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The Yankees want the Pirates to pay more than $10 million of A.J. Burnett’s salary

Feb 10, 2012, 5:17 PM EDT

New York Yankees Burnett pitches to the Detroit Tigers during the first inning of Game 4 in their MLB  American League Division Series baseball playoffs in Detroit

We’ve been tracking the Yankees-Pirates’  talks about A.J. Burnett. The Yankees want to unload him. The Pirates, for some reason, want him.  Earlier today we heard that the Pirates were willing to absorb as much as $10 million of the $33 million still owed to Burnett over the next two years.

One would think that’s enough.  Joel Sherman of the New York Post says that’s not the case, though: the Yankees want the Pirates to pay even more.

Seems excessive. A.J. Burnett is not worth more than $5 million a year over the next to years to a team like the Pirates.  The Indians, by point of comparison, are paying only $5 million of Derek Lowe‘s contract for 2012.  That seems to be the market for dead weight with a shred of potential, no?

  1. proudlycanadian - Feb 10, 2012 at 5:24 PM

    The Yankees are still working on the greater fool theory. After all if one team was foolish enough to over pay Burnett, another team might be foolish enough to do so. Unfortunately, for The Yankees, there is only one potential buyer. Just do it!

  2. gendisarray - Feb 10, 2012 at 5:27 PM

    The Yankees are insane to want more than $10 million. AJ Burnett is a flaming bag of poop they’re hoping to leave on Pittsburgh’s doorstep – they should be running away as fast as possible and hoping they don’t get caught, not sticking around to ask for donations.

  3. knicks4life - Feb 10, 2012 at 5:29 PM

    10 million is more then enough

  4. spudchukar - Feb 10, 2012 at 5:32 PM

    Pirate front office: “You want us to take Burnett off your hands AND pay him too?”

    • natstowngreg - Feb 10, 2012 at 5:45 PM

      “And give you a decent player on top of that?”

      The Pirates are fools for even considering this deal. It would just be the latest in a very long line of bad deals for old, underachieving players.

  5. El Bravo - Feb 10, 2012 at 5:36 PM

    I’m dead weight…someone give me 5 mill…

  6. jwbiii - Feb 10, 2012 at 5:37 PM

    Self test:
    1. If A.J. Burnett was a free agent, would you offer him a 2/$10M contract?
    2. Would you give away a potentially useful player for the privilege of signing him to that contract?

    • dparker713 - Feb 10, 2012 at 5:44 PM

      1) No, not at this point in the offseason. But I’d rather have Burnett at that price than Bruce Chen for 2/$9M. If Jackson got $11M and Oswalt can’t even seem to get that, 6-7M tops for AJ.

      2) Not a chance.

  7. baseballisboring - Feb 10, 2012 at 5:59 PM

    I just don’t see why the Pirates would be trying to trade Jones for Burnett even if the Yanks picked up all of Burnett’s salary. Jones isn’t an all star, but he’s OK, if you’re gonna trade him get a couple halfway decent prospects out of him. Not like Burnett is gonna be part of the next winning Pirates team…I don’t think bringing AJ over is gonna fill the seats in Pittsburgh.

    • seahawks80 - Feb 10, 2012 at 6:06 PM

      Who is going to be part of the next winning Pirates team? Nobody on this roster thats for sure.

    • rambodiaz - Feb 10, 2012 at 11:27 PM

      I just don’t see why the Pirates would be trying to trade Jones for Burnett even if the Yanks picked up all of Burnett’s salary. Jones isn’t an all star, but he’s OK, if you’re gonna trade him get a couple halfway decent prospects out of him.

      See, that’s the problem. No one is saying that the Pirates are trying to trade Garrett Jones. Even they seem to realize that they’re not deep enough in RF or 1B to make Jones expendable. It’d be great if Jones were just the 4th outfielder and a backup 1B. He’d be really useful in that role, which is why NYY is interested.

      Jones is really popular with the fans, he’s relatively cheap, and he’s not terrible. He’s worth having around, and unfortunately for Pittsburgh, he’s an integral cog. Flip him for a couple of decent prospects, though? Who’s offering anything of use for him? At what point other than in 2009 could GJ ever have been overvalued enough for something like that?

      • baseballisboring - Feb 11, 2012 at 12:45 AM

        Well hey, I’m not saying they should aim for Mike Trout or Bryce Harper. I’m just saying, a couple okay relief prospects? He does hit righties at least…that’s if they’re trying to trade him. I agree with you they’re probably not, but then why are they entertaining the idea of trading him for AJ Burnett of all people? Just seems weird that they would even engage in the discussion.

  8. fuggles7 - Feb 10, 2012 at 6:48 PM

    Pirates should just wait the Yankees out.. tomorrow offer $7 million and a bag of used balls.. the next day $6 million and a bag of used balls.. til they crack.

  9. farvite - Feb 10, 2012 at 6:54 PM

    I’d like to spend a week in South Beach with Jenn Sterger… Also filed under the ‘never.gonn.happen’ category..

  10. seahawks80 - Feb 10, 2012 at 7:12 PM

    I am a Yankee fan and would love to this trade happen but anyone bad team, like the Pirates, would be crazy to take AJ at this point, he would only be useful for a contender that can put him in the 4 or 5 slot.

    • jwbiii - Feb 10, 2012 at 8:37 PM

      Except he is pitching for a contender in the 4 or 5 slot, and they’re willing to pay $23M to make him go away.

  11. aceshigh11 - Feb 10, 2012 at 10:22 PM

    To paraphrase Junior Soprano:

    “I wanna bend Adriana Lima over a pile of hundred dollar bills…let’s see who gets lucky first.’

  12. cackalackyank - Feb 10, 2012 at 11:07 PM

    Picture this: ‘Brian Cashman this is God speaking, TAKE THE MONEY AND RUN. YOU WILL STILL HAVE PLENTY OF MONEY LEFT OVER FOR A-L-I-M-O-N-Y!’

  13. uyf1950 - Feb 10, 2012 at 11:11 PM

    Here is an update from MLBTR about the ongoing conversations between the Yankees and the Pirates about AJ Burnett:

    Yankees, Pirates Talking A.J. Burnett Trade
    By Ben Nicholson-Smith [February 10 at 9:50pm CST]
    9:50pm: Talks were ongoing as of Friday evening, according to Bill Brink of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, and do not include Garrett Jones. Brink adds that Bucs are more receptive to taking on salary than moving a player or prospect.

  14. randygnyc - Feb 10, 2012 at 11:25 PM

    Uyf- the pirates can’t attract any players to willingly sign there. The only players that will play there are the ones that have no choice or those at the end of their careers. They do have some money to spend on innings eaters. Because of these reasons, they aren’t interested in trading Garret Jones because they have no chance of signing anyone remotely close in mediocre talent. But sure, they’re interested in AJ because even for a 6 or 7 million dollar arm, they can’t sign anyone better. Cashman knows this.

    • uyf1950 - Feb 11, 2012 at 6:10 AM

      Randy – Believe me I understand that. That’s exactly why I think this deal gets done one way or another. I think it needs to happen for both teams. Like you said about the Pirates and for Cashman I don’t think he wants to head into spring training carrying 7 starters in the rotation.

      I think ultimately the Pirates up their offer to $12MM total ($6MM per) and Cashman accepts it and both move on. And for me that works just fine.

      AJ will do fine in the NL Central Division, the Yankees get the salary relief they seek and can sign Chavez and Ibanez if they so choose without increasing their overall payroll. And maybe even save a few dollars to deposit in the “Bank of Hal” as a good will gesture.

  15. seahawks80 - Feb 11, 2012 at 6:58 AM

    jwbiii – – There is no way he is a #4 on this team, unless we have some injuries, he may not even a starter at all. Yankees arent used to being over-stocked at pitching but its much better than looking for pitching.

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