New York Yankees Pay $20M For A.J. Burnett To Pitch in Pittsburgh
The saga of A.J. Burnett has now officially left the Bronx. A. J. Burnett has passed his physical and he is being sent to the Pittsburgh Pirates for two minor league players. Burnett’s Yankees career ends with a 34-35 record and a 4.79 ERA after signing a five-year, $82.5 million contract prior to the 2009 season.
Baseball commissioner Bud Selig had to approve of the deal because, as it turns out, it is going to be expensive for the Yankees to get Burnett out of New York. The Pirates are only going to pay $13 million of the $33 million has left on the last two years of his contract.
The Yankees agreed to trade Burnett for right-handed reliever Diego Moreno and outfielder Exicardo Cayones. Neither of them is considered to be very high on the Pirates prospect list.
The Yankees had faced a dilema heading into the offseason as their starting rotation was questionable for the 2012 campaign. Yankees General Manager Brian Cashman changed all of that with the signings ofHiroki Kuroda and Michael Pineda. They also resigned Freddy Garcia. This left the Yankees with 7 starters and 5 open spots in the rotation. Burnett’s exit relieves that crunch, and the Yankees now figure to have six starters competing for five spots in their rotation, with Garcia and Phil Hughes battling for the final opening.
Cashman told reporters,
“Unfortunately, I’ve been around long enough to realize what appears to be a surplus can turn into a deficit rather quickly based on health,”
Burnett was on the chopping black after suffering to glaringly inconsistent season for the the last two years. He was the most volatile pitcher the Yankees had and they are a team who really values consistency.
“We’ve got our hands full [in the AL East]. That’s why I hope and pray that what we’ve done this winter will help line us up to some degree.”
The $13 million dollars the Yankees are going to save they have already started spending signing Raul Ibanez to a 1 year $1.1 million dollar contract.
Do you think the Yankees made a smart decision with A. J. Burnett?