A.J. Burnett Rumors: Sunday

The A.J. Burnett saga may be coming to a close, with Buster Olney reporting that the two sides have a framework for a deal in place, and that they are working through the conditions of that framework. Olney mentions that the deal isn’t done, but the Pittsburgh Pirates and the New York Yankees have a lot of common ground. He adds that Pittsburgh is the front runner for Burnett. In his final update he adds that no players have been decided on, and money isn’t final, but the two sides are talking within common ground to settle the deal.

From the sounds of things, it looks like Burnett will be with the Pirates soon.

UPDATE 11:10 AM: Joel Sherman of the New York Post reports that the Yankees know they can make a deal with the Pirates, but that the two sides are still talking money and players. He says that the Yankees want to make sure nothing else is available before pulling the trigger. Sherman adds that all signs point to the Yankees making a move in the coming days, using the savings from a Burnett deal to sign Eric Chavez and a left handed designated hitter.

UPDATE 12:00 PM: Jon Heyman reports that the Yankees don’t love the two minor leaguers the Pirates have offered in the deal. His best guess is that the deal gets done with the Pirates paying $13-15 M.

UPDATE 12:02 PM: Sherman mentions that the Yankees have talked to four teams about Burnett, with Washington being on his no-trade list. He thinks it is doubtful a deal gets done today.

UPDATE 12:04 PM: Heyman says that the Pirates are more concerned with prospects than money. He says they’re more likely to compromise on money.

UPDATE 12:56 PM: Ken Rosenthal is hearing the Yankees will pick up $19-23 M, and the Pirates will send two minor leaguers in return. He says that the minor leaguers aren’t on the 40-man roster.

UPDATE 1:00 PM: I mentioned earlier this week that the trade value for Burnett, with no money picked up, would be negative $17.6 M. To give an idea of his value with Rosenthal’s figures, the Pirates would have to give up $1.4 M in prospect value if the Yankees picked up $19 M. They’d have to give up $5.4 M in prospect value if the Yankees picked up $23 M. If it’s two prospects, then the Pirates are looking at two young Grade C hitting prospects at $19 M, and two young Grade C pitching prospects at $23 M.

  • At the price the Pirates should get him at he can be a decent trade chip either this year or next. And remember next season Bedard and Correia are not under contract so other than Morton and McDonald I dont see any innings eating vets on this team. I dont think Karstens is long for his role and I think itll be his last arb year so who knows where that goes. Anyway Burnett is probably an upgrade this year and next of course depending on the return.

    Bigger question is when they get him whos coming off the 40 man? rule 5 guy? Some reliever? Cutch? 😉

  • It would be nice to have a veteran power pitcher that has been on a winning team to mentor some of the young talented pitchers in 2013

  • Now that this trade is lookng like its going to happen, I think we should look at some of the past “stop gap” player Neal has tried to bring in to make the team better.
    2008 Phil Dumatrait Ty Taubenheim,and Chris Gomez
    2009 Chris Bootcheck Virgil Vasquez Ramon Vazquez,and Craig Monroe
    2010 Brian Bass,Brendan Donnelly,Dana Eveland,Sean Gallagher,Chris Jakubauskas,Wilfredo Ledezma,Hayden Penn,Jack Taschner,Bobby Crosby, Akinori Iwamura,Ryan Church,and John Bowker
    2011 Joe Beimel,Garrett Olson,Scott Olson,Dusty Brown,Wyatt Toregas,Matt Pagnozzi,Lyle Overbay,Josh Rodriguez,Brandon Wood,Matt Diaz,and Ryan Ludwick
    2012 ????
    These are just some of the players that we had to suffer through since Neal became GM. My personal favorite is 2010 when Neal brought in 12 guys that just had no business in the Majors let alone pitching for the Pirates. I am betting we will be able to add Barajas, Burnett, Barnes,Fox, Evans,Bedard,Mcgehee,Navarro,and Mclouth to the list.
    This deal makes no sence from a talent prospective. You got to wonder why the Yankees fans can’t wait until he is gone, I can relate beacuse of the players above. the Pirates need to win and lose with their prospect and not take on any more players that are clearly past their primes.

    • Why do you only list the ones that didn’t work out? Why not list all players he acquired over all these years? This is what happens when you inherit a crappy team with minimal talent in the upper minors. You wind up with lots and lots of stopgaps. In all fairness, Scott Olson never made it out of ST, and after losing their top three catchers, they wound up scrambling for catchers all season.

      •  Yeah.  He complains about Pagnozzi, but that was when we were already down to a guy from AA being a pulled muscle away from starting in Pittsburgh.  Honestly…

    •  A.) who the hell else do you expect to actually come to Pittsburgh?  Jackson didn’t want to come for 3 guaranteed years and instead chose 1 with the Nationals, and they’re still guaranteed to lose this year too.

      B.)  maybe you don’t pay attention to what other GM’s of small market teams do in order to even field a semi-respectable team, but this is it.  You throw a lot of cheap options at the wall; some stick, some serve their purpose for a year, and most of them wash out, some before the season even starts.  This year especially, they got two reliable defensive starters in Barnes and Barajas, both of whom you can pencil in to be every day guys.  Barajas might even hit a few homeruns along the way.  Burnett would not be an upgrade over whom in the current group of SP’s?  Fox, Evans, and Navarro won’t even see a Pirates uniform unless the team plane crashes, and if Bedard starts 20-25 games this season, you’ll be begging NH to sign a longer extension.  As for Mcgehee, maybe you just don’t read a lot; last year he had a hand injury and a sick child, neither of which he’ll have to worry about this year.  I bet if you had that combo, you’d be underachieving at your job too, and I bet it doesn’t rely on you performing at a high level in a professional sport, not to mention we got him for a relief pitcher that you probably spent most of the year last year bashing because you don’t know how to read a stat sheet.  As for McClouth, we got him for nothing just to be the #4 outfielder, I’m wondering who else we could have gotten for cheaper to serve as a defensive outfielder at all of the positions and be a half way decent pinch runner.  He’s here because they’d rather have Marte start all year in AAA.

      In case you haven’t noticed, there have been undeniable improvements not only in the team, but to the respectability of the franchise.  The difference is, while we didn’t sign Prince or Pujols this year, we got guys that actually have some amount of upside or legitimately fill a need (McGehee/Barajas/Barnes/McClouth), and not just guys off the waiver wire like NH was forced to do in the first several years he was GM. 

      I suppose I’m just curious what you would have done differently.

      • You are either Neal Huntington in disguise or the Nuttings dream fan who finds good in everything they do. I bet last year when everybody was bashing the Lyle Overbay signing you were saying how he had a down year in 2010 and look at his past year stats and it was a GREAT deal. The season told us that he was washed up and it was a HORRIBLE deal and history seems to repeat for the Pirates from year to year. I think its the uniform now. Barajas,Burnett,McGehee,and Mclouth will all be bust. Barnes might be too but he has some skills left. Time will tell though but all hope for the Pirates were lost years ago.

        •  I don’t find good in everything they do.  It’s just a matter of accepting reality and the “best” they can get.  Some moves they’ve done have been terrible, but I have a hard time in ridiculing them so mercilessly whenever most of the moves that you’re degrading them about cost them absolutely nothing, relatively.  Waiver pick-ups, signing guys for the league minimum, signing guys to minor league deals with invites to spring training pose absolutely no risk. 

          When you consider that in a lot of scenarios, the losers they picked up were the best options at the time, I don’t even that’s all that bad of an offense.  Overbay was a decent pick-up, it was a good signing at the time….it just didn’t work out in reality.  His track record dictated one thing, and even factoring in realistic decline due to his age, he should have done much better.  That’s just one example of why at this time it’s so dangerous to shell out money on only one F.A. that isn’t really a difference maker.  Not to mention we had to pay him 5 mil to begin with.  That was wasted money, but there rightfully there should have been more production.

          While they’re not in a great position, they’re better off than when NH took over, and the outlook is better than it has been since the mid-late 80’s.  I’m definitely not going to blame him for trading away worthless players to get Charlie Morton, Tabata, MacDonald, and Karstens, hey maybe even Locke could contribute some day. 

          I don’t support everything this regime has done, but to just say that every single thing they’ve done is stupid, every player they’ve signed has been a terrible sign when they haven’t spent or wasted that much money is a fallacy.  There are obvious limitations given the circumstances the team is in due to the market and the state of the franchise’s prestige when NH took over, and so far I think he’s done a relatively job with it.  It’s hard to tell after only 3 years or so when signing legitimate free agents is not an option, and when the philosophy is based around the Draft.

          You still never answered my question……what moves would you have made differently so far?  Obviously you can identify when he fails, that must mean you know better.  What would you do if you were GM for a day?

          • What team is this…

            2010:  Danys Baez, Dane Sardinha, John Suomi, Ryan Vogelsong, Ehren Wasserman, Brian Bocock, Kevin Mahar, John Purdom, Brian Gordon, Brian Wilkerson, etc….

            Give up?   Only the Phillies.  You can see that it goes around every clubhouse in baseball.  Sure.  They are at a point where they can also pay big bucks for a player but 90% of there transactions are the same ones the Pirates make every year.

            It is easy to go back a couple years and type the ones that dont make it.  Every team has them.

          • What would I do if I was a GM for a day? That’s a real good question if it had to be for the Pirates. The cheap owners don’t give you much $$ to make a difference, so I guess I would play golf a lot.
            Well to be serious, I surely wouldn’t bring in a 35 year old pitchers that clearly have proven the past few years that they are not the same pitcher they have been in their careers. So I wouldn’t have taken the Cashman call. I would have begged Nutting to let me take a flyer on the Cuban power hitter Cespedes. if the “small market” A’s can throw 36 million at him, so can the Pirates. I would have handled the Sano deal a few years ago better that’s for sure. I would have tried to bring Pena to Pittsburgh, even if I had to over pay to do it. 

            Huntington is clearly over his head and not capable to handle this much responsibility. He made 1 good trade since he got here and he got LUCKY. He has actually made this team much worse since he took over and has laid all his eggs in one basket. If all these draft picks don’t pan out this team is finished. They won’t see another .500 season in my lifetime. Before all the poster who think that’s the only way to filled a team in this market, I say that B.S.. If teams like the Reds,A’s, and Brewers can look outside the box and filled a competitive team so can the Pirates.

  • Reading the comments on the various sites, one thing is clear that a lot of people are overlooking. We’re not trading for the pitcher that got the 82 million dollar deal. We’re dealing for the guy who for the last 2 years has had an ERA in the 5’s with a WHIP of about 1.5.

    While he’s a reasonable candidate to bounce back, he hasn’t yet, so don’t value him like he’s the messiah. If the cost is more than 10 mill, the player return should be very minimal. If not, move on to another option.

    I’d like to have another starting pitching option as much as the next guy, but at the same time, we have several young pitchers that need sorted out before the next wave comes along.

  • All the names of prospects that have been floating around on twitter and such are “prospects” I could care less about…Not a single one projects to be more then a reliever or a bench/utility type guy…so whats all the fuss about…Just get AJ and our rotation looks solid with Bedard, McDonald, Karstens and Morton…..

  • I hope that we don’t give up any good prospects for this guy, I don’t mind getting him but would rather pay more of his salary and give up less prospects, we just can’t afford to do that right now.  

    • agree, so I’d also be disappointed if we gave up somebody like Kingham or even Jordy Mercer, but if we off-load some OF’s from single A or AA not named Grossman then it’s hard for me to even worry about it.

      To be honest, even Grossman does not project to be a star and might never be more than a 4th OF and the guys that the Pirates are likely to give up are not even close to being as good as him

  • The Pirates are making good money. I don’t care if they spend 15 million to secure Burnett (thats only 7.5 over 2 years which is cheap for a good pitcher like Burnett). I fully believe he has at least 2 good years left.

    The 2 non-prospects they give up have virtually no chance of ever becoming stars, and if they did, good for the Yankees.
    Morris and Burnett? No. comparison. Ridiculous.
    Burnett and E Jackson?  I’ll take Burnett over and over.

    Burnett is a better and smarter control pitcher, using his wildness to keep hitters off balance. He consistently gives up less hits than innings pitched.

    He’s always known how to be “effectively wild”, something Jackson doesn’t seem to have down. He knows how to put fear into a hitter with his wildness, and I believe he hits batters more on purpose than by accident. Kind of like Dock Ellis used to do.
    Managers love Burnett because he’s a workhorse and he owns the games he pitches in.
    4 consecutive seasons of 32+ starts.
    Bullpens love him too, since they get more rest.

    A.J. is WAY more fun to watch pitch. His 8.2 strikeouts per 9 innings is something the Pirates fans aren’t used to seeing regularly. But any fan who remembers Bob Veale might have an idea. Ollie only showed flashes of it.

    On top of that, Burnett has always been well liked in the clubhouse. I’ve never heard anything about Jackson, but he hasn’t remained with any team long enough to know.
    There is a good reason there, there always is. We just don’t know it right now.

  • “2 prospects” is a very broad phrase, if it’s G. Hernandez, Mel Rojas Jr, Andrew Lambo, etc. (grade C guys in the top 20-40 range) who cares… I hope the Yanks are disappointed as reported and that we’re dealing OF’s since this is a position of strength at/near the ML level

    • The Yankees are the ones that should be throwing in the prospects.

      It is just a matter of principle that the Pirates are going to be paying almost half of what is owed to Burnett and to have to add a sweetner on top is a slap in the face.

      • The Cubs took on Aramis Ramirez in the Pirates most famous salary dump, we still got 3 “prospects” in return… how did they turn out? The chances that anybody we send ends up being any better than the 25th player on a future Yankee roster is almost nil and the commissioners office will insist on the pirates sending player(s) in return even if it’s a pure salary dump. 

        I just don’t get Pirates fans who’ve bitched for the last 3-4 years about not enough attention being paid to the ML club and now all of a sudden can’t stand the thought of parting with 2 guys who have almost no chance of being productive ML players

        AJ Burnett gives this team a much better chance of being competitive for the next 2 years. I’d much prefer him to checking minorleaguebaseball.com every day to see how players in Bradenton did last night…

        • I guess in a sense you could call the Ramerez deal a dump but if you ask the Cubs or anybody else it was.. a gift,,,,,

          My problem is not 2 worthless prospects, my problem is overpaying by a large amount and than adding prospects on top, worthless or not.

          I have no problem with acquiring Burnett at 5m per. I have a problem with NH running after Cashman throwing ever increasing amounts at him.

          It doesn’t  matter to me how much money the Pirates spend on players ,its their money but next year when they are crying the blues about not having enough money to extend a player or adding a really good free agent because they don’t have the money I don’t want to hear it.

        • do some more research:  Ramirez was traded because of the Pirates debt ratio.  some call it a salary dump, other people know what really happened

          • i know, salary dump was driven by the commissioner’s office so not blaming owner/FO at the time but my point is that “prospects”, especially marginal ones, don’t often pan out to be much of anything

      • I couldn’t agree more

  • We’ll know what kind of decline he’s in when he starts getting shelled at PNC.

  • ” deep decline for several years” – and still the Yankees gave him $82 million just 3 years ago! I agree Burnett is in decline, but no one really knows how extensive yet.

    • If a team is willing to eat 33m they must believe the guy fell of the cliff.

      That doesn’t mean that NH has to follow him over.

      You mark my words if the Pirates pay what is being talked about in the article Pirate fans will be crying the blues.

      • “Pirate fans will be crying the blues”…doesn’t that happen no matter what?
        If they trade for AJ and only pay $…its “they spent too much”If they trade for AJ and pay less but give up a C-level prospect…its “watch this prospect be a star”If they trade for AJ…its “we always take others junk”If they DON’T trade for AJ…its “NH is a cheap idiot” or he “just sat around while other teams get better.”Sooo….where is the win in this?

        • What I meant is that the people  who are willing for the Pirates to overspend plus give up prospects for this guy will be the same ones at some point that  will be crying over this deal.

          And at some point they will be adding this deal in with the other bad deals like Bay, Overbay, Corrieia and Aki.

    • If you need more proof go to fangraphs and see how his velocity has dropped each of the last 5 years.

  • This is getting out of hand.

    Burnette is not worth that kind of money and on top of it the Pirates are adding prospects.

    The Bay debacle is going to look like the greatest deal of the century.

    The Yankees will throw a parade down 5th ave. for Cashman.

    Burnette is a Pitcher who has been in deep decline for several years and he is being treated like he is Verlander.

    • wrong.  so wrong.  deep decline???  you realize the same thing was said about Randy Johnson when he was a yankee despite his peripherals holding up…  just like Mr. Burnett.

      plus Burnett isnt going to be paid a fortune here.  he’ll probably average around $7MM or so in his two years as a pirate, and dammit thats a STEAL for his talent.

      sure, he could flop, but this is a good thing.  and two “not so great” prospects back to the Yanks isnt too much to ask.

      • Um, Randy Johnson was much better with the Yankees than Burnett.  If you look at Johnson’s last three years after leaving the Yankees, he was done.  Johnson’s record if anything, proves the point of not acquiring Burnett.

    • I think Burnett is being treated like an upgrade over correia with potential to be a 4.00 ish ERA innings eater.

      I don’t understand how having Burnett at 5-7 million per year is going to make the Bay deal look good. 

      But i do agree with you that some people have been a little too happy.

      • maybe myself included

      • They are talking about 61/2 – 71/2m plus 2 prospects not 5m and the Y

      • Burnett is an improvement over Correia, who many defended last year, like Overbay was an improvement over the last guy.  Note, they only say improvement, they don’t say good.  Should NH be given credit for making the team less bad?  

        Honestly, if he brings in Burnett and his last starting pitching acquisition has to be moved to the pen or released, NH should be fired.

        • If that were the standard, every GM would be fired by their 3rd or 4th trade. Every GM makes bad moves. Taking on Burnett is no different than Correia. They expect Burnett to bounce back, just like they expected Correia to bounce back.

          • Its a trade and then repeating the same mistake again, hoping for a different result.

            If Burnett is acquired to move Correia to the pen or release him, NH wasted $8M.  This team cannot afford to waste $8M.

  • Don’t wait too long Neil…either make the trade or walk away…this organization can’t be made to look the fool again (see Sano) by not being taken seriously and used for leverage.

  • Correia absolutely pitched fantastic last season…  on the road.

    just thought I would throw that one in here.

  • i can’t wait to see Burnett strike some guys out.  granted, we’ll see plenty of walks too.  but the strikeouts will be fun.  he’d be the most purely talented starting pitcher the pirates have had since… Oliver Perez?  Hopefully the talent shows.

    • just a little FYI, Burnett’s WHIP over his career is substantially better than a Mr. Edwin Jackson.  He may walk a few guys, but he doesnt have a huge WHIP like charlie morton either.

  • Burnett in the National League Central will look very different than Burnett the last 2 years in the AL East, plus he’ll be motivated over the next 2 years to justify 1 more good contract

  • No way Corriea goes to the pen…Morton will start the year on the DL and when he comes back … the least effective at that point might go to the pen depending on who has options in the pen. Regardless I like the move and hope he dominates like he can.

  • The Pirates won’t part with a prospect that will be missed long-term because (I can’t believe I’m going to type this) they are in the driver’s seat.

    The Yanks have no other viable teams in play.  The Yanks need to shed salary to sign other players and avoid the luxury tax.  The Pirates have salary room capacity to add around $7-9M this year (as per Frank Coonelly’s comments at Piratefest).

    The Pirates can dictate the terms in this case.

    Yes, the Pirates are absorbing a salary dump from the Yankees.  Start stocking up on canned goods and building the shelter, because this may be the end of days.

    • Does this feel a little like the Matt Morris deal to anyone else??

      • Aj Burnett is not to be compared to Matt Morris They are completely different pitchers.

        • They are only different in how they started to stink.  The results are about the same.

          Ironically, some of the very people defending the Correia acquisition are the same ones talking about the virtue of replacing him with a pitcher who posted an ERA+ below 90, each of the last two years.

          Are those people willing to admit their mistake about Correia?  Furthermore, how does one defend an FO that is allocating $4M on a mop up reliever?  Isn’t this a team that has to allocate limited resources smartly?

          This should never give up any prospect for a 35 year old pitcher who has had the performance fall that Burnett has, especially when they have no hope of competing.

          The only ways for this deal to make any sense is for the Pirates to take less cash and get a prospect or for the Yankees to take Correia.

          Any other way this deal happens and its just more of the same, to include the Matt Morris deal.

          • As someone who liked the Correia signing, a big difference for me is the strikeout rate. If Correia would have bounced back to the 6.5 K/9, 2.9 BB/9 pitcher he was in 2009, it would have been good. Instead his strikeouts dropped to a 4.5 K/9.

            The strikeouts are also why I’d take Burnett over him.

            • I agree but the walk numbers and the homer numbers greatly off set the strike out numbers.  Then there is the age number, 35.  And there is the velocity number, down each of the last 5 seasons.  
              There are more negatively trending numbers than positive.

              Nothing justifies having a $4M mop up reliever on this team.  The FO has to be held accountable for that kind of mistake.

              • Edwin Jackson’s career WHIP is much higher than Burnett.  Even his no-hitter had like 24 base on balls in it.  Burnett can still keep guys off base at a good clip.

                how do you expect the FO to be held accountable?  do you want to give NH ten lashings outside Primantis???

      • Yes, please God don’t let that be a repeat.

    •  I agree, Kevin.  And I actually could see this trade getting expanded.  I don’t quite understand why some Pirates fans are so enamored with Garrett Jones.  He’s not a BAD player but I think he is at least somewhat overrated because of the lack of power on the Bucs.

      So how about this:  Garrett Jones AND the Pirates take $20m of Burnett’s salary.  In return the Yanks give the Pirates Burnette and one of their better prospects.  (Banuelos, dare I dream?)

      Hear me out:  1. Yes, I know it is easy to spend other people’s money but I honestly believe the Bucs can afford the salary.; 2. It benefits the Yankees because by acquiring Jones, it eliminates the need for them to sign any of the free agents they are supposedly looking at (Damon, Ibanez, et. al.) Plus, IMO, Jones is better than any of them as he can reasonably play both corner outfield spots, first base AND he is less expensive than any of them.  In addition, they will have him for at least two years rather than just one.; 3. I consistently hear that Pedro Alvarez is going to end up at first base eventually.  Well… why wait?  Do it now!  Park McGehee at third and back him up with Navarro, d’Arnaud, Mercer… whomever.

      Just a thought.

      • That is a dream scenario but I like it. Would love to get Banuelos they have Lt Sp with potential like him.

  • I agree Kingham should not (and will not) be included.  

  • Yeah, I don’t like the idea of Kingham being involved in the trade.  I don’t see taking on Burnett as the kind of trade involving a prospect like that.  I see this more as a trade involving money and some upper level “eh” talent, or some semi-passable major leaguer.  i.e.: Harrison, d’Arnaud, etc.

    The Pirates are simply just not the kind of organization that can afford to just give away any of their top-5 to top-10 pitching prospects unless it’s for a serious acquisition that’s going to last for more than a year and a half which is the likely scenario assuming they get Burnett.  To give an example, I’d say if the Pirates were talking about acquiring a starting pitcher like a Matt Garza, or someone from the Rays that isn’t named Moore or Price, I see that as an acceptable trade where you could include a legitimate looking pitching prospect; along with others obviously.  Looking at the big name trades that take place each year, I feel as though we are incredibly sheltered and inexperienced.  Last year for instance, if we were Cleveland trading away Pomeranz, this site would have exploded with hate and doom-crying. 

  • Adding Kingman would be a wroooong move.  No way.  How about Trent Stevenson instead?    I would also like to see them go after Soler, while the world waits on Cespedes.  

    • actually talked to neal about soler at an event. He said they arent big on soler as a prospect says he has a huge whole in his swing and made a comment on how young cuban players have a real hard time adjusting.

  • If it is just a money deal then you have to love the deal.  Burnett will be a lot better in the NL Central.  A rotation (in no order) of Bedard, McDonald, Burnett, Morton, Karstens looks a lot better.  Correia to the pen.  Lincoln, Owens, McPherson in AAA for depth.  Have to feel good about the depth.

  • Disregard Tim…I see the answer in the twitter box.

  • Have you heard anything concerning the Yankees wanting a prospet in return?