AJ Burnett dealt to Pittsburgh – for free almost

20 Feb

A deal sending AJ Burnett from the Yankees to Pirates is now a done deal – aside from King Selig approving the deal because it involves a gaudy amount of money. It was no secret NY wanted to move Burnett ASAP, but no one knew how badly Yankee ownership wanted it to happen. Burnett isn’t free to Pittsburgh by any means, but geez…. how much closer can you realistically get to it?

Burnett was dealt for two prospects – and prospects is perhaps a generous term. Diego Moreno is a 25 year old righty pitcher and Exicardo Cayones 20 year old outfielder. Cayones has less than 150 ABs in his minor league career with no pop in his bat and no promise of it showing up. He has some tools, but at best he’s projected as a utility type swing guy on a team like – the Pirates! In a few years at that and at best. Most scouts think he is a career minor league type guy.

Moreno is a relief pitcher that got to AA but had an ERA just under 5.00. He isn’t seen as much of a prospect either. No one has him on the radar anywhere. With the Pirates who are nursing 19 straight losing seasons – he had a shot to play at some point. Everyone in the organization does. With a decent team he is a long shot. With the Yankees? They might be able to trade him somewhere. 25 years old and just cracking AA, ineffectively at that, with one good pitch and no decent secondary is not a bright prospect.

Of the $33 million on Burnett’s deal, NY is going to eat about $20 million of it – which is why Selig needs to approve the trade. Pittsburgh gets Burnett for $13 million over two years and they gave up no prospects of any value whatsoever. On top of that, if Burnett performs halfway decent, particularly up to the trade deadline, you can bet Pittsburgh will spin him off for prospects – it’s the Pirate way these days.

It was believed Cashman would be allowed to absorb maybe $13 million of the deal, but that he was able to go as high as $20 and get nothing that is going to factor into the Yankee’s future plans in return just shows how badly they wanted him out of NY. Pittsburgh didn’t get a freebie, but when they spin Burnett off you can bet they likely will not have parted with more than a couple million. Not a bad deal for a former ACE that should still be able to throw pitches with as much control as he does cream pies.

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