Report: Yanks, Pirates nearing Burnett deal


Via George King, the Yankees are nearing a deal that would send A.J. Burnett to the Pirates in exchange for two marginal prospects. Pittsburgh would absorb $13-15M of the $33M left on the right-hander’s contract. “It will happen this weekend,” said King’s source. “Probably Saturday.”

Pitchers and catchers report on Sunday, and the Yankees probably don’t want this to drag on into camp. The commissioner’s office will need to approve the deal because more than $1M is changing hands, but that’s considered nothing more than a formality.

Categories : Asides, Hot Stove League


  1. JobaWockeeZ says:

    The fact we’re getting someone with upside is amazing.

    • Eirias says:

      Perhaps my sarcasomometer is off, but where did you read the Yankees would receive anyone with upside?

      • RetroRob says:

        I’m sure it was sarcasm.

        The Yankees are getting something of value. Greenbacks for reinvestment. Unfortunately, rumor has it they’ll be invested in the Ibanez market. That would be similar to selling a falling Xerox stock, and then investing tn in Enron.

        I’m hoping someone on the Yankees ignores Ibanez’s trailing P/E ratio and takes a look at the forward P/E. It’s ugly.

      • JobaWockeeZ says:

        two marginal prospects

        All prospects have upsides. If there were org guys then there’s no upside. Since it’s reported that the Yankees have been seeking prospects in the deal it’s not a stretch to say that whoever we get has some upside to them. Even if it’s just a bench player.

        • Eirias says:

          Fair enough. I simply have some small doubts about the difference in quality between “organization guys” and “marginal prospects” is all that great, and whether the Yankees minor league system has room for them. The Yankees may not be shedding minor league affiliates like the Mets are, but “org guys” are there for a reason, and if these marginal prospects cannot obviate that role through their performance, then they probably won’t be kept.

          • Eirias says:

            Yup. You’ve got catastrophic syntax and grammar failure there, self. You’re one of those newer model commenters, right? Well, I can fix it, but it’ll cost ya.

            Christ. Fine, here’s my card.

          • Jesse says:

            Hey, the guys they’ll get are just a couple of lottery tickets….Although these lottery tickets are closer to 1 in a Billion than some of the other prospects the Yankees have in the system.

            But for me, at least, I just want the Yanks to save as much money as possible. I hope they don’t sign Ibanez, though. They’re also in on Chavez, which is OK for a minor league deal, but the guy is known for his injury history and last year he posted a .294 wOBA, and 79 wRC+.

            • jsbrendog says:

              seriously, I don’t get the chavez love. He can’t hit, he can’t even stay on the field. why does he make any semblance of sense?

  2. Tipsie says:

    Thanks for the Game 2s of the 2009 ALDS/ALCS/WS, the pies, and the innings. Good luck in the NL. Onward. Phil, no excuses: take it.

  3. Eric says:

    YAY!!!!!!!! That being said, I have really enjoyed AJ as a person and a baseball player, but I think it’s a good time for him to leave.

  4. LarryM.,Fl. says:

    AJ, Good luck

  5. RRRRRRandy says:

    I hope Rinku Singh is one of the marginal prospects. He’s a lefty. That’ll be cool.

  6. Gonzo says:

    If this happens without a mystery team, this will be the worst kept Yankee secret in a while.

    Am I missing something else?

  7. Robinson Tilapia says:

    What does a marginal Pittsburgh Pirate prospect look like?

  8. John R. says:

    Easy romeo even AJ Burnett is worth more than a pirates bullpen catcher, need to get something more worth while…. While not consistently, he can still pitch.

    • Countryclub says:

      Getting 13-15 mil back is a substantial return; at least IMO.

      • Havok9120 says:

        No kidding. If the minimum IS 13 mil instead of the 10 mil we’ve been hearing about before now, that’ll be huge. Especially considering the 2 minor leaguers. If those two turn out to be even FRINGE prospects it’ll be an major coup for us.

  9. Bronx Byte says:

    Sounds like Friday or no later than early Saturday so Burnett can report for his physical on Sunday at the Pirates complex in Bradenton, FL.

  10. JobaTheHeat62 says:

    kind of bummed too, i always liked AJ…but the results were just not there. i hope he wins 20 games in pittsburgh

  11. ThatstheMelkyMesaWaysa says:


  12. Kevin says:

    I’ll open the door for him but I’ll be sure to thank for game 2 of 2009 while I’m at it. IMO,if we didn’t win that game..we would have been looking at our third World Series loss in eight years.

    • fin says:

      The only reason I’m happy to see Burnett go is so that Hughes gets a chance. That being said, I’m not high on Hughes. I dont know if it was his “dead arm” or what, but he really seemed to be pushing the ball to plate last year. He always seemed to push it a bit, but it seemed more pronounced last year. Hard to believe that he can be very successful throwing like that.

  13. SS says:

    How about absorbing all the salary and taking Gerritt Cole instead?

  14. Custer Olney says:

    Heard this: the mystery team is actually the Southside Baptist Church Softball Team. However, they are balking at the players they would have to give up. More to come.

  15. dc1874 says:

    …..And as he leaves… the mystery of the black eye continues….

    • CMP says:

      If I had to bet, I’d guess Posada punched him.

    • RetroRob says:

      It’ll come out eventually, maybe after he leaves NY, or retires.

      Then again, unless he kicked the ass out of whom ever hit him, he may not want the story out.

      The real story may be very uninteresting. I once got a black eye from walking into a door frame. Not even alcohol involved. Not in the middle of the night. No one was around. I was wide awake, a quiet Sunday, walked into a room looking for something, flipped on the light, quickly saw what I was looking for wasn’t there, flipped the light off throwing the room back into darkness, turned around, misjudged the exit, and smacked my right eye on the door frame. Nasty black eye. I knew no one at work would believe the story, so I never said anything. People would ask and I’d answer in non-specifcs like, “well you know, these things happen,” or “could happen to anyone.” The rumors around it were far more interesting than the reality. Maybe that’s the same with AJ’s black eye, yet I somehow doubt it.

    • JoeyA says:

      In my strong, yet very uninformed opinion, the fact the black eye and Eiland’s extended vacation came about around the same time, I can’t help but wonder if those two got into it at some point that season.

      We may never find out, so I’ll stick with my conspiracy theory.

  16. Juke Early says:

    PA-thetic. Nostradumbass says –

    …in the monthe when starres burst
    the tea party towne aquireth
    thee blackeye tattoo pyemanne…

    AND Bill Mazeroski continues laughing…

  17. ThatstheMelkyMesaWaysa says:

    I missed saying this in the Gonzalez thread. What about Kazmir as a pen lefty? He’s been good before. Therefore he qualifies to be a Yankee.

  18. MidlandTX says:

    The anticipation in the air is, dare I say, electric.

  19. JD says:

    Hope we see em in the series. AJ was not so bad last year. Had at least two good months and, if Girardi had pulled him a few outs earlier in a few games, the stat line might not be so horrific. Certainly not as bad as Phil Hughes. Still, there is a time for everything and this was AJ’s time. Rather see Phil or another kid get the shot after sweaty freddy. Good luck AJ.

    • 1stbase says:

      Not giradis fault for AJ’s horrific pitching, if anything giradi should get credit for having such a short leash with AJ

      • JoeyA says:

        ARE YOU CRAZY!?

        I can’t remember an AJ outing during the regular season in which Girardi didn’t keep him in for an inning too long.

        We all saw the meltdown coming and Girardi trotted him out there regardless.

        I’m by no means a Girardi basher, he’s a very good manager, maybe even geat, but his leash w/ AJ was anything but short.

  20. Thomas Cassidy says:

    13-15M relief AND two C prospects? How did Cash pull that out of his ass?

  21. Ghost says:

    You mean how was it extorted out of his ass right?

  22. CP says:

    Just curious, but how does the trade impact the luxury tax numbers for the Yankees? If he’s off te roster, that means they wouldn’t owe tax on his salary, right? That make the savings for the Yankees considerably more than $13-15M.

    • Mike E says:

      Depends on a lot of things, like how much salary would be off in 2012 compared to 2013.

      If they are saving $6.5-$7.5 million a year, thats equal to $8-$9.2m.

    • Needed Pitching says:

      they still have to pay luxury tax on any money they are paying toward AJ’s contract, even if he’s on another team

      • AndrewYF says:


        • Ed says:

          He’s right. Luxury tax is based on:

          Payments to the 40 man roster + payments to the 60 day DL + payments to released players + payments to other teams – payments from other teams

          That’s why Igawa stayed in the minors all those years after the Yankees gave up on him. It was cheaper to keep him there than to release him or to pay someone else to take him.

    • RetroRob says:

      If it’s $13 million total for the two years, then the Yankees payroll subject to luxury tax would be reduced by $6.5 million. With the luxury tax at 40% this year and 42% next year, the Yankees would realize approximately $18.3 million in “savings.” Yet that’s not really correct, since they are going to take the $13 million they’re getting back and will then invest it in other players. How much of it they’ll use is unknown. Basically, moving AJ allows them to redirect up to $13 million to another part of the roster that’s in need of more help than the bullpen, which is where AJ was headed.

      • Needed Pitching says:

        *42.5% this year, 50% next year

        • RetroRob says:

          I believe it hits 50% in 2014, hence the Yankees desire to get down to $189 million in 2014.

          • Needed Pitching says:

            the 189 starts in 2014, the 50% starts next year
            potential revenue sharing refunds gets higher each year through 2016 as well


            • RetroRob says:

              Thanks. I thought they staggered it by one more year.

              In that case, the real-dollar savings on AJ goes to over $19 million, and goes higher the more money the Yankees get back. (Of course, technically, they’re not getting any dollars back, but reducing what’s owed!). Yet, the real-dollars won’t be determined until it’s known how much the Yankees reinvest in other players.

              • Plank says:

                About 400 million goes from all high revenue teams to all low revenue teams. The Yankees stand to get back 50% of the money that goes from them to the Nationals. How much could that really be? A few million?

                I think the whole idea of massive savings is ridiculous.

  23. CMP says:

    AJ Burnett’s Yankee career was an abject failure. I hope he spends the next 2 years miserable in baseball purgatory and then quietly fades away never to be heard of again in these parts.

    All I have to say to AJ is F..K you and the horse you rode in on!!

    • Greg says:

      No. Carl Pavano’s Yankee career was an abject failure. A.J. won a ring

    • Thomas Cassidy says:

      As long as you remember the Yanks wouldn’t have won without him in ’09.

      • Needed Pitching says:

        if they didn’t have AJ, somebody else would have pitched those games
        how that somebody would have pitched, nobody knows

        • RetroRob says:

          Exactly, which means you just supported the importance of AJ in ’09, even though that was not your intention.

          • Needed Pitching says:

            not saying he wasn’t important, his Game 2′s were big
            just saying that saying Yanks wouldn’t have won without him isn’t necessarily true

    • Robinson Tilapia says:

      Keep it classy, CMP.

      • Rainbow Connection says:

        I love how everyone thinks the players come to this site and read every comment.

        Posada: “Wow! Some idiot typed that I did good as a Yankees and he wishes me well! Cool!”

        Burnett: “I can’t believe some internet warrior wasn’t impressed with me stinking up the joint for years! This is nuts!”

        • Havok9120 says:

          Just because someone thinks you should remain polite on the internet does not mean that he thinks the players, or anyone of any importance, reads the site. It just means they believe in manners.

        • Jim Is Bored says:

          How in the world did you get that “everyone thinks the players come to the site and read every comment” from that?


  24. BigLoving says:

    This is like breaking up with a girl in which the relationship is filled with drama and fights but occasionally you have an awesome time with. Excited that the chaos is over…but sad to see her go. Come on Cash….just rip the band aid off already and get it over with!!!

    • Jared says:

      Yeah man. Someday you’ll find yourself in the dairy aisle, reach for a can of Reddi-wip® and just dissolve in a sea of emotion.

  25. RetroRob says:

    There’s a greater problem. With AJ gone, there is certain ilk of Yankee “fans” who will need to direct their anger at a replacement player. Who will it be?

    • Needed Pitching says:

      Fist pump???
      Mr. Pop-up???

    • Landry says:

      Ibanez? (if signed)

    • Rainbow Connection says:

      Whenever I go to a game, people boo Tex and A-Rod.
      Swisher is a dumb redneck who folds in the playoffs (I know, I know…it’s just ‘bad luck’).

      • Havok9120 says:

        I can’t tell if you’re being sarcastic or making being foolish. Bu judging by your choice of words, its the latter. Too bad.

    • M-Three says:

      For me that is 2 players: Swisher and Cervelli. Swisher beats up on bad pitcher and doesn’t get big hits in clutch situation. He is a bit of a compiler.

      As for Cervelli, he is a horrible/lazy defensive catcher and his antics are annoying. I hate John Lackey but I wish he would’ve hit Cervelli back in August. Cervelli is overated by his fans. I hated how he acts like hes an important part of the team. I hope the Yanks do the right thing by making Romine the back-up catcher. Send Cervelli down to either back-up Gustavo Molino in Triple-A or be the back-up at Double-A.

      • G says:

        They did an article here a while ago to dispel the rumor that Swish can’t hit good pitching. Turns out that assumption is completely wrong.

      • Havok9120 says:

        Not only is the Swisher thing totally wrong, the Cervelli thing is just silly. You understand that he’s an important part of the team but you hate him anyway? Really?

        “The right thing,” at least by Romine, is to give the guy a full season against AAA pitching before throwing him to the wolves. Cervelli has no chance of advancing beyond a backup, but Romine still might. Lets find out before we consign him to the bench.

  26. Mister D(elaware) says:

    Ibanez could actually end up doing more damage than AJ would have as the 5th starter / long man.

  27. pistol pete says:

    Sign Damon, it’s a no brainer. He hits leftys and rightys, will hit for power in Yankee stadium, is playoff proven, can handle NY, is good in the clubhouse, and can still run and play the outfield in a pinch. Ibanez looked very bad last year in a far better lineup than Damon, in a better hitters park than Damon, can’t run, and believe it or not fields worse than Damon. He also absolutely can’t hit leftys.

  28. Landry says:

    I hope they finally finish this. It feels like AJ has already been a Pirate for a year.

  29. kevin says:

    this is not a win if it frees up cash for Ibanez and .289 obp vs rhp

    • FIPster Doofus says:


    • Jesse says:

      That .289 OBP you’re referring to was Ibanez’s 2011 overall OBP. Vs lefties he had an OBP of .232 and vs righties he had a .307 OBP, and while that’s not good by any stretch of the imagination, I just wanted to point that out.

  30. kevin says:

    that being said i hope we get jarek cunningham in the deal mif with good power and speed. no walks but young something to dream on. #18 in the pirates system by baseball america if anyone has the handbook and wants to look it up

  31. SevenAces says:

    Just get the damn deal done already, but don’t throw the money at Ibanez… I hope they’re just using Ibanez as leverage…

  32. split-finger says:

    best of luck. thank’s for 09

  33. Jimmy says:

    Sounds like I’m alone in this thinking, but giving up a relatively high K/9, albeit wild two-pitch guy for just $6.5M/yr seems like a bad idea. Especially since he can give us more depth at SP. Even if he’s significantly overpaid, he could be the best 6th starter in MLB. And his trade value may be better next season when there’s only one year left on his contract. There will be some point this season where we will need him. I’m just not convinced they should give him up for $6.5M/yr and a couple throwaways.

    • Kosmo says:

      AJ needs a change of scenery for any chance at self-redemption . Yanks at this point probably have more depth at the 5th SP spot than any team in MLB with Garcia,Hughes,Phelps,Warren.

      Yanks can´t gamble on AJ having better trade value next season.

      • Boomer's Boy says:

        Where would you keep him until the need for a 6th starter arises? The Bullpen? This make complete sense. He can’t handle the AL with as much as his stuff has deteriorated. The Yankees are actually doing him a favor by sending him to Pittsburgh. Pitchers park, weak league, in it’s weakest division. This gives AJ the opportunity to revive his career, and possibly receive one last contract after this one is over. I just hope Cashman doesn’t try to bring him back ala Vazquez.

  34. Bronx Byte says:

    No point in being greedy. The Yankees have this opportunity to send Burnett to Pittsburgh. Go for it. If it’s a Class A player the Yankees get, run with it.

  35. Across the pond says:

    I’ll never forget this performance against the Red Sox in ’09.

    I managed to get myself over to see that game. Looking back now I didn’t realise he walked 6 but he went inning for inning with Beckett. Great game.

    Best of luck AJ.

  36. Another Bronx Dynasty says:

    Maybe Cash can thro in A-Rod & his ridiculous contract Hank gave him.

  37. Another Bronx Dynasty says:

    Maybe Cash can throw in A-Rod & his ridiculous contract Hank gave him.

  38. Andy K says:

    Finally I won’t have to listen to the idiot announcers saying what great stuff he has.

  39. Yank The Frank says:

    Now can we find out what that black eye was all about?

  40. Chad Gaudin the Friendly Ghost says:

    The fact that Cashman is getting any prospects, A, B, or otherwise AND potentially having someone pick up more than $10mm/year is a minor miracle (assuming it gets done). In the beginning of the offseason if anyone would’ve pitched getting $13mm and two minor leaguers I think most of us would have thought that was crazy.

    AS for Allen James, I can’t stand AJ as a Yankee, but I wish him the best elsewhere.

    Reminds me of the song lyric/old saying:

    You don’t have to go home, but you can’t stay here.

  41. Frank says:

    I’d prefer they spend the additional money on Soler this year rather than anyone else. If they save 6.5MM…spend the 1-2MM on a DH type if you want, but then use the other savings to include towards paying Soler. Everyone raves about him…if it’s true, then it’s a great opportunity to get a young OF’er w/ huge power upside. With the changes to the international market that are coming the yankees need to take advantage of the old system before it’s gone.

  42. Graig not Craig says:

    They gave this guy three years to “figure it out” and he never did. Now his stuff is diminshed AND he hasn’t figured it out. Pittsburgh seems like a good place for him to attempt a comeback, and a good place for the Yankees to dump a third of his salary. Its not a bad deal for the Pirates, they get a fourth starter for 10 million, and give up a couple of lottery tickets.

  43. pacman says:

    GET IT DONE!!!!!!!!!!!!!! then sign damon, gonzalez, chavez….and lets roll!!!!!!!!!!!

Leave a Reply

You may use <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong> in your comment.

If this is your first time commenting on River Ave. Blues, please review the RAB Commenter Guidelines. Login for commenting features. Register for RAB.