Rumor: Yankees tried and failed to deal A.J. Burnett

Earlier this offseason we heard that the Yankees were shopping starting pitcher A.J. Burnett and were even willing to eat some of his salary to do so.

Not surprisingly, the Yankees haven’t had any luck in finding a taker. The Pirates and Braves were both supposedly interested, however the Yankees may not be willing to eat enough of Burnett’s salary that teams will be willing to make a move, according to Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports.

The Braves, who nearly landed Burnett the same offseason in which the Yankees ultimately signed him, could potentially still be interested. The catch though is that they would have to deal Jair Jurrjens first and then even still, the Yankees have to swallow more of his salary than they are willing to do. It’s hard to see them dump Derek Lowe for financial reasons and then pickup Burnett in the same offseason.

I know there are a lot of people who want to see Burnett out of the Bronx, but it remains very unlikely that will be traded at all. The Yankees have been hitting us over the head with this budget thing making it unlikely that they add another starter, swallowing Burnett’s entire salary would kill the budget without anything to show for it. It may be addition by subtraction, but the Yankees would probably be more likely to elect to try to squeeze something out of Burnett than to pay him $33 million to play somewhere else.

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.

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9 Responses to Rumor: Yankees tried and failed to deal A.J. Burnett

  1. John says:

    No choice put him out there. Sunk cost. You have to pay him either way. To my knowledge he isnt a clubhouse cancer like Zambrano who the cubs had to eat his salary. Thats to my knowledge there was the mysterious shiner a few seasons ago
    But if you have to pay him anyway just hope game2 09 world series AJ shows up again.

    • Burnett, by all accounts, is a very good clubhouse presence. He was given a lot of credit for mentoring Ivan Nova last season and we all know what kind of a season he had last year. (Although Nova showed a lot on his own in his ability to stay poised and add a new pitch – his slider).

  2. Tanned Tom says:

    The Pirates and the Braves were interested? Then why wasn't a deal made? This guy is a joke, his ERA over the last 2 seasons has to be among the 2 worst in all of baseball among starters making 50 starts. Pay $20 mil and let some other team figure him out. The savings of $13 mil allow you to sign Kuroda for a year. I'm betting Cashman didn't want to ask ownership to approve that kind of deal. So for 2012 we'll have not one, but two of the worst starters in all of baseball last season, Burnett AND Hughes. They better have Noesi, Phelps and Warren pack their bags, because they're gonna need them.

  3. NYYJJinATL says:

    The would have to deal Jair first? Ummm….Ok. AJ, Betances and Romine for Jurrgins. DONE! OR, AJ, Romine and 20 MILL for Jurrgins. Let's get creative Cashman!!!

  4. John says:

    Whats a bigger pipe dream, getting King Felix or getting rid of AJ?
    Neither will happen.

  5. Bronx_Knight says:

    We paid $46M for Igawa. He couldn't hack it in the bigs, and we ended up paying him that money to spend four years in the minors.
    It's time to do the same thing with AJ. He's had an ERA of 5.2 for the past two years. He's 35 years old and he is not going to get better. Let's treat him as what he is: a no. 5 starter, at best. Throw him out there at the tail end of the rotation for two months. If he pitches under a 5 ERA, keep him. If he's still over 5, send him to Scranton.
    It is what it is. Eat the $33M if you have to, but let's stop pretending that he's our number 2 starter, because he is not.
    Next …

    • David K. says:

      He'll probably be even worse in 2012 since he's a year older. He's definitely shown signs of aging in 2010 and 2011. The fastball is not what it used to be: we can even see a drop off from 2009. If he continues to pitch to an over 5 ERA, and we cannot trade him, it'll be better just to waive him and eat the entire contract. I've pointed out before that we got rid of Hideki Irabu and Jose Contreras even though they were pitching better than A.J. Why is this guy being given such a long leash? I cannot understand it.

  6. Cyril Morley says:

    The yankees could sign Scoot Kazmir, Rich Harden and Joel Zumaya. Fill in the other part from there farm system

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