The Morning After: A.J. Burnett

Open Thread: 2/17 Camp Notes
Mailbag: Biggest 1-2 Punches In Baseball History
"Two words dude: Primanti Bros." (Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

After far too much back-and-forth, the Yankees and Pirates finally agreed to a trade that will send A.J. Burnett to Pittsburgh for two minors leaguers and $13M is savings for New York. Let’s round up some miscellaneous links surrounding the move…

  • Burnett will take his physical on Sunday, and the trade should become official on Monday afternoon. Once that happens, the Yankees will move toward signing both Raul Ibanez and Eric Chavez for roughly $1M each. (Sweeny Murti, Erik Boland, Jon Heyman & Joel Sherman)
  • Remember all that talk about the Mystery Team? Apparently it was the Phillies, who would have had to trade Joe Blanton for salary relief to make it work. That’s just … weird. Not sure I follow Philadelphia’s logic there. (Buster Olney)
  • If you’re still curious about Diego Moreno and Exicardo Cayones, I recommended reading the trade recaps at Pirates Prospects and Baseball America. There’s a tiny chance Moreno turns into a semi-useful reliever, but I wouldn’t count on it. This deal was all about freeing up money.

Every since we first found out that the Yankees were shopping Burnett, I’ve been saying I didn’t expect them to trade him. I certainly didn’t expect them to get $13M salary relief in a potential deal. I figured they’d be lucky to get $8M back. Then again, I’m constantly wrong about this stuff. Saving that much on a pitcher they had very little use for is a good deal in my book, even though paying $20M for A.J. to pitch elsewhere is less than ideal.

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Open Thread: 2/17 Camp Notes
Mailbag: Biggest 1-2 Punches In Baseball History
  • Bacciagaloop

    @Mike… Why is Jon Heyman such a dick?

    • JoeyA

      Look at him. Wouldn’t you be a dick if you looked like that AND had to kiss Boras’ ass just to break a story?

    • RetroRob

      What did Heyman do now?

      • Bacciagaloop

        Look at his twitter feed… Someone asked him who will replace AJ with the postgame pies, and he said that a team with a $200M payroll shouldn’t do things like that…

        I think Big Mike called him out on it, saying “only small teams are allowed to have fun!”

        Booyah

        • RetroRob

          I don’t even know where to begin with that. When is pie, or fun, acceptable? $150 million, $100 million, $50 million? AJ should not have been throwing pies when he was on a $200 million club, but it will be acceptable now that he’s on a lower-payroll team, even though he’s still making the same amount? Crazy.

          • Bacciagaloop

            latest tweet from DBAG Heyman “Yanks have dstoried, ignified tradition. I never want to see mariano w/ pie in hand and can’t imagine joe d with 1. #stopthepies

            • RetroRob

              I was lukewarm on the whole pie thing, but the fans like it, the players like it, so what the heck. The fact that Heyman is against it means it should continue.

              It does take the right kind of personality to be the pie thrower. Nick Swisher would be a good pie man.

              • Bacciagaloop

                Agreed, but how awesome would it be to see Jeter or CC doing the pie thing…

                I can see AROD doing it, especially after watching his reaction to DJ3K. He was pretty siked, and he seems to be enjoying himself.

                • Owen Two

                  CC would take someone’s head off.

                  • Shawn

                    What does “siked” mean?

              • Owen Two

                If not Swisher, then Cervelli – he’s already got the fist pump thing going.

        • JohnnyC

          I don’t know. It is a waste of whipped cream. Think of all the starving millions in third world countries who could make better use of dessert topping.

          • Bacciagaloop

            The sarcasm is strong with this one ^^^^

            • Tyrone Sharpton

              racist

              • http://jukeofurl.wordpress.com Juke Early

                Pie-ist

  • 28 this year

    I think they also did well to get 8 million for next year. Certainly helps to have that little extra room with all that could happen with next year’s FA class. 5 million is more than enough to get the finishing touches to this year’s team. 8 million is a lot of extra money to work with next year.

    • RetroRob

      And the luxury tax goes up to 50% next year, so it makes more sense to shoot for the bigger savings next year.

  • 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.

    I’m slightly worried about that Burnett physical though. A lot of mileage on that arm/shoulder — and he’s had problems in the past. I hope they don’t find some “slight tear” or something. But if it goes through on these terms, it’s a good deal regardless of these “prospects”. The Pirates picking up any more than 10-11mil makes it so.

  • Nick

    maybe the player to be named later should have been a pie guy

    • JohnnyC

      Should have been a 3 team trade with Baltimore. We could’ve picked up Felix Pie. He’s a pie guy.

  • Slu

    Save 13 million on AJ, waste 2 million on Ibanez and especially Chavez. Throwing good money after bad.

    • CJ

      Yes.

    • Tom

      Their roster spots would go to league min guys no matter what (480K each)

      At most they “wasted” 1mil combined. Not sure I understand the “waste” aspect of this, I can understand not liking the players, but the Yankees are hardly wasting much money with these signings.

  • Mike HC

    I don’t really see it as a good deal. It was probably the best move for the team, and the owners especially, but overall, I think Pitt got the better end of the deal, again.

    • DM

      “It was probably the best move for the team”

      That’s why I think it’s a good deal. The bad deal was signing AJ to that contract to begin with. A worse approach is to keep him to justify that deal. Admit the mistake and dump him for his current worth — which wasn’t more than 11mil for 2 years, imo.

      • Mike HC

        If we had a spot in the rotation for AJ, there is no way I would look at this deal as fair. Only because our rotation is still 6 deep, without AJ, is this deal still considered good for the team, in my opinion.

        • DM

          I don’t disagree with that. At least AJ made his 30+ starts — a fact that people under-value. I worry about counting too much on Hughes. Everyone here seems to have him penciled in over Garcia — but can you see Phil making 30+ starts this year? After last year, it’s Garcia’s job to lose, imo. Hughes needs to be stellar in Spring for me to change my mind. I’d have no issues farming Hughes out to AAA if he doesn’t perform.

          • Mike HC

            I’m with you on the Hughes, Garcia thing (although I would probably put Hughes in the pen) but I think the word is that Phil will impress during the Spring. So if that is the case, then you have to go Hughes. I do agree the benefit of the doubt, all things being even, goes to Garcia though.

            • DM

              I’d put him in the pen if I thought he could be a good long man. But I see him more as a short reliever — which they don’t really need. Also, I think a AAA stint might wake him up a bit. Then he’d be the first call up (if he’s pitching well) if you needed a starter — rather than tapping the kids too soon. I’d really like to see what Hughes is over 200 innings of starting (if he can) — even if some or most of those starts are at AAA.

              Also, another vote for Garcia is his style. He’s a good guy to slot between your hardest throwers. He gives a different look — almost like a knuckle-baller.

          • CJ

            Farming Hughes out to AAA if he doesn’t perform = Yankees career over

            • DM

              Could be. He’ll be a free agent before you know it. If you’re still debating what he is — or might become — are you going to sign him? Will he even wanna stay? Maybe he’ll go back to Cali and sign with the Padres or something. We can’t be talking about glasses, hot spots on MRIs, what pitch he’s adding or giving up or adding again, mysterious losses of velocity, etc, etc, forever. Maybe he needs a demotion rather than another coddled rehab (from what?) assignment.

              • Bo Knows

                Pretty sure the loss in velocity and the injuries last year were more of a wake up to Hughes than anything the yankees can do. Thats why he spent his time off training. I honestly do not see the benefit of sending him down

                • DM

                  If Garcia pitches better, you’d rather have Hughes in the bullpen than stay stretched out as a starter in AAA? I think the worst thing would be to have another incomplete sometimes starter/sometimes reliever season for Hughes. When Nova lost his rotation spot to Hughes last year, they farmed him out to keep starting at AAA — and his numbers blew away what Hughes did at that level in both quality and volume. Hughes didn’t really pitch consistently at AAA — and he didn’t dominate while he was there. You need to find out what he is once and for all — or we’ll be having this same debate a year from now.

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

                    You need to find out what he is once and for all

                    And how exactly are you supposed to do that if he’s in AAA?

                    • DM

                      By showing that he can indeed blow away AAA — maintain his velocity over innings and starts. If he can’t do it there, why would you expect him to do it at the big league level? Can’t you use his option to see if he can rattle off a series of starts where his fastball is maintained? Get him into a groove? Is that so unfathomable? Look at the innings totals (and dominance) of Nova or Ian Kennedy at AAA — and compare it to Hughes. Why is Hughes above being demoted for poor pitching? Nova got demoted just to make room for Hughes last year — but Hughes can’t be demoted if Garcia pitches better? Why would he start over Garcia after both their performances last season? This notion that Hughes should have some strangle hold on a big league roster spot is silly when you consider what happened the last year and a half.

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

                      I don’t think anyone has said he has a strangle hold on the job. I just don’t see the point in sending him AAA after 4+ years in the big leagues. There’s nothing to challenge him there. He’ll go down, pitch well, and then come back up and have to prove he can do it in MLB. It’s a big pointless circle and a waste of everyone’s time.

                      If he’s not good enough to start over Garcia, just send him to the bullpen. He’s not a prospect anymore. Get value out of him before he leaves as a free agent after next season.

                    • DM

                      “He’ll go down, pitch well, ”

                      Over what time frame? 2 starts? 10? What if his fastball average is 92 in his first 4 then drops to 90 in the next 3? You’re making a big assumption with “pitch well” — if he’s outsmarting AAA hitters with his curve and a 89mph fastball, do you call him up?

                      And what if Garcia and a different reliever give you the best chance to win games on the big league level? You’re willing to carry Hughes no matter what even when you have an option left on him??

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

                      Over what time frame? 2 starts? 10? What if his fastball average is 92 in his first 4 then drops to 90 in the next 3?

                      That’s a stupid argument because it applies to every pitcher ever. If you’re going to sit and wait for someone’s velocity to drop, you’re just going to waste productive innings in the minors.

                      if he’s outsmarting AAA hitters with his curve and a 89mph fastball, do you call him up?

                      If he’s outsmarting hitters and pitching well, he’s not learning anything. Waste of time. You can wait all you want for the velocity to come back when he might be able to help you in the bigs.

                      And what if Garcia and a different reliever give you the best chance to win games on the big league level? You’re willing to carry Hughes no matter what even when you have an option left on him??

                      There are two open bullpen spots. Show me the two relievers better than Hughes and I’ll consider this a reasonable response.

                    • DM

                      “That’s a stupid argument because it applies to every pitcher ever. If you’re going to sit and wait for someone’s velocity to drop, you’re just going to waste productive innings in the minors.”

                      You counter with this, and my argument is stupid?? Very Ted-esque of you. So, it applies to every pitcher ever, huh? YOU DRAW NO DISTINCTION BETWEEN “every pitcher ever” AND PHIL HUGHES??? A GUY WHO HAS ALREADY DISPLAYED A PROPENSITY TO FALL OFF IN VELOCITY — SO MUCH SO THAT THEY SENT HIM OUT FOR TESTS ABOUT RARE NERVE AND CIRCULATORY DISEASES?? Are you crazy? That’s like saying the Mets won’t scrutinize Santana more coming off shoulder surgery b/c, after all, “every other pitcher ever” might have shoulder problems. LOL.

                      Hughes has already shown a problem in this area — THAT’S HIS DISTINGUISHING CHARACTERISTIC. That should — in a reasonable person’s mind — raise more questions about Hughes than “every other pitcher”. Already having a problem and potentially having a problem are not the same scenario.

                      “There are two open bullpen spots. Show me the two relievers better than Hughes and I’ll consider this a reasonable response.”

                      More Ted-logic, geez. Are you the same person? I have no idea who will comprise the final roster spots — and neither do you. It will depend on Spring performance, injuries — and who’ll they play to start the season. They might carry one less pitcher to start the season if there’s some unexpected bat tearing it up. They might carry one more pitcher if there’s some unexpected arm getting outs. These things come down to decisions made in the final days of ST. I can’t answer you — neither can Girardi — neither can Cashman. Silly question on 2/18.

                    • CMP

                      I see where you’re coming from suggesting Hughes start off the year in AAA and work on building arm strength and his offspeed stuff however I must say I disagree.

                      I think anything he could accomplish in the minors against AAA hitters he could just as easily do pitching out of the back of the rotation against major league hitters that he ultimately is going to have to get out.

                      If you told me Hughes was going to start the season in the pen with Garcia as the 5th starter, I’d agree I’d rather see Hughes start the season in AAA to stay stretched out and do more than just throw fastballs out the pen but that does not appear to be the case, at least at this point.

                  • Bo Knows

                    At this point who cares what he did or didn’t do in his short stint at AAA. There are many instances of starters skipping AAA entirely so that issue is meaningless, especially since Phil has shown he can handle big leaguers in some capacity, the only way we will truly know what he’s capable of is to have him in the rotation as a starter.

                    I don’t care what Garcia does, because as we’ve seen from last year, its not who pitches better in ST, its who the team wants in the rotation. Last year Garcia was the 3rd best guy in the competition last year, but he got the nod over Colon. If Hughes is sitting 91-94, and maintaining his velocity he should be given a spot.

                    • DM

                      You should care — since he wasn’t the same pitcher above AA. A pitcher need not go back and complete AAA training if he shows that he can pitch at the big league level. I haven’t seen that from Hughes with any consistency — and the drop off in stuff should be considered more alarming than most people here wanna believe. You can’t ignore that fact — and pretend that Hughes has no issues except an “off year” or something. So, your “if Hughes is sitting 91-94″ and “maintaining his velocity” is a HUGE IF. If Garcia is looking sharp, why not see if Hughes answers that “IF” in AAA — where he won’t hurt you. Wouldn’t boil down to giving your big league team the best chance to win. Esp in April when you may only need 4 starters. At some point people here will have to come off their old notions of “Phil Phranchise” and “Little Rocket” and acknowledge what has actually happened — and not be so precious about treating him differently b/c he was once your top prospect. They have an option left on him; it’s not a crime to use it.

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

                      So he needs to go back to AAA to learn something he hasn’t learned in the big leagues over the last four years. Got it.

                    • DM

                      “So he needs to go back to AAA to learn something he hasn’t learned in the big leagues over the last four years. Got it.”

                      Ah, the Ted Nelson approach, huh? Having Hughes stretch out at AAA — to start the season, when you usually don’t need a consistent 5-man rotation — and after he pitched so few innings last year — might be a good idea to see if he maintains his stuff. Is that really unreasonable? Maybe not to learn anything — but to SHOW something that gives the big team some confidence that you’re head and shoulders above AAA, and ready to go after what you did last year.

                      What did Nova do to deserve a demotion last year? He went down and pissed on AAA, then was back before you knew it. But I guess precious Phil is beyond proving such things. Nova’s start to his career has been far more impressive than Phil’s start, but that didn’t mean he was beyond being sent down. That’s why a team has those 3 options. I don’t think Phil has proven he’s beyond being sent down. If Roy Halladay could be re-tooled in the minors, after being in the bigs, but taking a step back one year, anyone can. He had an era under 4 for over 150 innings the year BEFORE he was sent down (all the way to A ball) for having a crappy season. I guess the minor league case wasn’t closed on him just yet, huh?

                      Hughes was ugly last year, not just off — and he had faded in the 2nd half of his 18 win season. And dare I say coming into camp outta shape might favor the threat of a demotion too (it was for Joba). But I guess favorite son Phil is immune from questions about his attitude as well.
                      Got it.

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

                      What did Nova do to deserve a demotion last year?

                      He had an ERA in the mid-4.00’s before getting to beat up on some NL lineups in interleague. The demotion wasn’t entirely deserved, but he went down and got better, to his credit. The idea that the demotion was some great injustice is overblown because of his second half. Colon going to the bullpen instead of Freddy out of ST was worse.

                      But I guess favorite son Phil is immune from questions about his attitude as well.

                      Good idea, we should go back and punish Hughes for something he did a year ago. Nevermind what kind of shape he came to camp in this year.

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

                      Also, this makes no sense:

                      If Roy Halladay could be re-tooled in the minors, after being in the bigs, but taking a step back one year, anyone can.

                      Halladay is the best pitcher of his generation. Saying anyone should be able to do something because he did it is like saying anyone can build a successful company and become a billionaire because Mark Zuckerberg did it.

                    • DM

                      Some reality regarding Nova — since you seem to be disconnected from it.

                      http://hardballtalk.nbcsports......il-hughes/

                      “A four-game winning streak wasn’t enough to save Ivan Nova‘s roster spot.

                      In spite of the rookie right-hander’s recent success, he was shipped back to Triple-A on Sunday, with reliever Lance Pendleton coming up to claim his spot. Phil Hughes is expected to come off the DL on Wednesday to take over in the rotation.

                      Nova was coming off a win over the Mets on Friday in which he allowed one run in five innings. The Yankees had won each of his last five starts, with the 24-year-old going 4-0 with a 3.41 ERA in the process. For the season, Nova was 8-4 with a 4.12 ERA.”

                      “Good idea, we should go back and punish Hughes for something he did a year ago. Nevermind what kind of shape he came to camp in this year.”

                      Oh no — we should just ignore it — or make excuses for it — like any other potential Hughes negative. That moth that flew in his mouth caused him to give up the 3-run homer — and he swallowed it too, hence the weight gain. And Hughes was ordered to go to that bootcamp. He didn’t decide to go — like he should’ve the year before. I guess an 18-win season and his first arbitration settlement changed his off-season motivation that year, huh? Just what you like to see in a young player, always pushing to be better. LOL.

                      And regarding Halladay, I made no mention of his career after that. That wasn’t the point that your strawman comment wants it to be. I was only pointing out that a top prospect pitcher performed decently in the majors over years and innings, but took an ugly step back, and was sent down.

                      All this b/c I dared to suggest that the Yanks exercise their last option on Hughes to start the season if Garcia out-pitches him in ST?? Amazing how protective fans can be about their favorite prospects. Geez.

                      Mike, he wasn’t as good as we all wanted him to be. Get over him, and the excuses you make on his behalf. It’ll be ok; I promise.

              • fin

                Sending Hughes to the minors is absurd. He has 2 years left as a Yankee, if he cant cut it as a starter out of ST, send him to the pen and leave him there. Get what ever value out of him you can for the next 2 yrs, then let him walk. What do you want the Yankees to do, keep devoping him until he hits FA in the minors, when they can get at least some value out him in the majors?

                • DM

                  Sending him to AAA (where he was never fully developed) to start this season if he can’t beat out Garcia isn’t the same as sending him to the minors for 2 years. No one said that except you. He’d have more value if you could get him on track as a starter; farming him out to build him back up would be part of that process. If Hughes has problems getting outs as a big league starter, moving him to the pen won’t increase his value. He’d be an expensive Cory Wade. The only absurd notion is carrying Hughes on the staff no matter what — even though you have a minor league option left. If Hughes pitches the way he did last year this Spring, you’d rather have him in the pen than someone else who had a good ST? I think there’s an assumption that Hughes will be somewhere between good and mediocre. What if he sucks? You still give him the last spot in the pen rather than using that last option? Now, that’s absurd.

                  • fin

                    You think if he cant cut it as a starter in ST there is some magic bullet in AAA that is going to fix him in a month or 2? A bullet that he hasnt found in 4yrs in the majors?

                    I think he is more likely to succeed in the bullpen than the starting rotation, yes. Mainly becasue hes been pretty damn good out of the pen in his career and pretty damn bad as a starter.

                    By the time he fails at both, this season would be over for him, leaving 1 year left as a Yankee and at that point I would trade him for a bag of balls or release him, as his value would be nil and his future would be non exsistent with the yankees. I wouldnt want him taking a spot in AAA from a guy with potential to contribute to the Yankees going forward or occupy a roster spot.

                    • fin

                      Not to say I think any of these scenrios will take place. I think Hughes will be a decent 5th starter for the Yankees this year and better than AJ has been the last couple of years.

                    • DM

                      Who said anything about a magic bullet? And you completely ignore that the Yankees have a guy in Garcia who actually did what you’re hoping Hughes might do. What if Hughes has issues with command and location? Do you think that’ll get better pitching here or there out of the pen — if your goal is to get him into starter mode? And why would you worry more about him taking a spot in AAA rather than taking a spot in the big leagues? You’d rather have him try to work out things in games that count? And with Noesi gone, there’s a spot open in AAA anyway. That’s where he was headed most likely — and for the same reason — to get in rotation and be ready for call up when needed. And let’s face it, it’s usually needed.

                      Also, I’m not so sure Hughes is better than AJ — but at least AJ would make his 30+ starts. After last year I’d be shocked if Hughes pitched 200 innings in the bigs — or even a combo of the minors and bigs. Hard to go from 75 innings to 200 — esp when you’ve never pitched that many, and your durability is already suspect. And I can’t picture him pitching better than Garcia did last year. If Garcia goes south and Hughes looks good at AAA, make the switch; but I don’t hand the job to Hughes nor do I carry him in the pen no matter what. Hughes hasn’t earned that. I take the best team North; Hughes has to prove he’s the best option to help win games for the big club. You have an option to hold all the cards a little longer by sending him down. You’d lose nothing in the process.

    • PhilipW

      I think both teams got want they wanted. Pittsburgh got a veteran starting pitcher who might be better suited for a small market team while the Yankees got payroll relief and got rid of a player that lost his and the fan’s confidence. To me this is a win/win for both sides.

  • http://fendersonandhampton.com Cuso

    The Phillies thing was probably Halladay thinking he could fix AJ with their Toronto workout routine

    • Gerald Williams

      No, NO, No! The Phillies were going to trade Halladay and D. Brown for AJ.

    • JohnnyC

      Joe Blanton makes 8.5 million in 2012. That’s one reason.

    • Elmgrovegnome

      This is correct IMO. They harken to the Blue Jays days when Halladay and AJ were seeing the same shrink.

  • Curtis

    Waking up next to AJ Burnett probably means I made lots of bad decisions last night…

    /the morning after’d

  • Paul VuvuZuvella

    I’m a bit amazed that with the depth and quality of the Yankees Farm system, they can’t find a trade partner willing to swap Quality for Quality, each team filling a need, that would improve the Yanks bench this year with a versatile youthful player. With all the AAA pitching depth AND Catching prospects the Yanks have, why isn’t this an option?

    • JohnnyC

      Obviously, you’re more on top of things than Cashman. I’m game: name a deal of the sort that you’d like him to make. After all, Cashman does read RAB religiously.

      • Paul VuvuZuvella

        Did I vilify Cash in my post? There could be many reasons none of which imply a lack of competence by our Ninja GM. I am done proposing specific players because as we all know “my/your trade proposal sucks.”

        • fin

          Probably becaue a young versitile bench player isnt as valuable as a minor leaguer with start potential, and more valuable than a minor league who projects as a bench player.

    • TCMiller30

      I think it’s more of an issue of minor leaguers being a little bit of an unknown, and in the grand scheme of things, you’re more comfortable with what you know.

      In the Yankees perspective they “know” who Manny B is.. Would they be comfortable trading him for Bubba Starling from the Royals who seems like a super toolsy athletic outfielder? I’d say probably not, and I think the Royals would probably say the same thing.

    • Tom

      The AAA pitching depth is more quantity over quality (minus obviously Banuelos and Betances).

      AAA pitching prospects with back end of the rotation ceiling aren’t worth that much these days even if they have a high floor. They are good deadline deal pieces and/or secondary pieces in a bigger deal but they are probably worth more as organizational depth.

      Look at Boston last year which couldn’t scrape together a decent start from any arm in their farm system and were looking at trades up to the last day of the season.

      The Yankees may have a surplus of these guys but I’m not sure they would get back much value trading one or two of the non-B’s. And if it is just a so-so bench player, why bother?

  • Steve Bradenton FL

    When the Yankees signed AJ I was as excited at adding him to the roster as I was CC….one of the biggest disappointments in NYY history! ONE meaningful post season W and paying $20 mil to pitch elsewhere…..not pretty!
    Talk about wilting under the bright lights…enjoy the Pitts AJ, you certainly earned it!

    • gc

      Not quite. He had seven post-season starts with the Yankees. Four of them were good. Game 2 ’09 ALDS, Game 2 ’09 ALCS, Game 2 ’09 World Series, Game 4 ’11 ALDS. Combined, that’s 25 innings pitched, 14 hits, 5 runs allowed total. Two of his games were flat-out awful (Game 5 ’09 WS and Game 4 ’10 ALCS). The other game was average, Game 5 ’09 ALCS. He gave up 4 first inning runs, then shut down the Angels until the 7th. He gave up a single and a walk to lead off the inning but was taken out with a two run lead. Marte gave up a run in exchange for two outs, then Phil Hughes gave up a walk and two singles and the lead was gone. The way I see it, AJ did far more good in that game than bad, but it wasn’t his best start. It also certainly wasn’t a terrible one either. For the most part, AJ Burnett did a respectable job in the post-season as a Yankee, and that one World Series win in Game 2 was about as huge as they come. Wilting under the bright lights? No.

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

        All I know is that when I look back on the 2009 Yankees, I remember the bad starts in the playoffs, forget the title. What’s the point of being a fan if you’re just going to enjoy the good time rather than focus on the negative constantly?

      • Steve (different one)

        He pitched that crap game in the WS because he was willing to take the ball on short rest. Cliff Lee wasn’t for the Phils.

    • Bo Knows

      yes a very big disappointment after

      Carl Pavano
      Kei Igawa
      Hideki Irabu
      Clemens return
      Randy Johnson
      Javier Vazquez turns 1 and 2

      Also there is a huge difference between not being able to repeat mechanics and being a headcase, AJ’s problem was the former

      • CJ

        Kevin brown Jeff Weaver

        • Andrew518

          Funny how Pavano was such a disaster that we all overlook how much of a disaster Jarret Wright was.

          I’ve been really needing a baseball fix, dug out an old VHS copy of the 2005 season opener. Knowing what would happen it’s pretty funny to hear all the optomisim surrounding the rotation of R. Johnson, Pavano, and Wright.

          • Ed

            The difference is that we expected Wright to be a bad signing. He initially failed his physical due to shoulder problems, but George wanted him badly enough that they signed him anyway.

        • fin

          Jose Contreres

  • David in Cal

    I felt differently than Steve when AJ was signed. I looked at his ERA, which simply wasn’t that great, and his age. I don’t find it surprising that someone who had a 4.07 ERA at age 31 then had an ERA over 5.0 at age 34. What did surprise me was that another team offered Burnett a similar deal to what the Yanks signed him for.

  • TheMissile

    Exicardo Cayones…..may be the best household name going

    • JohnnyC

      Does Exicardo have the cayones to play in New York?

  • Rookie

    Let me get this straight…. Chavez and Ibanez and Jones and Garcia accept less money to play for the Yankees, while Jeter, whose lifelong ambition, he says, was/is to play shortstop for the Yankees, stands by and allows his agent to publicly accuse the Yankees of disrespecting him by making him a well above market offer that no other team would make?!? And only one of them has a revenue stream of millions and millions of dollars a year from promoting products, doing ads, etc. in large part BECAUSE he’s a Yankee.

    Who really values wearing the Pinstripes and who’s really a two-faced hypocrite?

    • JohnnyC

      Accept less money? Cite the better offers they received please.

      • Rookie

        I think it’s pretty well known that they accepted less than they could get elsewhere to play for the Yankees — and it’s reflected in their values/WAR according to FanGraphs figures.

        It was also widely known that Jeter wouldn’t get anywhere near what he was originally being offered by the Yankees — also as reflected in his value and WAR according to FanGraphs figures.

        Since you asked me a question, here’s a question for you, JohnnyC:

        How many players you can think of who claimed their top priority was to be a Yankee who either accused the team of negotiating in bad faith, disrespecting them, or otherwise behaving badly (or allowed their agent to do the same) when they were offered an above market contract above what anyone else would pay them?

        • JohnnyC

          It’s pretty well known? That’s your answer? Thanks for the detailed response.

          • Rookie

            I’ll take your lack of a response to my question to mean that you can’t think of any other players who behaved so badly. And you didn’t defend his behavior.

            So I have to assume that you acknowledge that his behavior was bad, and that it was way worse than the norm. So he’s a (fill-in-the-blank as you like). But he’s YOUR (fill-in-the-blank-as-you-like).

        • http://twitter.com/steveh603 Steve H

          Your 1st paragraph, citing fangraphs values/WAR is all that is wrong with America.

        • Cris Pengiucci

          I think it’s pretty well known that they accepted less than they could get elsewhere to play for the Yankees

          I don’t. Haven’t seen that referenced that I can recall. Besides, these 2 and Jeter are entirely different circumstances. If I recall correctly, there were comments that the Yankees and Jeter’s team agreed to keep negotiations private. It seems the Yankees made them somewhat public, which Jeter’s team did not care for. You may think Jeter is overpaid and it’s fine for you to have that opinion. Based on his on-field performance, he is. But these are entirely different circumstances.

        • fin

          Yes, Jeter is a terrible human being for getting as much money as he can for performing his job. He should just take what the yankees offer him. None of us negotiate our pay, we just take what ever a company want to pay us and are just happy to be working for said company. Hes robing those poor baby Stiens.

    • Bacciagaloop

      you butthurt?

    • CJ

      Worst comment ever!

    • CJ

      Chavez, Ibanez, Jones and Garcia = The New Core Four. True Yankees.

    • Andrew518

      I’m not one to be critical of other peoples comments but are you for real???

      A). On the day we are preparing to pay Burnett to play for another team you’re concerned on how much Jeter is getting.

      B). If we vilified every player for what their agent says during contract negotiations there wouldn’t be much to like in the game.

      C). Why are you still woried about Jeter’s contract negotiation from a year ago? He didn’t perform last year?

      D). Garcia, Jones, Ibanez, Chavez don’t belong in the same conversation as Jeter in baseball terms, yet alone Yankee terms, you’d really rather have these guys and no Jeter?

      E). Garcia et al. accept less money because they have no barganing power. Perhaps they could have gotten more somewhere else, but how much really, all of them are at the end of their careers, the Yankees provide them with high potential for winning.

      F). For all the bonuses they potentially have to pay A-Rod I think the Yankees got their money worth with Jeter’s 3,000 hit, also Jeter = first ballot hall of famer.

      G). Two faced hypocrite is a bit much, you must not have gotten Jeter’s goodie basket.

  • CJ

    Ibanez and Chavez is good for RAB. If Yanks got a legit bat, there would be no trade talk till next offseason. Ibanez and Chavez will have to be replaced/upgraded, I think before July.

    • G

      I guess that’s a good point. If Ibañez sucks they can just release him a la Randy Winn when a better option shows up on the trade market.

  • CNP

    primanti’s is so overrated

    • Slu

      Incorrect.

  • TCMiller30

    I still don’t get the love fest for Chavez.. He’s a backup 3rd baseman who can’t stay healthy. I understand the experienced bat and great glove are nice things to have, but they’re useless when he’s on the DL.

    • CJ

      Agreed.

    • Graig not Craig

      Chavez = ARod Injury Insurance. He’s the best cheap policy Flo from Progressive has on the shelf right now.

      • Cris Pengiucci

        He’s the best cheap policy Flo from Progressive has on the shelf right now.

        Unfortunately, he’s likely to be on the shelf himself this season. Due to the defense he showed last season, I find him acceptable, although I wish he provided more offense. But he is just a bench player. I just hope he’s healthy when he’s needed.

        Is there someone else available at his price, willing to take a bench role with the Yankees that would be as good? That could be anyone if he’s hurt, I guess, but if he’s healthy, who would you rather have that’s available?

        • Andrew518

          “Is there someone else available at his price, willing to take a bench role with the Yankees that would be as good?”

          Eduardo Nunez.

          • fin

            Yep, I would rather see Nunez in the game over Chavez. People are too quick to quit on young players. He had never played 3rd before and it showed, it not unreasonable to expect a rookie to improve. Everyone wants an allstar backup, most backups have serious flaws, hence they are backups, at least Nunez is young enough to improve.

  • http://twitter.com/themanchine The Manchine

    I’d rather have Blake DeWitt than Chavez.

  • ron

    I think that the pirates are getting a top of the rotation SP for a pittance… If you drop august numbers from AJ.. he comes out as a 4.330 era winning SP in th AL east….Ill be happy with those numbers from Kuroda… In the NL Central AJ will pitch to weaker hitters and pitchers…I forsee a lower 3 ERA and at Least 15 wins…If he gets run support ( a big if) he could win 20…not bad for the 6.5 million
    the Pirates are paying

    • Steve (different one)

      I’m pretty sure you can remove any starter’s worst 6 starts and get an ERA of 4.33. Which isn’t even good.

      • ron

        I am not removing his worst 6 starts..I am removing a whole month…funny how we forget the other 5 months of starts and one great postseason….he was serviceable for 5 of 6 months.
        I am saying that we are paying Kuroda 10 milllion plus 9 million of AJ money for I believe the same results. thats 19 million for a unknown quantity…when we had AJ for 16.5 as a 3 to 5 SP… When we signed Kuroda we weakened our position and ended up paying more than we needed to…

        • Steve (different one)

          Except saying Kuroda an AJ will have the same results is base on a whole bunch of flimsy assumptions. Kuroda had an ERA close to 3 last year. AJ had an ERA close to 5. Why should we believe they will produce similar results? Kuroda will do somewhat worse in the AL. Why should I believe AJ will do better? He had a terrible August EVERY year. Why do you get to wave that away to make your case? It’s a dishonest argument.

          You are also ignoring that Kuroda is only signed for one year and AJ was signed for 2. If AJ stinks again you REALLY are stuck for 2013.

          • ron

            lest you forget we are paying 19 million for Kuroda..the 33 million is a sunk cost…Maybe I am more arguing that Kuroda was a unnecessary sign if it put us in the position to move AJ…I guess I am more of a mind that I prefer the Toad with warts than the one that I dont know.. Aj was Serviceable and an innings eater….
            On a team like the Yankees ..you could afford to carry that load if he had a 5 era…Do i likethe Era? NO but if you look back at his 2011 starts..you will see starts that kept the Yankees in games and scattered in there are starts that were stinky… If he was making 5-7 million you would say the starts were acceptable.. but because of the big contract we expect more…. btw yes Aj is signed for next year…but we are still on the hook for 9 million of that…9 million for nothing…so who ever we sign will be that plus ….lets say hameels for 24 mil per if he has big year…thats 33 million for one pitcher…would you rather have a 3.00 pitcher with 18-20 wins for 33million or a 15 win /5.00 for 16.5…with the yankeees offense..id take the 16.5 espicially with Our Kids in AAA coming in two years and reducing our payroll in mind
            and in regards to the August…i agree he sucks every August..but the season is 6 months long…and you have to agree he has the capability to be a 3…I dont think Kuroda can do that in the AL East

            • Steve (different one)

              You lost me when you said you’d rather have AJ over Hamels because of the wins.

              I liked AJ, but they have enough depth in the minors where you have to think they can replace his innings and reallocate that $8m in 2013. It’s a no brainer IMO, agree to disagree I guess.

              • ron

                I guess so….i just hate paying other teams to take our players..espicially one with talent…Pitt is going to enjoy having AJ and we are going to be kicking ourselves when we have a Ian KENNEDY MOMENT AT MIDSEASON>a AJ WILL BE 3.50 AND 8 WINS KURODA 4.50 AND 6 WINS WHO KNOWS

                • CS Yankee

                  And if that happens in mid-season, we could take comfort in the fact that Kuroda will likely adjust, AJ will likely implode and we’ll likely be ahead by five games in the standings (unless the Rays learn to hit or BoSox have SP).

                  Smart trade…the meat was brown and needed to be moved as the fresh stuff is being stocked on the shelf and the premium cuts are poised to bring a great return.

                  This rotation seems better than the one going into 2010 and has great upside being so young.

        • fin

          Remove his best month and his numbers are worse.

          • ron

            but 5 out 6 months he was a serviceable 5th starter…take his worst month out and his best aug and april….he still was dependable for 4 months..just not worth 16.5….so what do we do?…we sigh another SPfor 10 million ..sell AJ for peanuts…and end up paying an unknown quantity 10 mil plus AJs 9 million….for 19 million i want a 1 or 2 type starter… kuroda is 37 and has miles on his arm… is he worth a 19 million risk?

  • Tyrone Sharpton

    In Harlem still seems like the day after Whitney Houston’s death. Don’t get me wrong, she was a sista, but we shouldn’t be celebrating a crackhead, drugged up wreck’s life over say Sean Bell’s.

    • JohnnyC

      Do you watch Angry Boys? Chris Lilley is a white Australian who plays a black American rapper S Mouse on the show. Quite convincingly. You could learn a lot from him on how to impersonate African Americans.

    • Bo Knows

      you know I have the strangest suspicion that you are a white teenager pulling off a borderline racist caricature of a black person.

  • http://jukeofurl.wordpress.com Juke Early

    I wish Mark Cuban owned the NYY. Why? because Steinbrenner: The Next Gen, is looking weaker & weaker. AND if that actually did happen, it would mean that @#%&*! used car salesman was dead. I finally figured out why he gets 22 million per – it was most of the rest of the teams paying him to kill the Yankees. Raul Ibanez? he looks older than Ron Paul.

    NOTE to Phil Hughes: Garcia has something in common w/all the starters ahead of you. Doesn’t look good for you bro. Unless maybe Vanna sells you a vowel. . ..

    • Bo Knows

      So Hal is weaker because he’s not a blowhard asshole who likes to whine when he doesn’t get his way like Cuban? Or make moves just for the sake of making moves like The Boss (RIP) did?

    • Steve (different one)

      This is an insane reaction to this trade. Complete nonsense

    • Kevin

      So Hal’s weaker because won’t gut the farm system for over the hill players or overpay for players over the hill?

  • Chen Meng Wang

    The fact that Cashman got two warm bodies and salary relief for AJ at this point shows how good he is, but am I the only Yankee fan who is feeling a sick, morbid sadness at the loss of AJ?

    • http://www.twitter.com/tomzig Tom Zig

      I am sad that you are sad that AJ is gone. We should rejoice.

      AJ Burnett was one of the worst pitchers in history the past two years.

  • pistol pete

    Please, not Ibanez. He can’t run, can’t field, is 40 yrs old, and had a 289 obp in a very good lineup in a hitters park. Damon is clearly a better option. He hit better than Ibanez last year, has just as much power now, can still run and play the outfield in a pinch. He can hit leftys if he’s called on to do so, is very playoff proven, and NY proven. What is all the love for Ibanez who’s coming off his worst year and soon to be 40. He could very well be done. I hope we’re not signing another Randy Winn but I fear that’s just what Cashman is ready to do.

    • Rookie

      Your post made me check out Ibanez’s Home/Road splits. And you’re right. It’s been very ugly the past two years away from the Phriendly confines of Philadelphia — very, very ugly. He may indeed turn out to be Randy Winn revisited.

      Then again, it seems like, starting last year, the Yankees have done a very good job of knowing whether or not a player is toast. So maybe they know something they think is important that doesn’t show up in the stats. Let’s hope — because the stats definitely provide grounds to worry.

      • CS Yankee

        I couldn’t believe the Ibanez rumor to begin with but there could also be other crazy good stuff going on…

        Garcia was decent & they sign him quickly for 4M$…this reduces the spots opened for SP’ers and helps in the M’s trade and the Kuroda signing. If Hughes ends up as the #5, they have insurance and perhaps he saved in the other two pickups.

        In signing Ibanez for a mil, maybe Johnny comes down a couple or comes to camp to compete with a chance to sign for 2-3M$. He doesn’t seem to have any other options as even the Mets can’t pay above minimum wage.

    • CS Yankee

      Agreed.

      However, if they (Chav’ & Ibanez) are playing for a mil each and they don’t preform they will be out quicke than Winn and his 1.1-1.5M$ was a few years back. If those grandpa’s were signed for 3-5 each, that would be Epic Fail. “Johnny come lately” price will only drop and they could likely add him anytime…or just maybe he burnt the bridge after ’09…either way i’m cool with it.

      Look for a Puma-like trade in July as I doubt these two will provide much. Maybe Nunez will hone the bunts and bad throws and maybe Billy Beane will have his annual mid-season fire sale stand opened come July 1st.

  • fin

    I prefer Damon to the rest of the guys being mentioned. That being said, I cant get too worked up over it, all of these guys are washed up and just as likely to suck as the next guy. I like Damons odds of not completely sucking more than the others, but not by enough to get worked up over it. Chavez is the one that I get worked up over, not only does he suck but hes virtually guaranteed to get hurt. There seems no reason to me, to have Chavez on the team. Just go with Nunez and Pena and save the million for the deadline in hopes of picking up a useful player. A million is worth 2 at the deadline.

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

    Ibañez will be cut at the end of ST. And Chavez on the DL by April 15. Book it.

    • fin

      Maybe that is why the Yankees are going with Ibanez over Damon. I assume that Ibanez will be a minor league deal where Damon would require a Major league deal. If Ibanez sucks they jsut let him go and not pay a dime. If Damon sucks they have to eat the money. It could be that after eating 20m on AJ and 8m on Feliciano, that the Yankees are risk adverse to the potential of eating another dollar of money. I really cant blame them for that. Still doesnt explain Chavez though.

  • fin

    Joel Sherman is saying that the Yankees considered taking Moreno in the rule 5 draft and that they felt he was a top 10 prospect in the Pirates system, and knew the Pirates didnt consider him as such. Maybe the Yankees did get something back other than money for Burnett. I’m not holding my breath though.

  • Dave

    Moreno has upside if the Yanks can get his head on straight– his minor league WHIP is impressive.

    One comment re: AJ and the Phillies– don’t forget that Burnett had arguably his best year in Toronto and he and Halladay were very close. I’m sure that the Phillies took that into consideration when talking to the Yanks about him. Their 1 throug 5 would have been pretty impressive if Burnett was their too. Blanton is coming off an injury-riddled season, so at least Burnett was going to give them innings

    • fin

      I’m glad he didnt go the Philies, there is a legit chance that they can meet in the series, and it would be heart breaking to have AJ have one of those on days and beat the Yankees, while they are paying him. The Yankees paying AJ 20m to beat them, would be a never ending story.