Friday, February 17, 2012

Pirates trade with Yankees

Welcome aboard AJ Burnett!  After a week long negotiating process with the Yankees, the Pittsburgh Pirates have aquired 2 years of AJ Burnett.  I love this trade.  There were a lot of concerns regarding the durability of the Pirates rotation heading into the off season especially when they declined the nearly $10 million club option on Paul Maholm who has been the most durable Pirates pitcher over the past few seasons.  That $10 million option in turn netted us both Erik Bedard and AJ Burnett for the 2012 season though.  While Bedard has had injury plagued seasons recently, Burnett has been a horse pitching nearly 200 innings. 

The Pirates will only owe AJ $13 million of his $33 million salary over the next two seasons ($5 million in 2012, $8 million in 2012.  In exchange for the Yankees absorbing $20 million of AJ's salary they received minor leaguers Diego Moreno and Exicardo Cayones.  Moreno is a 26 year old fireballing reliever that has upside to be a quality 8th inning setup man. However, he has struggled since his breakout 2010 campaign being demoted back to A ball.  At age 26 he hasn't pitched above AA yet.  The Pirates have plenty of right handed relievers in the farm system all with greater ceilings than Moreno and younger.  Exicardo Cayones is an international big signing bonus failure.  He has upside of being a replaceable center fielder but lacks great upside.  At his age 20 season he hit .063/.189/.063 in 32 at bats in Low A ball State College.  He does have the tools to be a plus defender and speed, but only shows the ability to hit line drives with no power.

Overall the Pirates traded from an area of strenth (right handed relievers and young athletic outfielders).  I could not be happier with this trade as I think a change of scenery will greatly help AJ return to his form he had in Florida and Toronto.  In addition he can help mentor the young Pirates pitchers advancing from the minors over the course of the next two seasons.

Join me tomorrow as I show off a trade package I got from Drew's cards.  It's fitting since he's a Yankees fan and I'm a Pirates fan.

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