The Yankees and Pirates have crossed all the T’s and dotted the…lowercase J’s and have sent the A.J. Burnett deal off to the commissioners office to be approved and finalized.
The Pirates will pay just $13 million of the $33 million Burnett is owed over the next two seasons, paying $5 million this year and $8 million next season, according to Joel Sherman of the NY Post. In return they get prospects Diego Moreno, a right handed reliever, and Exicardo Cayones, an outfielder, Sherman wrote.
The two prospects are nothing to get excited over as neither was ranked prominently in the Pirates organizational rankings.
Moreno is a 25-year-old who has only thrown 194 innings in five seasons in the minor leagues. His numbers aren’t bad, a 2.41 ERA, 9.8 K/9 and a 2.3 BB/9, but because the sample size is so small and he’s been consistently older than the competition he seems like an organizational arm at best.
Cayones is a 20-year-old corner outfielder who gets on base at a decent clip, a career .372 OBP, but has no power at all, a career .380 SLUG%, and doesn’t steal bases well at all, he’s 14-for-28 lifetime. That’s not even a profile of a major league bench player.
So this was really all about saving some cash. The fact that the Pirates are paying more next year than this year means something too. With free agents like Cole Hamels and Matt Cain looming just a year away having a slightly smaller payroll next offseason can come into effect. $3 million may not seem like a make or break for signing Hamels, it isn’t, but it does give them extra flexibility to make smaller moves behind maybe one big one. We may think of the Yankees as having unlimited cash, but the past two offseasons have shown us that they do try to stick to a budget.