Pirates Expressed Interest in A.J. Burnett

Ken Rosenthal has an update on the New York Yankees trying to deal starting pitcher A.J. Burnett, and notes that the Pittsburgh Pirates expressed interest at one point (h/t Bucs Dugout). Rosenthal reports that the Yankees haven’t had any success trying to move Burnett, who is owed $16.5 M a year for the next two years. The right hander is coming off back to back years where he put up an ERA above 5.00. His xFIP wasn’t as bad, with a 3.86 mark in 2011. He also puts up a lot of innings, with 190.1 in 2011 and 186.2 in 2010.

Burnett’s contract would obviously require the Yankees to eat salary in any deal. His struggles the last two years, combined with him turning 35 yesterday, don’t really make him an attractive option. He’s lost velocity, seeing his average fastball go from 94.2 MPH in 2009 to 93.1 in 2010 and 92.7 in 2011. His poor numbers can’t be blamed on the new Yankees Stadium since he’s been better at home than on the road the last three years. It probably wouldn’t cost anything to get Burnett, outside of salary, but I’d much rather see the Pirates go a different direction. There are too many red flags with Burnett, even if the Yankees pick up salary.

Tim Williams

Author: Tim Williams

Tim is the owner and editor in chief of Pirates Prospects. He started the site in January 2009, and turned it into his full time job during the 2011 season. Prior to starting Pirates Prospects, Tim worked with AccuScore.com, providing MLB, NHL, and NFL coverage to various national media outlets, including ESPN Insider, USA Today, Yahoo Sports, and the Wall Street Journal. He also writes the annual Prospect Guide, which is sold through the site. Tim lives in Bradenton, where he provides live coverage all year of Spring Training, mini camp, instructs, the Bradenton Marauders, and the GCL Pirates.

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  • Anonymous

    Ya wouldnt be a fan of that unless it was Banuelos and Burnett and bucs eat whole contract. Even then might have to add another guy. I doubt the Yanks would pay $30 mill to take him. 

  • Todd Smith

    He’s been awful with the Yankees, but it might be interesting to see what he could do in the National league.  Just getting away from the Yankees and into a low pressure situation could help him out.

    Wouldn’t be overly excited about a trade, unless they could get a Zambrano type deal and get him for just a couple of million per year.  Then again, I’m not overly excited about any of the free agent options available either.  I think I’d rather take a chance on someone like Burnett for a couple of cheap years than be stuck with Edwin Jackson for 5 years.