The much-rumored deal between the New York Yankees and the Pittsburgh Pirates is pretty much done. New York will send starting pitcher AJ Burnett to Pittsburgh, and the Pirates will be sending back two low-level, currently unknown, prospects. The major sticking point of the deal was Burnett’s contract, and that has apparently been settled, with the Pirates picking up $13 million of the remaining $33 million left on the deal, and the Yankees picking up the other $20 million.
I talked about the implications of Burnett going to Pittsburgh last weekend, and while casual fans will laugh at this trade for the Pirates, it’s actually quite a slick move. Pittsburgh gets a top of the line starter for two seasons, and will be paying a total of $13 million. Did I mention that he’s going to a division that is substantially weaker than the AL East, one where the top hitters left this offseason? Pittsburgh is banking on three wins from Burnett over the life of the deal, and considering he was woth a total of 2.9 wins over the last two seasons in an awful environment for him…the deal looks like a steal.
I absolutely wouldn’t be surprised to see Burnett turn into an above average pitcher for the Pirates, and considering how bad their rotation currently is, an above average pitcher is something they desperately need. Good move by the Pirates front office to get this deal done while picking up such a small amount of Burnett’s contract.