Rumor: Yankees spending limited until A.J. Burnett is traded 19

As the Yankees are looking to fill their DH role they are stating that they have just $1-$2 million to spend. That number would go up  if they could find a way to trade A.J. Burnett though, according to Jon Heyman of CBS Sports.

The Yankees have been trying to trade Burnett all offseason, but have had no luck so far. General manager Brian Cashman suggested that he would be willing to get creative and we’ve heard that they are willing to eat as much as $8 million to move him.

Now that they have revamped their rotation by adding Michael Pineda and Hiroki Kuroda they are likely to be more motivated to move Burnett. Heyman suggested they might be willing to eat as much as $23 million of the $33 million he is owed. That seems a bit high, but that might be necessary if they are serious about moving him.

The Yankees need to fill two more roles this offseason, signing a backup to Alex Rodriguez, probably Eric Chavez, and add a DH. They can’t do that with just $2 million and they have seven starters for five rotation spots. Cashman will be trying his best over the rest of the offseason to swap one of his starters, preferrably Burnett, but probably Phil Hughes otherwise, to add one of the two bats they still need.

The problem is that Burnett and Hughes didn’t do much last year to make them attractive pieces. Cashman has proved to be better than most of us expected this offseason. Let’s see if he can pull off his coup.

About Rob Abruzzese

Rob Abruzzese created Bronx Baseball Daily in 2008 just before graduating from Brooklyn College. He currently serves BBD as its editor and works as a reporter at the Brooklyn Daily Eagle. Follow Rob on Twitter @RobAbruzzese.

19 thoughts on “Rumor: Yankees spending limited until A.J. Burnett is traded

  • Anthony Puleo

    I can see them moving AJ and eating a bunch of his salary rather than moving a guy like Hughes who makes just $3 million a year and still has tremendous upside potential. Even if you only recoup $5 million a year from Burnett's contract, that should be enough, with the $2 million, to sign a backup 3B as well as a platoon-type DH to go along with Jones. Trading Hughes would probably bring back a better quality player, and therefore more money coming back (I'm referring to Butler and his $8 million).

    Trading AJ is also addition by subtraction. By removing him and his albatross contract, you are shipping away all the bad vibes associated with him. There is no such distaste for Hughes, as he doesn't make the kind of money that would accompany such anger. Even if Hughes ends up in the pen (which AJ cannot do), he is a much more valuable commodity to keep on the team. AJ must go, even if it only saves them a small portion of his salary and bring back a A scrub. This move would be all about clearing some cash for the 25th man on the roster and clearing the grey cloud that follows AJ whenever he takes his turn on the mound.

    Cashman is a very smart GM and will get this done when we least expect it. I wouldn't be shocked if he waits until Spring Training when someone else loses a pitcher and gets desperate. DH candidates will always be available. Besides, we can always fill these positions in house. Nunez can learn to play better D and I'm sure we have a bat or two in AAA who can take the other side of the DH platoon at bats with Jones. Even if we move AJ, that could be a very intelligent option. Not all problems are solved by throwing money at them.

    All in all, I believe that Cashman has constructed a championship caliber team, and at the same time, set the Yankees up to be successful and a very lean machine in the future.

  • hotdog

    Hughes was a great prospect not too long ago. Had a great 2009 as a set up guy. 2010 he went something like 18-8 even though he tailed off mightily towards the end of the season. 2011 was a mystery. I also feel that Hughes could be a good starter for the team but I'm not sure if he'll get that chance. He likely needs a change of scenery to revamp his career. He could still be an elite pitcher but most likely not in New York. If they trade him, I hope it's to a National League team. I just hope he never dons a Red Sox uniform.

  • Tanned Tom

    It seems to me that Cashman wouldn't have acquired Pineda and Kuroda if he didn't think he could trade at least 1 of Garcia, Burnett, Hughes. I think Anthony's hit the nail on the head when talks about trading Burnett being addition by subtraction. With so many internal options (Garcia, the AAA starters Warren and Phelps, etc) there's no reason to keep Burnett as the 5th starter. Now that he doesn't need Burnett's 180 innings, I'm hoping Cashman will bite the bullet and do what it takes to move this guy.
    As for Nunez playing better "D", fielding is the part of the game that changes the least as a player moves up the ranks, so it's unlikely we'll see much improvement here, Not impossible, but unlikely.
    And there is no need for a DH. A-Rod, with his post-steroid use fragility, will need at least 50 games at DH. Jones and Chavez could each get 25 games. Then spreading the rest out among the remaining regulars would make the jam cover the bread.

  • babba

    Where did you get DJ committing almost 60 errors in the majors 1 year. The most he ever had was 24 in 2000. Even his rookie year was only 22 errors. The guy has a career .976 fielding %. However your point is not lost on me and I agree for the most part minus the incorrect data on DJ.

  • Stewartsmall

    I know Theo Epstein may not like this, but why not a Soriano for Burnett trade? Burnett would likely be better in the NL , the Cubs get some salary relief and both teams can fill a need. Sorry Oh No is still a 20HR guy, even in Yankee stadium. Why not take a shot, Theo?

  • Jacques

    Hughes lacks a developed secondary pitch. Two years ago he has been using the cutter less often, which led him to use 4 seamer most of the time. Although inning jump from 2009 has been a factor, the fact that Hughes has been relying too much with his fastball is another factor why his performance fell apart. And of course, the velocity wasn't there last year, thus creating a disaster for him. By then, he did not have a good changeup or cutter to fully compensate for his poor fastball.

    Which leads me to a conclusion: Why not put Hughes in Triple-A and let him develop a secondary pitch, like how Ivan Nova did last year during June? Hughes have a minor league option remaining. Garcia and Burnett can battle for the 5th spot, with the loser being the long man. I think this will alleviate pressure off of Hughes in the beginning of the season and this will also help him properly stretch out; no need for him to pitch 7,8 innings in April. If one of the starters are injured/falters, Hughes can be the guy

  • The Oracle

    How about axing Swisher and going real hard after Yoennis Cespedes, a future 5 tool star.

    The Oracle

  • Tom

    The unconfirmed rumor is that AJ Burnett was traded to Boston…the Red Sox then announced that he'll be their # 1 starter this coming season (;

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