17 February 2012

A.J. Burnett Traded to the Pittsburgh Pirates

Well it was one eventful term in New York for A.J. Burnett, as it now comes to a close as the Yankees traded the righty to the Pittsburgh Pirates in exchange for a couple of prospects, outfielder Exicardo Cayones and relief pitcher Diego Moreno, as well as for Pittsburgh absorbing $13 million from the $33 million remaining on his contract. I will break down this trade after the jump.

As a Yankees fan, I can certainly attest to the amount of hair I pulled out because of Burnett and how maddeningly inconsistent he is. Especially over the past two seasons has Burnett really been all over the place and it is clear that Burnett was overpaid and ultimately a bust. But to his credit, he did have a solid season in 2009, pitched a gem in game 2 of the World Series that year that evened the series (even as he pitched poorly in game 5) and made his time nothing short of interesting. But he got paid the big bucks to develop as a strong number two in the rotation and never did that and the Yankees are clearly happy to get rid of him, especially as they had more starters than rotation spots.

But it is not a terrible trade for the Pirates. Yes they have to eat a nice piece of his salary but Burnett has shown to be a very good pitcher when not in high pressure scenarios and his numbers in Florida and Toronto mostly prove that statement. Plus they have really no pitching so it gives them another arm which could potentially work out well for them.

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