Blog Entry

$69.5 million for 1 win? Yankees will take it

Posted on: February 17, 2012 1:49 pm
Is $69.5 million too much to pay for one win?

Not necessarily.

What if without that one win, you don't win the World Series? And with it, you do?

I asked basically that question, boiled down to 140 characters, on Twitter Friday morning. And Yankee fans overwhelmingly answered that yes, the ridiculous amount of money they spent on A.J. Burnett was worth it.

And I agree.

The maddeningly inconsistent Burnett was more bad than good in his three years in the Bronx. His ERA for the three years (4.79) is the highest in Yankee history for anyone allowed to make 80 or more career starts.

And while I'll agree that win-loss records don't tell the entire story about starting pitchers, Burnett's 34-35 Yankee record (for a team that was 104 games over .500 during that span) tells a lot.

His postseason numbers (2-2, 5.08 in seven starts) are really no better, and the Yankees' reluctance to allow him to start in the playoffs is more telling than anything else.

But about that one win . . .

It came in Game 2 of the 2009 World Series, against the defending champ Phillies. Without it, the Yankees go down two games to none, heading to Citizens Bank Park for Games 3, 4 and 5.

Without it, you could easily argue that the Yankees don't win in 2009, and that they go into spring training this year still having won no World Series since 2000.

Burnett pitched well that night, and he had to. He allowed just one run on four hits in seven innings, with nine strikeouts, and handed the ball directly to Mariano Rivera, which is the formula for success for any Yankee starter. Here's the column I wrote on Burnett that night.

It was a shock to many, including the Phillies.

"He never got outside of himself," Jimmy Rollins said that night. "That's very untypical of A.J."

Burnett had other good games as a Yankee, but you could argue for the rest of his New York career, he was no better (and often worse) than any pitcher the Yankees could have signed for a lot less than $82.5 million for five years.

Or $69.5 million for three years, since the Pirates have agreed to pay Burnett $13 million in exchange for taking him off the Yankees' hands.

The Pirates originally hoped to do the deal for just $10 million, leaving the Yankees on the hook to Burnett for $72.5 million.

Apparently, they decided that was too much for one win. But $69.5 million wasn't.

Since: Mar 19, 2008
Posted on: February 22, 2012 12:21 am

$69.5 million for 1 win? Yankees will take it

Burnette was, and will always be, a piece of garbage pitcher. He pitched one good WS game. Big deal. Throw in any piece of garbage in that game and that piece of garbage would probably have pitched the same way that night. The Phillies were not going to hit that night.

Since: Jul 23, 2008
Posted on: February 21, 2012 12:57 pm

$69.5 million for 1 win? Yankees will take it

kbuddkev:  Excellent points.  Excellent post!  Some people don't know how to look beyond the surface of a deal or trade.  Burnett SHOULD provide an improvement to the Pirates pitching staff at a low cost.  $5 million this year and $8 million next year is not too much to spend to make the WHOLE rotation better (from 1-5).  As long as the #5 starter from last year is replaced the whole staff gets better. 

The Pirates spending money is a good thing.  If the fans show up and spend some money then management will be able to spend more money.  Not all the signings will pay off but if they don't spend more money then it will never pay off.  People like to complain that ownership doesn't spend money on players but it comes down to fan support and income.  The team needs to make serious money before they can spend serious money (to keep talented young players and to sign free agents).

Since: Feb 25, 2009
Posted on: February 20, 2012 6:15 pm

$69.5 million for 1 win? Yankees will take it

Don't foget that his last game as a Yankee was a very good one. Burnett is sometimes difficult to watch, whatever team you root for, but I'd say he is far from being done.

Since: Oct 3, 2006
Posted on: February 19, 2012 8:51 pm

$69.5 million for 1 win? Yankees will take it

One of the reasons Phillies fans felt so confident after winning game 1 back in 09 is we knew AJ was waiting for us in game 2. Many thought he was a pitcher our lefty-laden lineup could handle. But he shut the Phils down and essentially won the series, even though he got roughed up in game 5. Down 2-0 on the road would have changed the series.

Since: Jan 18, 2012
Posted on: February 19, 2012 7:34 am

$69.5 million for 1 win? Yankees will take it

Mr. Knobler that 69.5 million dollars isn't the true figure.  You need to add the luxury tax that the Yanks will have to pay on that amount.

Also not having a valuable pitcher cost the yanks in the two post season after.

Know Mr. Knobler do you think any business man would make that kind of investment ?  The answer is no.  Even the The Boss would be up in arms. 

Like I said b4 if The Boss was still running the team there would have been two people packing their bags.  Mr. Cashman and Mr. Burnett.

My guess Mr. Cashman would have been gone a long time ago once it became apparent that he would continue to see women who were not his wife for years.  The Boss would have told Mr. Cashman either make amends with your family or divorce your wife because if you do not do one of the other you will not be working for the Yanks.     
;     &nbs

Since: Jun 9, 2009
Posted on: February 19, 2012 1:49 am

$69.5 million for 1 win? Yankees will take it

This logic is why I argue J.D Drews contract was worth it.  That one grandslam in the ALCS was well worth putting up with him for the other 5.

Since: Feb 19, 2011
Posted on: February 18, 2012 11:31 pm

$69.5 million for 1 win? Yankees will take it

If I were AJ, I'd be glaring in at Posada, too. Posada is an overrated DH who had no business catching. To call him a legend is not even a joke, it's beyond a joke. And if you want laziness, maybe take a look at our fat slob of an "ace." easy to bash on AJ, but the fact is he was clutch in 2 of the 3 postseasons, and a reportedly a great teammate. sometimes i hate being a yankee fan. probably because so many of them are giants fan, too, they can be real morons.

Since: Aug 20, 2006
Posted on: February 18, 2012 8:38 pm

$69.5 million for 1 win? Yankees will take it

He Played... He tried to make it work, AJ put forth the effort--NO, NO & NO pal!!!!  That terd AJ would glare in at Posada after one of the many meat balls he served up like it was Jorge`s fault. Sorry arm art creampuff/AJ Posada was a legend, you AJ an overpaid brat.
Just taking the mound was about all AJ did last year, if that`s effort I`d hate to see how you define laziness.  Good riddance AJ!!!

Since: Jan 25, 2007
Posted on: February 18, 2012 8:01 pm

$69.5 million for 1 win? Yankees will take it

A.J Burnett never had the proper make up to handle New York. I still think he has a ton of talent to succed in a different atmosphere. The media in New york was not going to let him feel comfortable unless he came close to what his talent indicated. I did not like the shaving cream pies in the face but still think he was a good guy in the wrong place. Good luck A.J.!

Since: Jul 22, 2007
Posted on: February 18, 2012 3:44 pm

$69.5 million for 1 win? Yankees will take it

What are the Pirates thinking?  Waste of $13M.  He's done.

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