Friday, February 10, 2012

Please Mr. Cashman, trade AJ Burnett

There’s nothing imminent, but there’s apparently hope that the Yankees and Pirates can strike a deal that would send A.J. Burnett to Pittsburgh. Jon Heyman adds that while the teams are “a few million apart” in negotiations, they were still talking.

The Yankees’ goal is to convince a taker to pay part of the $33 million remaining on Burnett’s contract over the next two years to help them sign a designated hitter. Heyman tweeted the Yanks offered to pay the Bucs less than one-third of the salary, something closer to a 50-50 split, but that wasn’t enough. The Pirates also turned down the Yankees’ request that lefty-swinging Garrett Jones be part of the deal.

The Pirates’ plan is to platoon Jones, 30, with Casey McGehee at first base. Jones has some pop, but also batted .243 and struck out 104 times in 423 at-bats to go with 16 home runs and 58 RBIs. He’s also a .199 career hitter against lefties, which clearly makes him half of a platoon situation.

Speaking of DH targets, the A’s have interest in either Johnny Damon or Hideki Matsui, but both are considered long shots.
Mr. Cashman! Get a deal done! Honestly, if Burnett were to be the 5th starter for the Yankees I wouldn't be upset. Although evidence over the last two years shows otherwise, I still believe that AJ could be a viable starter... especially at the bottom of the rotation. I just don't believe a pitcher that had a bWAR of 8.3 from 2007 to 2009, would really only be worth -0.5 wins like he was in 2010, or even 1.1 wins in 2011. Somewhere in that twisted mind of AJ's there's a good pitcher. We've saw it pop up here and there in 2011, like on September 25th when he went 7.2 innings, giving up 2 ER with 6 Ks, against the Red Sox.

But the fact is, the team has better options. I really want to see what Phil Hughes could do in 175 innings this season as a starter. Phil still has plenty of upside. It may not be as an ace like some thought he'd turn out as when he was still in the minors in 2006, but a good middle of the rotation pitcher is still well within reason. And although I don't expect another season with an ERA of 3.62, I fully expect Freddy Garcia to be able to give the team a good chance to win in a majority of his starts.

As for the last sentence, with Matsui not being able to play the field, I don't think Hideki's chances of being in New York are good at all. And I really hope Oakland signs Johnny Damon, because I don't want him on the Yankees (I think I've mentioned that before). I'm sure, if Damon is signed by Oakland, he'll say something like "2001 was a great year as I loved playing in Oakland, so I'm so happy to be back". You know... some sort of bullshit like he gave Tampa, New York, and Boston.

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Sorry for the Capatcha... Blame the Russians :)