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The Yankees want an A.J. Burnett deal done by Saturday

Feb 15, 2012, 12:30 PM EDT

A.J. Burnett

The first A.J. Burnett-to-Pittsburgh rumor emerged during the first epoch of the Palaeogene Period in the modern Cenozoic Era. Things got more serious during the Eocene.  Then there was that silly Burnett-to-Cleveland rumor during the late Oligocene.  Since then we’ve been waiting around for this deal to finally get done.

But there’s hope on the horizon!  Ken Rosenthal reports that the Yankees want this thing done by Saturday, which is a day before pitchers and catchers report to Tampa.

Which makes sense. If Burnett has to show up to Yankees camp it could be kinda awkward, what with reporters asking him if he’s excited to leave the Yankees for the Pirates. And with Burnett trying his hardest to be professional and say, yes, it’s everything he’s always wanted.

  1. bennoj - Feb 15, 2012 at 12:37 PM

    Well, gosh, if the Yankees want a deal done by Saturday I guess they’ll just have to take whatever terms Pittsburgh has on the table. I’m sure Huntington is quaking in his boots.

    • uyf1950 - Feb 15, 2012 at 12:42 PM

      Sure when as a team you’ve had 19 straight losing seasons you can afford to wait for the next opportunity. Maybe Hamels or Cain would consider Pittsburgh and attractive alternative the other cities sure to bit for their services.

      • mondogarage - Feb 15, 2012 at 12:52 PM

        The Yankees’ need to dump Burnett is far, far greater than the Pirates need to obtain Burnett.

      • dcprospect - Feb 15, 2012 at 12:58 PM

        Right…and Burnett will instantly give the Pirates a winning season? Or any of those pitchers for that matter. Just because having Burnett would be nice doesn’t mean the Pirates have to bend to the Yankees will and do a bad deal. They will take 13M + 2 C Grade single A prospects or continue to eat the Burnett contract, see what they can possibly get for him at the trade deadline. They can afford it, right?

      • uyf1950 - Feb 15, 2012 at 1:23 PM

        mondogarage – I believe you have “dump” confused with “want”. The Yankees want to move Burnett hey don’t need to move him. At least that’s my take on this entire situation

        dcprospect – obviously Burnett isn’t going to give the Pirates a winning season in and of himself. Nor will any other single player. But the Pirates have to start somewhere. Obviously true FA’s this past winter have shied away from Pittsburgh and their offers.

        Pirates fans can believe that this trade benefits the Yankees more and that the Pirates are doing the Yankees a favor but they are kidding themselves if they honestly believe that to be the case. This deal when and if it happens is beneficial to BOTH teams. The Pirates get a pitcher at a relatively low cost and one that will probably flourish in the NL Central Division and the Yankees get some minimal salary relief but just as importantly free up a roster spot. And that’s the reality of this deal.

      • dcprospect - Feb 15, 2012 at 1:41 PM

        Gambling on Burnett isn’t as desirable as the definite and tangible gains the Yankees will receive in cap relief and a roster spot. It’s only mutually beneficial if Burnett does well.

      • uyf1950 - Feb 15, 2012 at 2:06 PM

        dcprospect – for the roughly $5 to $7MM of salary at the very outside the Pirates may wind up picking up if this deal goes through, AJ doesn’t have to be good. Even if he’s mediocre at best the Pirates will have made out like bandits. But that’s just my opinion.

      • dcprospect - Feb 15, 2012 at 2:18 PM

        Hmm…we can be mediocre/bad without Burnett…


        We can be mediocre/bad with Burnett AND give money and prospects to the Yankees, but “make out like bandits.”

        Well, what are we waiting for?! Sign us up! Hey guys, we’re gonna be bandits!!

      • uyf1950 - Feb 15, 2012 at 3:01 PM

        dcprospect – you said and I quote “…we can be mediocre/bad without Burnett…”

        No disrespect, but there is no “can”. The Pirates ARE mediocre/bad without Burnett.

        The thing is the Pirates certainly won’t be any worst with Burnett and if there is even the slightest chance they may be better why wouldn’t they go for it.

        BTW, if Pirates fans are anticipating the prospects the Pirates are offering in the Burnett deal to make the Pirates better if they don’t make the deal they are going to be waiting a very, very long time.

        While I’ve thoroughly enjoyed this back and forth with you the teams are going to do whatever they want without any help from either one of us. With that I will move on. Have a good day.

      • dcprospect - Feb 15, 2012 at 3:15 PM

        The reason they wouldn’t go for it is because it’s not the right time for this type of deal. Even if Burnett turns out to be exceptional…what are we talking about? 4, 5, 6 additional wins in each of the two seasons the Pirates would have him? In otherwords…no difference. There are too many other needs on the team to just give the Yankees what they want for a pitcher they deem expendible. If the Pirates can steal him, that’s a different story. It all depends on how much the Yankees want that roster spot.

    • mrsly69 - Feb 15, 2012 at 9:26 PM

      The Yankee’s WOULD PREFER to trade AJ. But going into today’s baseball you can never have to much pitching. Yes, the Yank’s would love to unload some of AJ salary to offset them getting another quality player, preferably a lefty batter and on the way to avoid BASEBALL WELFARE next season. The goal of getting under 189 million dollars is easier without AJ’s full salary. The bad news is that the Pirates will have to sell some tickets or rely less on the Yankees, Red Suk’s, Dodgers, Met’s going over and paying the tax. The irony is that it may be in the Pirates best interest not help the Yank’s spend less money. They really have come to depend on the payroll tax to make their team.

  2. cur68 - Feb 15, 2012 at 12:44 PM

    I read this and immediately got this mental image: One bag of balls, 2 bats, and half a cooler of gatorade is being loaded onto a UPS truck in Pittsburgh. Meanwhile, a live animal crate with “this side up” stickers (pointing to the floor of the crate) and “surface mail, 3rd class” stamps is being readied in New York. The crate is lined with $20 million.

    Irony is, Pittsburgh could be getting the better deal here: Burnett is not as bad as the Yankee’s make him out to be.

    • mgp1219 - Feb 15, 2012 at 12:52 PM

      yes he is. he sucks.

    • whatthehellisansky - Feb 15, 2012 at 1:02 PM

      …especially in the national league…

    • southpaw2k - Feb 15, 2012 at 1:04 PM

      You put this far better than I ever could have. The Yankees have done nothing else but add more pressure to themselves to get a deal done quickly by adding such a deadline. The Pirates have so much less to lose if a deal doesn’t go through, so they can throw in a bunch of used towels in addition to the balls, bats, and Gatorade if the Yankees reject that first offer.

      • cur68 - Feb 15, 2012 at 1:23 PM

        Used towels and a selection “Jay Buhner personally anointed bottles of shampoo” (left over from Buhner’s days with the Pirates), if the Yankees really want to play hard ball.

      • southpaw2k - Feb 15, 2012 at 1:27 PM

        I’ll see your used towels and Jay Buhner bottles of shampoo and raise you a pair of dirty cleats.

      • cur68 - Feb 15, 2012 at 1:42 PM

        Deal, but only if they’re a pair of Jeter’s cleats and he’s autographed all the balls in the bag.

      • Francisco (FC) - Feb 15, 2012 at 2:21 PM

        What? No Gift Basket?

    • surefooted1 - Feb 15, 2012 at 4:14 PM

      Burnett has statistically ranked among the worst pitchers in baseball for the last two years.

      So yes, he really is as bad as “as bad as the Yankee’s[sic] make him out to be.”

  3. acerob2002 - Feb 15, 2012 at 12:47 PM

    Just get the deal done already. AJ needs to be on the short bus to tijuana. Maybe he can “perform” there.

  4. Old Gator - Feb 15, 2012 at 1:00 PM

    “Then there was that silly Burnett-to-Cleveland rumor during the late Oligocene.”

    Pleistocene, for Buddha’s sake, Craig. Don’t you remember how cold it was?

  5. seahawks80 - Feb 15, 2012 at 1:01 PM

    cur68 – – you are probably right that Burnett isnt as bad as the Yankees think but why would the Pirates make this trade when they have 24 other needs on the 25 man roster?

    • dcprospect - Feb 15, 2012 at 1:11 PM

      Hey now, the outfield is solid with Presley-McCutchen-Tabata. 2B is a lock with Walker. The closer Hanrahan, had an all-star season in 2011. But yes, the other 20 players are suspect, lol.

    • brewcitybummer - Feb 15, 2012 at 1:54 PM

      Because its not that hard to make the argument that the extreme difference between PNC and Yankee stadium as well as the level of competition will allow Burnett to pitch with more confidence and not live in fear of the big mistake. I’m referring to way Burnett will be able to pitch and use the whoe strike zone more than simple park effects. But I can’t see that upgrade to the rotation as being worth a cheap, useful, everyday player.

  6. yankeesfanlen - Feb 15, 2012 at 1:03 PM

    If you have $99 and a job, I can get you into this beauty TODAY! Would you like the extended warranty?

  7. nategearhart - Feb 15, 2012 at 1:04 PM

    “The Yankees want an A.J. Burnett deal done by Saturday”
    …or what?

    • deathmonkey41 - Feb 15, 2012 at 1:09 PM

      They’re going to slaughter a whole bunch of puppies. Seriously, does Pittsburgh want to have that on their conscience?

    • phukyouk - Feb 15, 2012 at 1:34 PM

      or they are threatening to allow him to pitch this season in the Bronx.

      • 24missed - Feb 15, 2012 at 4:14 PM

        Love this.

  8. Vindickative - Feb 15, 2012 at 1:13 PM

    In the pantheon of pitchers, Burnett ranks right up there with Donne Wall and Pat Rapp. The amount of attention being paid to this guy is idiotic.

  9. seahawks80 - Feb 15, 2012 at 1:38 PM

    Yankees with Burnett = 93 wins
    Yankees without Burnett = 94 wins

    Pirates with Burnett = 70 wins
    Pirates without Burnett = 65 wins

    • acerob2002 - Feb 15, 2012 at 2:11 PM

      Yankees with Burnett = 80 wins
      Yankees without Burnett = 94 wins

      I mean come on, I expect him to blow the game every time he takes the mound. Especially in New York. Your giving him to much credit.

    • florida76 - Feb 15, 2012 at 2:57 PM

      Obviously, seahawks80 doesn’t follow the Pirates very closely. Last years team won 70 and had a number of underperforming players, and a ton of injuries late in the year. With Burnett, and the other additions this offseason, 75-81 wins is certainly within reason.

      • seahawks80 - Feb 15, 2012 at 4:44 PM

        LOL, who does follow the Pirates closely?

  10. jwbiii - Feb 15, 2012 at 1:47 PM

    My garbage pickup is on Wednesday. I expect I have two empty cans on the curb by now.

  11. spezzabangsmilfs - Feb 15, 2012 at 2:33 PM

    I get a kick outta the Yankees
    nobody but one of the “other teams” is willing to take AJ
    And even the “other team” doesn’t want him bad
    and the Yankees are setting a Saturday deadline?

    (see what I did there?)

  12. kennylee1221 - Feb 15, 2012 at 2:53 PM

    why would the pirates want a guy that used to be good in the NL…they would much rather just not spend the cash and take the handouts from the rest of the mlb. Just like the city of shittsburgh…

  13. 24missed - Feb 15, 2012 at 4:14 PM

    The Red Sox pray A.J. Burnett stays with the Yankees. Burnett is like our Lackey; an implosion waiting to happen. When it is your team it sucks, when it isn’t…

    • pisano - Feb 15, 2012 at 6:15 PM

      24missed… agreed AJ sucks, but to compare him to Lackey isn’t fair. Lackey isn’t only bad, but he’s a drunk to boot.

      • cur68 - Feb 15, 2012 at 6:30 PM

        Hey, if my squeeze says he’s Lackey then, dammit, he’s Lackey. Anyhow, given how AJ’s career as a Yankee has turned out wouldn’t you say that alcohol might indeed be a plausible reason for that result? There’s Lite Beer in The Bronx, too.

      • 24missed - Feb 15, 2012 at 7:19 PM



        Burnett=Lackey and Lackey=Burnett.

        And, as my babe pointed out, Bud-Lite sounds about right for A.J, too. I’m willing to wager that Lackey and A.J. even toss back a few and hang together after the games.

  14. seahawks80 - Feb 15, 2012 at 4:53 PM

    Florida76 – – You are absolutely correct, I do not follow the Pirates closely and the reason for that is that I do not keep up with minor league teams as close as I do major league teams

  15. damnyankee13 - Feb 15, 2012 at 5:00 PM

    the way I see it, if the Pirates dont want the deal, its their loss, not ours..We can still use him for long relief’
    we may want to do the deal, but we are not desperste. We need the deal done soon so we knopw how many pitchers we have in our stable.
    If yall dont want him , fine. Lose without him. he can only help ya.

  16. jwbiii - Feb 15, 2012 at 5:19 PM

    As desperation takes hold

  17. uyf1950 - Feb 15, 2012 at 7:29 PM


    David Waldstein
    Progress today so it looks like a Burnett deal will happen. Pirates & other (mystery) team stepping up, so better offer wins. #Yankees
    6:13 PM – 15 Feb

    • uyf1950 - Feb 15, 2012 at 7:52 PM


      Just read this on ESPN New York:

      Yankees ‘optimistic’ on A.J. deal
      February, 15, 2012 at 7:22PM ET

      By Wallace Matthews
      I don’t know if this qualifies as an update or not, but that Proverbial Source With Knowledge just told me the Yankees are “optimistic” that a deal to send A.J. Burnett somewhere — anywhere? — will get done this week, although it may not be with the Pittsburgh Pirates after all.

      According to the source, three teams are still active in the talks — the Cleveland Indians, offering a swap of Travis Hafner’s remaining $13 million deal for 2012 (he also has a club option for 2013 at $13 million) for Burnett’s remaining two years and $33 million, are still in the hunt, as is another as-yet-unidentified team — but the Angels, as reported here earlier, are almost certainly out unless they become part of a three-way deal. (Burnett will not play for a West Coast team because of his wife’s fear of flying.)

      The proposed Burnett-Hafner deal is intriguing because it would not only relieve the Yankees of a potential $17 million — Hafner has a $2.75 million buyout for 2013 — it would also provide the Yankees with the left-handed DH bat they are lacking as well as a backup first baseman to relieve Mark Teixeira.

      There is still the tantalizing possibility, of course, that Burnett goes nowhere between now and Sunday, the day pitchers and catchers report to Yankees camp, lending the always welcome media circus atmosphere to George M. Steinbrenner Field.

      • cur68 - Feb 15, 2012 at 10:08 PM

        Nooooo, not Hafner! That guy kills Beaver Men pitching…

      • deathmonkey41 - Feb 15, 2012 at 11:57 PM

        cur68 – Feb 15, 2012 at 10:08 PM
        Nooooo, not Hafner! That guy kills Beaver Men pitching…

        So does Ron Jeremy…oh wait, that’s just beaver.

  18. jaysprospectarilo - Feb 16, 2012 at 9:22 AM

    Dear Yankees –
    Thank you for waving millions in front of useless inked skinbag after one good season in Toronto..
    Its priceless watching them trying to wash their hands of a ridiculous contract. Only time I’ve ever been happier to see someone use an exit clause in their contract.
    Perhaps as part of their new “fiscal responsibility” they will stop throwing bloated contracts out and skewing the value market….Next up; Angels, Detroit, and Texas.

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