Blog Entry

Even if he's cheap, scouts don't want A.J.

Posted on: February 10, 2012 1:29 pm
In three years with the Yankees, A.J. Burnett has made $49.5 million and has put up the highest ERA (4.79) for any pitcher in franchise history with 80 or more starts.

Of the 41 big-league pitchers who have made 90 starts over the last three seasons, Burnett has the highest ERA.

It's not hard to figure out why the Yankees are desperate to dump him, especially after adding Michael Pineda and Hiroki Kuroda to their rotation.

A.J. Burnett also had four starts last year where he went at least seven innings and allowed no more than three hits. The entire Pirates rotation had three, two of them by the since-departed Paul Maholm.

It's not crazy to think that Burnett could help them, is it, especially if the Yankees are paying most of the $33 million remaining on his contract?

That's what I thought, after reading colleague Jon Heyman's Friday morning assessment of the Yankees-Pirates trade talks.

Then I talked to three scouts who follow the American League East closely.

Not one of the three was enthusiastic about getting Burnett, even at low cost.

"If this guy goes to a club that doesn't contend, he might really go in the tank," one said. "The Yankees might even be getting more out of him than another team would."

"No way," said another. "That personality does not fit in the [Pirates] organization. The stuff is good enough to take a chance on, but he is what he is."

I tried all the usual arguments, that Burnett would be going from the American League East to the National League Central, that he would be going from the high-pressure Yankees to the low-pressure Pirates, that the Pirates' current rotation doesn't exactly include world-beaters, and that you have to take Burnett's $16.5 million a year salary out of the equation, because the Pirates would only be paying a fraction of it.

The consensus was still no, don't want him.

Would you?

Category: MLB

Since: Oct 28, 2006
Posted on: February 19, 2012 7:27 pm

Even if he's cheap, scouts don't want A.J.

Man do I feel bad for Pirates fans (if there are actually any out there) after this trade goes through. It's hard to imagine any upside here. If this is the best the Pirates can do when the actually make some kind of attempt at free agency then they will never be any good. I wouldn't give up a bag of wet doughnuts for that guy. He's completely done. It's now about collecting a paycheck he can't earn.

Since: Jan 25, 2009
Posted on: February 18, 2012 9:28 pm

Even if he's cheap, scouts don't want A.J.

Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Hallelujah!!!!!
Yankee fans across the country are rejoicing today because Burnett is an EX-Yankee!!!!!!

This guy is a turd no matter much polish you put on him. The Pirates will NEVER be good when they pick up curbside garbage like this.

Burnett is probably the worst pitcher they signed since they brought in Ed Whitson!!!

Since: Oct 22, 2007
Posted on: February 18, 2012 11:51 am

Even if he's cheap, scouts don't want A.J.

This is a good move by the Pirates. They have to spend some money due to the new CBA anyway. So they take a chance on a pitcher that had good success for only 8 million and they have a top pitcher they can trade down the road to a contender for a potential RF, 1B, power hitter they really need. I've been a pirate fan for years and this is one of the few moves they made in the last several years I like.

Since: Oct 27, 2008
Posted on: February 17, 2012 12:24 pm

Even if he's cheap, scouts don't want A.J.

What a waste of talent with this guy.  It just goes to show you that the complete athlete is the combination of talent, courage and smarts.  It really is a shame.

Since: Jan 6, 2012
Posted on: February 16, 2012 2:50 pm

Even if he's cheap, scouts don't want A.J.

I'd rather have a dead fish, or John Lackey. Even a Red Wings octopus sounds better than Burnett. The Pirates would be insane to actually be in pursuit of this anchor.

Since: May 24, 2009
Posted on: February 15, 2012 6:23 pm

Even if he's cheap, scouts don't want A.J.

The fact that only the Pirates are interested tells me Burnette is toast.  No team with any real pitching would want to add that astronomical ERA to their rotation.

Since: Jan 5, 2012
Posted on: February 14, 2012 11:12 am

Even if he's cheap, scouts don't want A.J.

A.J. just "grooves" too many pitches...and you can't get away with that in the AL East...maybe in the NL West somewhat.  At this stage of his career I would stay away from him.

Since: Nov 7, 2010
Posted on: February 14, 2012 1:31 am

Even if he's cheap, scouts don't want A.J.

who knows something about baseball will agree with you..100%

Since: Jan 22, 2009
Posted on: February 13, 2012 6:56 pm

Even if he's cheap, scouts don't want A.J.

A.J. Burnett has always been known for his stuff, especially that Curveball that is somewhat of a consensus as being the best in the Majors. This is one of those types of deals that if Burnett does well for the first half of the year that he could possibly be dealt to further bolster the Pirates Farm System. Then if he doesn't pan out. Then Pittsburgh won't have much invested in him. The NL Central without Pujols, Braun for 50 games, and Fielder falls way short of the AL East with Jose Bautista, Adrian Gonzalez, Ellsbury, Pedroia, Longoria, etc. Then no more bright lights of New York or pitching at New Yankee Stadium during home games. I definitely would take a gamble on A.J. Burnett.

Since: Sep 19, 2011
Posted on: February 13, 2012 5:34 pm

Even if he's cheap, scouts don't want A.J.

AJ will do good with the Pirates not great but good id say 12-15 wins adn a 4.00 flat ERA look @ Javier Vazques compared to the Yanks and Marlins totally different guy Burnett is much of the same mold
I agree that he could do good for the Pirates as long as Pirates don't give up too much for him, in the past AJ has Pitched better in the NL. It been 7 years since the last time he was on NL team, what is clear that AJ had 2 bad years maybe a new team will be the answer.

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