical of that situation. I personally want to see the surgical scars on Lackey’s arm for proof. I think they pulled him off the field b/c he sucks.

    • Yazman

      Well said.

      My parents took my son to a game in Baltimore, and parked in the handicapped lot. Turns out the players’ lot was adjacent, and up pulled AJ, who was starting that night.

      He signed an autograph for my son, even lending him a pen. AJ thanked him for being a fan.

      Glad Phil Hughes will get a better shot. But I’ll also miss AJ the man.

      • Kevin Winters

        Glad Phil Hughes will get a better shot
        ——————

        Well he needs all the help he can get

  • flamingo

    I… don’t believe this is real.

    It will be a wonderful weekend.

  • Mike

    I think Jorge Soler is what happens next that Cuban kid can play idk if he plays at 19 years old but he’s compared to mike Stanton who’s capable of 40-50 hrs a season

    • Billion$Bullpen

      Thats a lot of ifs and buts. Compared to somebody who is capable of = nothing close to a sure thing. I have not personally scouted Jorge Soler but his name is pretty cool and if we sign him I hope he is better than Babe Ruth, and if he signs elsewhere I hope he is worse than Drew Henson.

  • Foghorn Leghorn

    Best of luck to AJ…i hope he succeeds in Pittsburgh. He seems like a decent guy and teammate, took the ball every turn and took his lumps like a man.

  • JobaWockeeZ

    Thank Tebow.

    • Cris Pengiucci

      Thank Lyn. (I live in CO and hear more than I care to about Tebow.)

      • Lazerri Scooter

        it’s Lin.

  • steven f

    Good luck A.J.

    We will remember the World Series you helped win, and try to forget the rest.

    Would you rather be a losing pitcher on a winning team or a winning pitcher on a losing team?

    You’ll do better for Pittsburgh.

  • BigPaulie

    I agree with Foghorn. He took the ball, faced the cameras after every disaster, and did it like a man.

    How are we gonna pick on now???

    • JobaWockeeZ

      The next player who makes 15+ million and can’t get past replacement level territory.

    • Steve (different one)

      There is always ARod. He hasn’t won us a title in like 2 years now

    • Slugger27

      i appreciate the fact that he took it like a man, but i still want a winning team. hell, ill take $16.5M a year to go out and suck and i promise every single time ill face the cameras and own up to it

      • BigDavey88

        Yeah, but you wouldn’t be nearly as good as AJ.

  • JohnC

    Best of luck AJ. You’ll always have game 2 of 09 WS, and game 4 of last year’s ALDS.

    • Avi

      he pitched a great game against the angels in the ALCS too. Championships never die.

      • Jesse

        And against the Twins in the ’09 ALDS as well.

      • Ted Nelson

        And got totally rocked two starts that post-season, but let’s forget those because te team won

  • Wil Nieves Number 1 Fan

    Great news. Diego Moreno is my favorite baseball player of all time. Buying his jersey now.

  • Wolfie

    With all apologies to the great Carol Burnett.

    Dear A.J.
    I’m so glad we won’t have more time together,
    Just to lose a lead or make us cry,
    Seems we just get in front and then you always blew it,
    So it feels so good to say GOODBYE!

    Tugging on my ear as I wave Bye, Bye

    • OMG! Bagels!

      Oldie but goodie.

  • OMG! Bagels!

    WHAT HAPPENS TO THE PIE????

    • Havok9120

      No doubt Swisher has inherited the Pie Dispensary Facility.

  • Now Batting

    Judging by the scouting report, Diego Moreno has some talent the Pirates couldn’t capitalize on.

    • mustang

      “Pirates suspended him for undisclosed inappropriate conduct.”

      Seems to me like he has some other issues that might be influencing his performance until we know what those are its seems incorrect to say that Pirates couldn’t capitalize on his talent but maybe a change of scenery will help.
      Regardless who cares this is the type of player that they were going to get back in a deal like this.

      • mustang

        Havok9120 and Greg below make great points the best part is AJ gone and some of his $$ is off the books anything they get from the prospect side is gravy.

        • CJ

          Freddy should go too, has no place to pitch if Hughes pitches well and/or you want to give Phelps/Warren/Betances a look before they are 30. Saves $4 million

          • mustang

            Please just stop. Freddy is fine as a long man/ emergency starter when not if he is needed. I like that they have one layer of protection before they get into the unproven Phelps/Warren/Betances’ of the world.

            • Havok9120

              Precisely. There’s a non-zero chance that someone gets hurt in camp or in April and Freddy is the man for the job if that happens. More importantly, there’s a pretty good chance that Phil just isn’t as good as Freddy as a starter at this point in his career. It’ll be a shame if that’s the case; I’m a huge Hughes fan, but we can’t ignore the possibility.

              There is no reason to throw away depth at this point in the season. And that’s really what we’d be doing if we get rid of Garcia. We got some value back for AJ, something we could never do for Garcia. Your odd desire to see his name struck from the roster does not change the fact that he’s a pretty good pitcher with a valuable position on the team.

              Oh, and it wouldn’t save 4 mil. Its a guaranteed Major League contract. Cutting him would just force us to eat the money. At most all we’d save is the money we owe the league on the luxury tax, and I’m not even sure we wouldn’t still owe that.

      • http://www.riveraveblues.com GT Yankee

        It was for kissing a fan in the bullpen….No S**t! LOL

        Young 20-Somethings sometimes do questionable stuff-No a huge deal in the scheme of things like a fight with a teammate or etc.

    • Havok9120

      Thats what the scouting report of every “close but not quite” prospect reads as.

      I love that it looks like we got a kid with some upside, but its still quite a long shot.

    • Greg

      He also had a rotator cuff strain in 2010. Has a good fastball (up t0 97 mph) and a sharp slider in the mid eighties

      • CJ

        big fastball, bad attitude and bad shoulder, what a combination.

        • pat

          KENNY POWERS

    • CJ

      Sounds like Moreno is an instant scratch off lottery ticket. At age 25, He will either have a 12 K/9 in AAA this year or a torn labrum and never pitch again.

      • mscott

        I heard that Joe Torre has put out a press release saying that he will take any major managing job at zero salary as long as management agrees to trade for Diego Moreno and allow him to be pitched no less than 45 times by May 31st.

        • Avi

          I laughed.

  • bkight13

    With the AJ savings, we should sign Soler, Damon to DH, let Laird be the backup 3b/1b(no need for Chavez) and maybe sign Gonzalez.

    • CJ

      Soler money comes from a different account than 25 man roster. Do you really believe they needed to save money to sign Damon? They are going to say they needed the savings for Kuroda (which is nonsense).

      • bkight13

        With the International cap coming this is the last chance for the Yankees to flex their money advantage and it looks like Soler has enough upside to take the plunge.

        As for the savings, I do believe they want to get under the $189M before 2014 and that means relying on some young guys. They should take the next couple of years to see who can contribute and not waste spots on guys like Chavez. One year deals are fine for guys like Damon and Kuroda because we still want to win, but the bench should be for the kids.

        • Havok9120

          Who would you give Chavez’ bench spot to though? Laird? I’d like to see if he can crush AAA pitching and turn himself back into a real prospect before we consign him to the bench.

          I don’t really want to resign Chavez either, and I’m all for giving the kids a chance, but we don’t really have many minor league infielders worth a spot on a contender’s bench. Starting pitchers and long-men, however, are a whole ‘nother story.

  • Doc

    AJ never seemed to get comfortable on the mound for the Yanks…
    But as far as bad contracts the ARod contract may hurt them
    for many years… Hope I am wrong….

    • CJ

      Nonsense. ARod helped build YES Network and New Yankee Stadium, hes paid for himself twice. His contract will only hurt the eyes of fans trying to manage a roster under a fictitious salary cap.

      • Slugger27

        huh? wasn’t YES network around for several years before the Arod trade?

        • FIPster Doofus

          Yes.

        • Kevin Winters

          YES was launched in 2002 right?

      • Needed Pitching

        they paid him way more than they needed to in the new contract
        the money they are paying him will hurt, even if the budget is self imposed by the Yankees, they still do operate within somewhat of a budget, and paying 20M plus for an over 40 bench player in the last years of his contract is money that could have gone to much more productive uses

        • Havok9120

          To be fair, I will be very surprised if his skills degrade to the point where he’s a bench player. I expect him to be a serviceable DH at the end of the contract.

      • Landry

        Arod didn’t help build anything. YES was already in existence and the planning for YS3 was already underway. The only way your argument holds water is if the Yankees lacked star-power before the Arod trade.

  • vincenzo

    other prospect is OF Exicardo Cayones via MLBTR. Since I am a jr unprofessional self-elected baseball evaluator hes my prognosis. zero power, solid eye, not a base stealer, below avg contact. and ugly.

    The Moreno guy looks like Rivera… go check, you ‘ll see it too

    • CJ

      Talk about fringe prospects.

  • Freddy’s Mom

    This pretty much proves AJ is only worth $8million, right?

    How much do we think A-Rod would get paid in a similar trade? My guess is 10-12, maybe a tad more, but I’m open to friendly disputation.

    Meanwhile, Cano could go out and get top dollar. It don’t make no sense, do it?

    • Havok9120

      Much as I’d like to argue, I think you’re about right. ARod might get a few bits more based off his defense (he is still a pretty darn good defensive third baseman), but he’s got an ugly injury history, especially after last season.

  • Mykey

    I find it interesting that people still want Raul Ibanez despite him not being very good at baseball.

    • jsbrendog

      the problem with this is that you could put any name in there, chavez, guerrero, damon, and theyd all work. but i agree, ibanez and chavez are no longer good at baseball. neither is vlad. i guess damon is still not too bad at baseball

      • Mykey

        Didn’t say our options are great right now. It’s just hard to understand the clamoring for Raul Ibanez.

        • Havok9120

          Agreed. I think part of it is the total lack of risk. If we give Damon a contract, not only will he cost about twice as much, but it’ll also have to be a Major League deal. He’ll pretty much be guaranteed a spot, which will block out any possibility of Branyan staging a breakout in ST.

          For myself, everything depends on price. I don’t see enough of a difference between any of the 4 or 5 candidates to feel strongly in any direction.

  • AndrewYF

    $5M extra for this year’s DH, and $8M extra next year to go towards Hamels? Me likey.

  • Tyrone Sharpton

    good to see that they got Fernandos Hernandez’s in this deal.20 latino with potential is interesting move. great job cash

    • Havok9120

      Who?

  • Mike Myers

    I only have one word to say…and it has a lot of S’

    YESSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS!

  • CMP

    Correct me if I’m wrong but this is the first time I can recall the Yankees eating a player’s contract just to make him go away.

  • Avi

    I’d like to thank Mo for not making me a Pirates fan.

    • Havok9120

      No kidding. They’re mostly exuberent over this move. No joke. I’ve been reading their blogs and comments all day to get a read and….they’re really happy to have AJ. More power to them. I think he’ll have a great year. I hope he breaks some records for them. That’d be awesome.

  • Fernando

    Cayonez’s profile is here.
    http://players.piratesprospect.....yonez.html

  • SevenAces

    Okay seriously, how awesome is the name Exicardo?

    On second thought, it sounds like some Pokemon’s name… And yes I know what Pokemon is, credits to my nephew.

    • Jesse

      Lol, gotta be the first Pokemon reference on an RAB thread.

      • SevenAces

        Can someone confirm this? I’m not sure if being the first to reference anything Pokemon-related on RAB is a good thing or a bad thing…

  • Leg-End

    Caught kissing in the bullpen? Quite a contrast to Burnett sucking out of it.

    • Jesse

      Better than punching a clubhouse door and lying that you fell down the stairs instead.

  • Avi

    Exicardo Cayones’ real name is Fausto Carmona. True story.

    • Havok9120

      I lol’d.

  • Mykey

    The dude made out with a fan in the bullpen? New favorite player.

    • Rainbow Connection

      The fan was a dude in a wheelchair.

  • Rey22

    Thanks for 2009. Flags fly forever.

    But take your abysmal pitching to Pittsburgh.

  • Avi

    Yankees trade Burnett and Wakefield retires. Net loss on the day.

  • Al

    Here comes….Johnny!!!

    Ninja aint signing Ibadan, guys. If he was, he’d be signed by now.
    Damon and Chavy and lets win 100 games.

  • LarryM.,Fl.

    Good luck to AJ but happy the trade was done. Just getting him off the roster and diminishing his pay is a win win. Who came over in return who cares.

  • Monterowasdinero

    Old, slow, injury prone. Yanks need a youth infusion.

    • Slugger27

      they have 2 position players over the age of 31, and their oldest starter other than kuroda is CC. the youth infusion stuff is so 2008. theyre fine.

      • gc

        How dare you cite facts.

      • Mike HC

        And those 2 position players over 31 just happen to be living legends.

        • Monterowasdinero

          Well-I still want an exciting hitter 25 or under!

      • Havok9120

        YOU’RE DISRUPTING THE NARRATIVE!!1!!!one!

        Good for you. Especially since those two guys are still pretty darn productive (please stay productive, please stay productive, please stay productive….)

  • TonyC

    Well it is about time…I certainly hope that there is enough money being sent to the Pirates to pay for AJ’s shrink.

  • Mike HC

    I wonder if everyone is leaving on good terms? Is AJ happy or pissed about being shipped to Pitt? I’m curious on his thoughts.

    I was always a fan and hope he pitches well in Pitt.

    • Tom Swift

      I really don’t understand the rancor toward AJ. Yes, he disappointed us, and got paid a lot to disappoint us. But it’s not like he did it on purpose. Baseball is a hard game. Guys with great stuff often can’t get it together. I’ll bet $20 that, despite all that, AJ is better at his job than most of are at ours. He may be bad, but he’s a SP in the major leagues. That means he’s an elite athlete. How many of us are the equivalent in what we do for a living?

      • Havok9120

        I’m reluctant to like a guy enough that his performance shrinks in significance, but you’re absolutely right. Especially since AJ was pitching in the

        • Havok9120

          …toughest division in baseball. Elite of the elite.

          What’s more, I really think he’ll blow them away in Pitt. I sure hope so. He’s a great pitcher, as he’s shown at times for us. He’s just not the guy we need.

  • eric

    Saw AJ in person on Game 2 ALDS in 2009 and Game 2 of the World Series. In the biggest game he will ever pitch (much bigger than G4 ALDS ’11) he threw a gem. Won’t ever forget that.

    • Havok9120

      Nor I. Nor many of us. I LOVE the guy, and was actually looking forward to seeing his season.

      That being said, I’m still glad we dumped his contract.

    • GardnerisaRomanianGypsy

      Saw AJ in person in a Baltimore game that meant absolutely nothing. He gave up 9 runs.

      Needless to say, I will not be missing him much. Liked the guy and I hope he does well in Pittsburgh, hell I may even tune in for a start of his now and then, but I’m sure glad he’s gone.

  • JobaTheHeat62

    im gona miss AJ…i really will, and i really hate that this will be the reason we now get Raul Ibanez. I really do not want him on the team, Chris Dickerson is better. smh

    • Monterowasdinero

      Not gonna miss AJ. Do not want Ibanez at all and would prefer Dickerson to him and that’s not saying much (as a hitter).

      • JMK

        We should get Greg Golson. Have you seen his arm!!!!??? It’s a cannon!

        • Monterowasdinero

          Thank you JMK. Where is Golson by the way? He is a better defender than Dickerson. We might pick him up during the year. You never know.

          Enjoyed your comment.

    • Havok9120

      I don’t want Chavez either but…Dickerson can’t play 3B. Chavez can, and well.

      • GardnerisaRomanianGypsy

        Nunez can play 3rd. It may not be pretty, but at least he can stay healthy and provide some sort of offensive upside. Bill Hall may not be a stud, but they already have him and while his defense may not be as stellar as Chavy’s, I’d still bet on him to be healthier and provide at least the same offensive output. Not to mention he can play any position but catcher.

        There’s just no reason to sign Eric Chavez. At all. He’s at best a replacement level player, and we could get one of those from Brandon Laird.

        I’d personally like to see the money put towards Soler, but if they don’t want to do that they’re better off filling out the bench and DH role with what they have or signing Damon for the job.

  • UncleArgyle

    His best tool is his name, which is a straight 80 on the 20-80 scouting scale.

    Was thinking the same thing. As Jack Horner from Boogie Nights would have said: “Those are great names!”

  • Guest

    Agreed that AJ pitched VERY poorly for the majority of his time in Pinstripes.

    That said, I am very happy with the AJ experience and glad it happened.
    Why? Because Flags Fly Forever and his Game 2 performance against the Phillies was the single most important start in the 2009 championship run.

    Thanks for that memory, AJ, and all the best going forward…

  • http://www.thewebsitemarketingagency.com Staten Island

    What space-time dimension is this that the Yankees have jettisoned a player for salary relief to the Pirates?

  • Bronx Byte

    Pirate catchers will get extra blocking drills in spring training knowing Burnett could hit the backstop with any given pitch.
    Less distance between Pittsburgh and Baltimore so his wife must be happy.

  • Al-san

    It doesnt make any difference if the Pirates would have given us
    rust off the Roberto Clemente bridge for AJ……..he is GONE!

  • choochoo

    The Burnett transaction is, by far, much more of a player dump than it is a salary dump as it has been characterized in this article.
    If this bum was even half-way good, the Yankeees would tolerate the outrageous salary.

  • TinoBambino24

    Nah, nah, nah, nah. Nah, nah, nah, nah. Hey, hey, hey! Goodbye!

  • Jimmy McNulty

    Thanks for Game 2, kept the Yankees in the ALCS against Texas (but was left in to long) and gave them the win against Detroit in G4 of the ALDS taking it back to New York. I’ll have fond memories of AJ’s stay in New York.

  • Virgil Earp

    Good deal. 1 penny was too much to pay for Burnett and Cashman got the Pirates to pony up $13 million. What a mistake that signing was. The guy was a clown. This year will have one of the best pitching staffs we’ve had in quite some time and it’s all thanks to dumping AJ Burnett on the Pirates.

  • JobaTheHeat62

    despite my hatred for ibanez, least on paper and healthy we got some good ass pitching.

    cc
    kuroda
    nova
    pineda
    hughes

    garcia *long man
    logan
    wade
    joba *when healthy
    soriano
    drob
    mo

    • Havok9120

      That front four makes me drool.

  • Soriano Is A Liar

    I’ll always root for AJ on the Pirates, I liked him a lot and always wanted him to succeed. Objectively though, I’m glad to see he won’t take up a space in the 2012 rotation.

  • Greg

    Ironically, the Mystery Team involved with Burnett talks were the Philadelphia Phillies

  • Rossdfarian

    Who gets #34?

    • Troll Killer

      hopefully Pineda gets that number or keep #35

  • O Coelho

    What in God’s name does this mean: “I’ll miss Burnett the person but not the pitcher.”?

    Do you actually KNOW AJ Burnett the person? Ever had a meal together? Do you know his kids’ names? What he likes to do to relax?

    It’s smarmy, self-absorbed lines like this that make River Ave Blues so tough to stomach.

    Stick with what you know — Excel spreadsheets and referencing stories REAL reporters break — and skip the insipid comments.

    • Havok9120

      Breathe guy….

      Just breathe. The hate is unnecessary.

    • Marcus

      Haters gonna hate I guess.

    • http://www.nesn.com/2011/01/2011-red-sox-will-challenge-1927-yankees-for-title-of-greatest-team-in-major-league-history.html Denver fighting tebows

      if it’s so “tough to stomach” don’t read it. nobody is forcing you.

  • Evan

    Anyone else sorta convinced that he’s going to have a very good season w/ the Pirates? I think there was absolutely no chance that he would have been good with us this year, but something tells me that he is going to have an outstanding year out of nowhere…

    Still thrilled i don’t need to be the poor bastard who watches him anymore.

    • Havok9120

      Am I logically convinced? Heck no. Logic tells me he’ll be fair-to-middling.

      My gut, however, tells me he’s due for a big year.

  • Midland TX

    I’m amazed at how opposite-of-ninja this deal was. I guess Cashman quietly ran the idea of a trade to the Angels past AJ about three weeks ago, but aside from that it seems like this trade took place under a spotlight from conception to execution.

  • DM

    JMO, but I don’t think there’s any posturing going on with these bats. I’m sure Chavez and Ibanez already have hand-shake agreements with the Yankees. And I’m sure they edged the other options b/c they were willing to come to the Yankees on Yankee terms. Damon can talk about “perfect fit” but with Boras there’s always a battle for more $. If Damon didn’t care about such things he could’ve stayed with the Yankees 2 years ago. And where ever he winds up, he’ll claim that that team is where he always wanted to be — like he said about Detroit and Tampa. I don’t think the Yankees are going up any ladder for anyone. And I think some here are short-changing Ibanez; he’s an over-achieving “grinder” type that will fit nicely with this clubhouse — and he’s been playing a lot more in the field than the other options. He’ll get time in both corners, and maybe a little 1st base too.

  • http://aol Matt

    What do you guys think about the Yankees starting 5 now? I think:
    1. C.C Sabathia
    2. Michael Pineda
    3. Ivan Nova
    4. Freddy Garcia
    5. Huroki Kuroda
    That sounds like 100 wins.