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Pirates, Yankees making progress toward A.J. Burnett trade

Feb 12, 2012, 10:00 AM EDT

burnett getty Getty Images

Mark Feinsand of the New York Daily News was told by a source on Saturday night that there’s a “good chance” of A.J. Burnett being dealt to the Pirates.

It appears that source was onto something.

According to ESPN’s Buster Olney, the Pirates and Yankees have the “framework” of a deal “in place.”

Olney says the two teams haven’t agreed on the other players who will be swapped nor the exact dollar amount that will change hands — two of the biggest factors in any trade — but they’re talking within a “common ground” and beginning to make steady progress.

Burnett, 35, posted a 5.15 ERA and 173/83 K/BB ratio in 190 1/3 innings (32 starts) last season. The Yankees are expected to eat more than $20 million of the $33 million remaining on his current deal.

UPDATE, 10:47 AM: ESPN New York’s Andrew Marchand says the Yankees are engaged in trade talks with four different teams, but are only “50-50” to actually part with Burnett before spring training.

UPDATE, 11:02 AM: According to the New York Post‘s Joel Sherman, the Yankees know they can make a Burnett deal with the Pirates but are waiting to hear from other interested teams.

UPDATE, 11:59 AM: CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman is hearing that the Yankees “don’t love” the two minor leaguers that the Pirates offered and Sherman says a deal is “very doubtful” to happen this weekend.

  1. buffalomafia - Feb 12, 2012 at 10:23 AM

    Who are the Yanks going to get in return some bum?

    • uyf1950 - Feb 12, 2012 at 10:30 AM

      Who cares.

    • pisano - Feb 12, 2012 at 10:47 AM

      buffalo… far as I’m concerned the restroom attendant will work as long as this thing goes through.

      • proudlycanadian - Feb 12, 2012 at 3:51 PM

        As a Jays fan, I would prefer to see him continue to pitch for the Yankees. Exile to Pittsburgh is my second choice.

      • proudlycanadian - Feb 12, 2012 at 5:59 PM

        My third choice is Philadelphia where Doc would help straighten him out.

    • bigmeechy74 - Feb 12, 2012 at 6:45 PM

      Asking that question makes me wonder how you even found this website. You are missing the point entirely. If the giants trade zito or the cubs trade soriano are you gonna ask if they are getting bums in return? wow.

  2. uyf1950 - Feb 12, 2012 at 10:31 AM

    “According to ESPN’s Buster Olney, the Pirates and Yankees have the “framework” of a deal in place.”

    I like framework. Framework is a good thing.

  3. seahawks80 - Feb 12, 2012 at 10:31 AM

    Being a Yankee fan, Burnett brought some happy times to the Bronx but his best days are behind him, but he is still a good pitcher and a change of scenery will do him good, especially to a team that doesnt have any pressure.

    • florida76 - Feb 12, 2012 at 10:57 AM

      More accurately, seahawks80, less pressure. Certain players perform better out of the NY spotlight, whether they play for Pittsburgh or Seattle.

      • seahawks80 - Feb 12, 2012 at 11:19 AM

        No, it no pressure playing for the Pirates, how can it be any pressure playing for a 60 win team?

      • stex52 - Feb 12, 2012 at 12:35 PM

        This “Pressure” thing is largely a myth in the minds of those who live in Bedlam on the Hudson. Every pro player on every team feels pressure to perform. “Yankee pressure” is just an excuse to give the GM when his deals don’t work.

      • Alex K - Feb 12, 2012 at 4:18 PM

        Absolutely, stex52. Just because the reporters are dicks doesn’t make it harder to play somewhere. The only reason I can think of that would make it more stressful is living in Manhattan. That is draining in it’s own way.

      • davebrownspiral - Feb 13, 2012 at 8:22 AM

        I believe guys like Ed Whitson, Gregg Jefferies, Carl Pavano and countless others who have crumbled under the media spotlight in New York would disagree with your assessments seahawks and florida

  4. paperlions - Feb 12, 2012 at 10:59 AM

    So….this “framework” is apparently that players will be exchanged and each team will pay some of Burnett’s remaining contract?

    Because…you know….not knowing which players will be in the deal or how much of the money owed Burnett will be paid by each team is kind of 100% of the deal.

  5. kiwicricket - Feb 12, 2012 at 11:06 AM

    “Take him”
    ‘No, you keep him”
    “Please take him”
    “No, please keep him”

    Working out the wrinkles…..

  6. cowboychris5xchamps - Feb 12, 2012 at 11:22 AM

    LOL! What a bust Mr. Burnett turned out to be! This is exactly what the Yankees get for trying to gobble up every free agent on the market! If I were the Pirates GM I wouldn’t bail them out….money won’t buy happiness or championships but it’s a damn good down payment.

    • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Feb 12, 2012 at 11:30 AM

      A cowboys fan talking about signing free agents, that’s rich.

  7. joey15215 - Feb 12, 2012 at 11:45 AM

    Burnett was a power pitcher that actually quite average. I truly hope the Pirates don’t make this trade, even if the Yankees are eating much of his contract. Why trade for a guy that is clearly average and at the end of his career?
    Not to mention that his ERA for career is above 4.00 and above 5.0 with the Yankees. And the Pirates do not score anywhere near enough runs to support that type of pitcher.

    • Kevin S. - Feb 12, 2012 at 12:58 PM

      It’s not above 5.00 with the Yankees, and his career ERA+ is the same 105 as a guy 2/3 of the HOF electorate believes deserves enshrinement.

      • joey15215 - Feb 12, 2012 at 1:43 PM

        121-111 current W/L record?
        ERA+ is not the stat I referenced … I referenced ERA …
        ERA with the Yankees year for year … 4.04, 5.26, and 5.15 (2009-2011) = 4.816 average.
        That ERA with the Yankees is close to 5.00 and his career ERA is 4.10.
        Burnett is an average Pitcher for career with a few significant accomplishments such as the No-Hitter in the early part of his career.
        The Pirates do not average over that many runs per game and he would be a waste for the organization to give up quality players for. If he were a FA, Burnett might be worth looking at.

      • Kevin S. - Feb 12, 2012 at 2:28 PM

        I see your understand English about as well as you write it. You said his ERA with the Yankees was above 5.00. It’s 4.79. Nobody’s saying that’s great, obviously, but you were still off by a decent amount. He’s had two shitty years with the Yankees, but for the rest of his career, he’s been a somewhat above-average starting pitcher. I mentioned ERA+ because it takes park effects and run-scoring environment into account, and it’s the same as Jack Morris’, whom the majority of voters believe should be in the Hall of Fame. Obviously I disagree about Morris being HOF worthy, but he was still an above-average pitcher whom AJ Burnett compares well to.

      • joey15215 - Feb 12, 2012 at 3:32 PM

        Many people that find themselves as wrong in a debate turn to attempting to put people down. Response to Kevin’s English language comment.

        I made a quick assessment of Burnett’s stats based on a quick look at them. I further went and actually did an average later. I guess there is such a great difference between saying over 5.00 and the actual answer being 4.816 with the Yankees from 2009-2011.

        As for Jack Morris, I do love what he did for a career in post-season play, but his overall statistics hold him back from enshrinement. As for career and post-season career, Burnett doesn’t even compare to Morris. Morris’ career regular season record is 254-186 to Burnett’s 121-111. The way I see it, unless Burnett pitches until he’s 50, he won’t equal Morris’ total wins. And that Win to Loss ratio for Burnett places him to barely above 50%/.500. Where the two do compare is in ERA, which Morris had a 3.90 to Burnett’s current 4.10 for career.

        Maybe double think your argument? I’ll give you the ERA+ position, but on the whole, Burnett is not worth the Pirates giving up talent that can help them over the next 7-10 years to maybe 1-2 seasons from Burnett. I predict that if Burnett does become a Pirate, he will have .500 or worse W/L record each season.

      • Alex K - Feb 12, 2012 at 4:30 PM

        joey- Pitcher W/L record doesn’t really mean anything in this conversation (or any conversation, it’s worthless). Their basic ERA’s are pretty darn close, and they have the same ERA+. That means they are very similar pitchers. It’s okay to just admit you are wrong.

        I think the only way the Pirates give up anything useful is if the Yankees pay the whole salary. Other than that the Yankees have very little leverage in the discussion.

      • joey15215 - Feb 13, 2012 at 2:55 PM

        Describe out more the ERA+ as a compromise.

        I still do not think of Burnett as a HoF, no matter what argument is brought forward.
        I read below our thread where people have mentioned Burnett, if healthy, may thrive in the NL. While not having to face nine true batters, I still do not see the Pirates being able to pick up enough runs to overcome Burnett’s lifetime ERA.

        Maybe this ERA+ will shed some light on this.

  8. yankeesfanlen - Feb 12, 2012 at 12:04 PM about sums it up:

    • joey15215 - Feb 12, 2012 at 1:49 PM

      Thanks for putting this up. I’m from Pittsburgh and the pictures in there are outstanding.

      • proudlycanadian - Feb 12, 2012 at 4:16 PM

        I had put that song out of my memory bank Len. Mitch Miller sure produced a lot of “bubble gum” music during the 50’s.

  9. uyf1950 - Feb 12, 2012 at 1:16 PM


    A.J. Burnett Rumors: Sunday
    By Zach Links [February 12, 2012 at 12:10pm CST]
    The Yankees likely will pay $19-23MM of $33MM remaining on Burnett’s contract and receive multiple minor leaguers in return, according to a source with knowledge of the discussions, writes Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports. Those prospects would not be players on the Pirates’ 40-man roster, the source said.

    • joey15215 - Feb 12, 2012 at 1:46 PM

      Burnett is not worth giving up talented prospects for, IMHO. Just see my response above this post for my reasons.

      • uyf1950 - Feb 12, 2012 at 1:52 PM

        You do realize after what 19 straight losing seasons and drafting relatively high since the early 1990’s the Pirates should be looking for more then just “talented prospects” if they want to win. Because clearly prospects haven’t worked out very well for them so far.

      • joey15215 - Feb 12, 2012 at 3:07 PM

        The Pirates have had many talented prospects, who they bring up/or not and then trade them for worthless players. I can only imagine what the Pirates would be like if they had simply kept the players they had and built around them over the years.

  10. gjdsr6 - Feb 12, 2012 at 1:57 PM

    Good riddance to AJ. What a clown. Maybe he should take his cream pies and his “great stuff” and join the circus.

    • jwbiii - Feb 12, 2012 at 2:09 PM

      He already did that.

  11. westtribetobe - Feb 12, 2012 at 2:14 PM

    Literally checking this page every hour just waiting for it to be official. Peace AJ!

    • pisano - Feb 12, 2012 at 2:38 PM

      westtribetobe… you have a lot of company checking in with you! most Yankee fans want Burnett out of NY, he’s literally worn out his stay.

      • proudlycanadian - Feb 12, 2012 at 4:18 PM

        Keep him please says the rest of the AL East!

  12. seahawks80 - Feb 12, 2012 at 2:16 PM

    Thank goodness the Yankees arent getting any players from the 40 man roster, AAA or AA players are probably better in that franchise.

  13. stevesper88 - Feb 12, 2012 at 2:28 PM

    Burnett is a Pirate already…A Butt Pirate that is…..Yarrrrrggg

    • baseballisboring - Feb 12, 2012 at 6:59 PM

      This made me laugh really hard, I don’t know why.

  14. stairwayto7 - Feb 12, 2012 at 2:37 PM

    Garrett Jones for Burnett…

  15. ridgeavenuehr - Feb 12, 2012 at 2:53 PM

    What on earth could the Pirates be thinking??? It is this kind of strategy that ruined them in the first place! They’ve cycled right back to their Derek Bell days. Trade minor leaguers to get this washed up guy, hope he does well so they can trade him for someone else’s crappy minor leaguers!

  16. lyon810 - Feb 12, 2012 at 4:01 PM

    How has Neal Huntington lasted this long? Garbage GM, drafts poorly, and why trade for someone like Burnett? They don’t have a guy in Triple-A who they can toss into the mix?

  17. uyf1950 - Feb 12, 2012 at 6:30 PM

    There is a rumor going around that the player the Yankees could be getting back in return from Pittsburgh is RHP Nick Kingham, That from Pinstripe Alley as of 5pm this evening.

    • proudlycanadian - Feb 12, 2012 at 7:14 PM

      From what I read Kingham is a decent prospect who throws in the low 90’s. He seems to have good control. He has a chance to become a # 4 or # 5 starter. As a pitcher, he seems to be very different than Burnett.

      • uyf1950 - Feb 12, 2012 at 7:49 PM

        As best I can tell he’s in low A in the Pirates organization. So he’s obviously a long way off. BUT if he progresses and is indeed part of the package (which may or may not be the case) I think it’s certainly a nice little piece. But I think the Yankees are going to want a little more then just him. That’s just my opinion.

      • proudlycanadian - Feb 12, 2012 at 8:08 PM

        This is AJ we are discussing. Most Yankee fans want to see him tarred and feathered.

      • uyf1950 - Feb 12, 2012 at 8:13 PM

        proudly, that’s true myself included. But obviously Yankees fans don’t make the deals the Yankees GM does and it’s his job to strike the best deal he can. And my guess is he’s going to want a little more then a kid who’s low A in the Pirates Organization.

      • proudlycanadian - Feb 12, 2012 at 8:37 PM

        It is all an act by Cashman. Beggars can’t be choosers.

      • uyf1950 - Feb 12, 2012 at 8:40 PM

        My friend, I doubt that it’s an act. In any case we’ll find out soon enough. Pitchers and catchers report in a week to camp.

  18. pitolove124 - Feb 12, 2012 at 11:56 PM

    Burnett will do quite well in the NL East. He’ll face pitchers, he’ll face a lot of teams that aren’t as deep as some AL teams. Mets, Phillies w/o Howard, a Wash’n team that swing at sound, and an inconsistent Brave Team. He’ll win 15 games at least.

  19. pisano - Feb 13, 2012 at 12:10 AM

    I agree that AJ will probably do a decent job for the Pirates, but that being said I’ll also bet the Yankees will be glad to have washed their hands with him and will never look back.

  20. pisano - Feb 13, 2012 at 12:43 AM

    edit: wash their hands of him.

  21. westtribetobe - Feb 13, 2012 at 1:48 AM

    AJ in Pittsburgh 2012: 12-9 4.33 183 K in 200+ IP

  22. uyf1950 - Feb 13, 2012 at 5:40 AM

    Here is a very quick but grief change of subjects. Today is the hearing day for Ortiz’s arbitration case. WHO WIL WIN? Might there be a last minute compromise? We’ll find out soon.

  23. myspaceyourface - Feb 13, 2012 at 11:01 AM

    I think Burnett is healthy and would thrive in Pittsburgh. There wouldn’t be the constant pressure/scrutiny that he faces in NY. I could see him pitching 200+ innings and dropping his ERA below 4. I could see him 15 wins.

    Keep in mind, I am a wishful/hopeful Pirate fan.

  24. uyf1950 - Feb 13, 2012 at 5:08 PM


    A.J. Burnett Rumors: Monday
    By Ben Nicholson-Smith [February 13 at 4:00pm CST]
    The Yankees and Pirates have been discussing a deal that would send A.J. Burnett and cash to Pittsburgh for two minor league players. Four teams are in on the right-hander, but the Yankees seem to prefer the Pirates. Here are the details from yesterday, and here are Monday’s rumors:

    The Yankees and Pirates are still discussing the deal and it’ll probably be completed, Jon Heyman of tweets. It seems likely that the Pirates will take on $13-15MM of the $33MM remaining on Burnett’s contract and give up two non-roster players.

    • myspaceyourface - Feb 14, 2012 at 10:34 AM

      I don’t like this deal if we are giving prospects and 15 million.

      We are doing the Yankees a favor by even considering this move.

      • uyf1950 - Feb 14, 2012 at 11:07 AM

        That might be true if any FA were willing to go to Pittsburgh. But let’s be honest after 18 or 19 consecutive losing seasons the Pirates can’t or at the very least shouldn’t be to choosy.

        BTW, I don’t think it will come to the Pirates parting with $15MM plus a couple of prospects. My best guess it winds up being $12MM and 2 so-so prospects. And that this is a deal that benefits both the Yankees and the Pirates. I honestly feel AJ will flourish in the relative obscurity of Pittsburgh and the NL Central Division and the Yankees get a small amount of salary relief and also free up a roster spot. But we’ll see what happens.

      • myspaceyourface - Feb 14, 2012 at 12:18 PM

        I agree, I think AJ would do really well in Pittsburgh minus the scrutiny/pressure of NY. I think he could give us 200+ innings 15 wins and an ERA under 4. I just don’t think we should sell the farm for him.

  25. ispysomething7 - Feb 13, 2012 at 11:22 PM

    AJ would rather give all his cash back than play for the Pirates!!!

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