MLB Trade Rumors: A.J. Burnett Deal Complete

The Pirates have finally completed their trade for A.J. Burnett, Jon Heyman reports.

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A.J. Burnett Trade: Gustavo Nunez Placed On DL To Clear Roster Space

The Pirates have made room for A.J. Burnett on their 40-man roster:

#Pirates cleared A.J. Burnett’s room on the 40-man roster by placing INF Gustavo Nunez (Rule 5 pick from Det) on 60-day DL w/ ankle injury.

Nunez was a bit of a dubious Rule 5 pick to begin with — it’s unclear how much he’s going to hit in the majors even if he plays up to his potential. But there’s nothing better to do with a dubious Rule 5 pick than to place him on the DL. This way, the Pirates get to let him start the season in the minors, where he’ll have a leisurely “rehab” assignment before the Pirates need to promote him to the majors. This isn’t to say that Nunez’s injury isn’t legitimate, only that it’s very convenient, because without the DL, the Pirates would have to keep Nunez on the big-league roster all year or risk losing him. Anyway, this move likely means either Yamaico Navarro or Anderson Hernandez will make the team as the Bucs' utility infielder.

In other Burnett news, the pitcher will wear No. 34 in Spring Training. The Pirates have also cleared locker space for him.

For more on the Pirates, check out Bucs Dugout.


Yankees, Pirates Finally Complete A.J. Burnett Trade

Jon Heyman reports that the Pirates’ trade for Yankees starting pitcher A.J. Burnett is finally complete.

Burnett passed the physical and mlb approved the trade. Done deal.

The Pirates acquired Burnett in exchange for minor league reliever Diego Moreno and outfielder Exicardo Cayones. They will pay $13 million on the last two years of the contract Burnett signed with New York.

The deal helps stabilize the Pirates’ rotation, which could benefit nicely from 180 innings of Burnett rather than Kevin Correia (or, digging further down, someone like Jo-Jo Reyes). Assuming Charlie Morton (who had surgery in the offseason) is healthy at the beginning of April, the Pirates’ rotation is likely to be Burnett, Morton, Erik Bedard, James McDonald and Jeff Karstens. That’s hardly a world-beating rotation, and it probably isn’t even enough to get the Pirates to .500, but it’s a lot better than it was a week ago.

For more on the Pirates, be sure to check out Bucs Dugout. For more on the Yankees, there’s Pinstripe Alley.


Neil Walker Praises A.J. Burnett Trade

The Pittsburgh Pirates' trade for New York Yankees' starting pitcher A.J. Burnett is still awaiting approval from the commissioner's office and the 35-year old's physical for completion, but players are already happy to know the righty will be joining the big-league rotation in the near future as the Pittsburgh Tribune Review's Karen Price reports.

"We're looking forward to him joining our team," said second baseman Neil Walker, who already has reported to spring training. Pitchers and catchers reported Saturday and have their first workout today. Full-squad workouts are scheduled to begin Friday.

"I think it's a great addition," Walker added, "and I think him coming from the A.L. East, pitching in such a competitive division, he's going to give us a very good chance to win every time he steps on the mound."

Walker also told Price that he thinks there is a lot of optimism surrounding the team as it begins spring training on Sunday in Bradenton, Fla. and that the front office, led by general manager Neal Huntington is giving the Bucs the "best chance" to win with the moves it has made this offseason, adding not just Burnett, but shortstop Clint Barmes, third baseman Casey McGehee and starting pitcher Erik Bedard, among others.

For the latest on the Bucs' trade for A.J. Burnett, be sure to stay tuned to SB Nation Pittsburgh and check out Bucs Dugout, SB Nation's Pirates blog.


A.J. Burnett Trade: Philles Were Involved In Talks, According To Report

ESPN's Buster Olney reports the Philadelphia Philles were the fourth team team involved in trade talks for the Yankees' A.J. Burnett before New York reportedly reached a deal to send the 35-year-old righty to the Pittsburgh Pirates on Friday.

Numerous outlets have reported that the Los Angeles Angels and Cleveland Indians were the other two teams pursuing Burnett but Olney is the first to implicate the Phillies in the talks.

Olney also reports, interestingly, that pitcher Joe Blanton's contract proved to be a stumbling block for the Phillies and that the team would have had to move him to acquire Burnett. Unfortunately for the Phillies, the Pirates were reportedly among the suitors for Blanton, too, meaning any talks between New York and Philadelphia basically revolved around what kind of move Pittsburgh wanted to make.

For the latest on the Bucs' trade for the Yankee's A.J. Burnett, be sure to stay tuned to SB Nation Pittsburgh and head over to Bucs Dugout, SB Nation's Pirates-devoted blog.


A.J. Burnett Trade: Pitcher Was A Mentor For Ivan Nova With Yankees

A.J. Burnett is on the verge of joining the Pirates rotation and he could bring more to the table than just his pitching talents. As Daniel Barbarisi of the Wall Street Journal reports, Burnett was a good influence on a number of young pitchers with the Yankees.

Despite his performance, Burnett was popular in some quarters of the Yankee clubhouse for his antics – he would smash a shaving cream pie in the face of any player who delivered a walk-off hit – and his willingness to work with younger players. Starter Ivan Nova, in particular, befriended Burnett, and with the news of his looming trade Friday, Nova could do little but shrug at the loss of a friend and mentor.

"I like him, he's a good guy, but what can I say about it?,'' Nova said. "It's a business, man.''

Nova had a strong rookie season in 2011, finishing with a 16-4 record, 3.70 ERA and 98 strikeouts in 165.1 innings. Pirates fans can hope that Burnett, 35, can similarly mentor younger pitchers like Charlie Morton (28) and James McDonald (27) in Pittsburgh's rotation.

For more on the A.J. Burnett trade, be sure to stay tuned to SB Nation Pittsburgh.


A.J. Burnett Trade Includes Exicardo Cayones, Diego Moreno’s Jonathan Mayo now reports that the second player the Pirates are sending to the Yankees in the A.J. Burnett trade is young outfielder Exicardo Cayones. That means the Yankees will be getting Cayones and reliever Diego Moreno, and the Pirates will take on $13 million of Burnett’s salary.

I wrote about Moreno here. Cayones’ case is somewhat similar, in that his numbers look interesting, but it was clear from the Pirates’ behavior that they just didn’t think much of him. Cayones held his own in the Gulf Coast League as an 18-year-old in 2010, but the Pirates only gave him 11 games in State College in 2011. He was terrible there, and the Pirates had him spend the rest of the year back in the GCL. If they’d liked him more, they probably would have let him continue to struggle, or they would have sent him to West Virginia to start the year anyway. Time will tell whether the Pirates’ evaluations of Cayones and Moreno are correct, but they clearly don’t think they’re giving up very much here.


A.J. Burnett Trade Done, Pending Physicals, MLB Approval, According To Report

Michael Sanserino of the Post-Gazette reports that the Yankees and Pirates have reached agreement on their deal that would send A.J. Burnett to Pittsburgh. We’ve heard, separately, that the Pirates will send minor-league reliever Diego Moreno and another prospect to the Yankees, and will pick up $13 million on the two years remaining on Burnett’s contract.

The deal will be officially complete once Major League Baseball approves it and Burnett and the other players involved take physicals.

We’ll see how accurate all that turns out to be, but this has to have been the longest, most drawn-out trade of all time, at least to those of us who follow the Pirates on a 24-hour news cycle. Anyway, Burnett should provide a nice boost to a rotation that badly needed it. He’ll likely replace Kevin Correia. He’ll benefit from the friendlier confines of PNC Park and from a move from the A.L. East to the N.L. Central. He’s old enough that his decline could come quickly, but this looks like a nice move toward respectability for the Bucs.

For more on the Pirates, check out Bucs Dugout.


Diego Moreno One Player In A.J. Burnett Trade, According To Report

Joel Sherman tweets that one of the players headed from the Pirates to the Yankees in the impending A.J. Burnett deal is minor-league reliever Diego Moreno.

That makes plenty of sense — the Yankees probably look at Moreno and see a young pitcher with a great arm and some very interesting minor-league stat lines, while the Pirates look at Moreno and see … well, actually, it’s not entirely clear what they see, but they definitely see something. The Bucs suspended him for some sort of bad behavior in 2010, then sent him back to Class A+ Bradenton in 2011 even after he’d laid waste to that level in 2010. He ended up pitching not nearly as well in 2011 as he did in 2010. The Pirates left him unprotected in the Rule 5 Draft last year, and he didn’t get selected, which suggests that there may be something people around baseball know about him that we the fans don’t. In any case, it’s unsurprising that the Pirates are willing to give him up, and it makes sense that the Yankees would want him.

For more on the Pirates, check out Bucs Dugout. For more on the Yankees, there’s Pinstripe Alley.


A.J. Burnett Trade Likely To Head To Commissioner's Office, According To Reports

Buster Olney reports that the A.J. Burnett trade between the Pirates and Yankees is likely to head to Bud Selig’s office:

Sources: Yankees and Pirates hope to take their proposed Burnett deal to the Commissioner later today, for approval.

Meanwhile,’s Tom Singer suggests the deal is likely to go through soon:

Commissioner will rule quickly on proposed #Pirates-#Yankees deal of Burnett; this needs to be cleared before both teams’ P/C report on Sat.

More MLB trade talk: MLB Daily Dish.

If it’s true that the deal is heading to the commissioner’s office, that means the Yankees and Pirates have agreed on the terms. There’s also no reason to think the commissioner will reject it. If you’ve been paying attention throughout this excruciatingly long process, that’s no surprise — it’s been clear for a couple days that the Pirates were the only team really in on Burnett, and that the Yankees really wanted to deal him before the start of Spring Training.

The rumored amount of Burnett’s remaining contract the Pirates will pay is $13 million. They’ll also send two prospects, although it’s unclear, at this point, who they are.

For more on the Pirates, check out Bucs Dugout. For more on the Yankees, there’s Pinstripe Alley.


MLB Trade Rumors: Pirates, Yankees Likely To Complete A.J. Burnett Deal

A couple reports in the wee hours Friday indicate that the trade of Yankees pitcher A.J. Burnett to the Pirates is likely to finally be completed soon. First, Jon Heyman:

barring something unforeseen, aj trade will be completed w/i a few days. pirates to pay $13M of $33M, give up 2 non-roster minor leaguers

Dejan Kovacevic's Friday column tells a similar story:

This is how the trade will go: The Yankees will cover roughly $20 million of the $33 million Burnett is owed over the final two seasons of his contract. The Pirates will cover the other $13 million. And because they'll cover so much, they'll part with no more than a couple of Class A prospects, neither among the system's best.

Kovacevic also praises the Pirates for playing hardball with the Yankees and refusing to give up better minor-league talent or a major-leaguer like Garrett Jones.

Assuming the deal does go down, the Pirates will get a nice upgrade in their rotation. Burnett struggled last season with the Yankees, but he's a good rebound candidate due to the difference in parks (the Yankees' park is homer-happy; PNC Park is not), leagues, and divisions.

For more on the Pirates, check out Bucs Dugout.


MLB Trade Rumors: Yankees / Pirates Trade For A.J. Burnett At 'Impasse,' But Pirates The Only Serious Suitor

Ken Rosenthal has the latest on the possible trade of A.J. Burnett from the Yankees to the Pirates. He says he Yankees would like to get the deal done before this weekend, when their Spring Training opens, but it doesn’t sound like they’ll have many other options if the Pirates don’t agree to their terms.

The Indians and Yankees never got serious about a potential trade that would have sent Burnett to Cleveland for Travis Hafner. The Angels showed interest, but Burnett has the Angels on his no-trade list, and doesn’t want to play on the West Coast because his wife has a fear of flying.

That leaves the Pirates, whose potential trade for Burnett has hit a snag over the quality of the prospects the Pirates will send back, and the amount of the remaining $33 million on Burnett’s contract the Pirates will pay. It sounds like the Bucs don’t have much incentive to agree to the Yankees’ demands at this point. I doubt they ever had any plans to give up any significant prospects at all, and they shouldn’t be willing to pay more than $12 million or so of the $33 million.

For more trade rumors, check out MLB Daily Dish.


A.J. Burnett Trade Rumors: Burnett-For-Travis-Hafner Deal A Possibility, But Pirates Shouldn't Worry

Jon Heyman tweets that the Yankees and Indians are discussing a possible trade of A.J. Burnett for DH Travis Hafner.

Yankees/indians talk revolves around aj and travis hafner. cleve unsure it would do that swap. yanks also don’t mind the FA DH options

The Yankees need a DH, and Hafner is a good one, so this makes sense for the Yankees. It also helps that both Hafner and Burnett are overpaid. In the end, though, this doesn’t make much sense for Cleveland, at least not as a one-for-one deal, since Hafner is popular and is owed about half as much as Burnett. If I were the Pirates and I wanted to get a Burnett deal done, I wouldn’t be overly worried about this. The most likely outcome is probably the Yankees trading Burnett to the Pirates for salary relief, then acquiring a DH on the free agent market or elsewhere.

UPDATE: Jordan Bastian tweets that the Yankees and Indians aren't currently talking about a Burnett/Hafner trade. (Via Tim Williams.)

For more on the Yankees, check out Pinstripe Alley. For more on the Indians, there’s Let’s Go Tribe.


MLB Trade Rumors: A.J. Burnett Trade Still Reportedly Likely, But Yankees Could Also Wait Until Trade Deadline

Here’s the latest on the possible trade that would send starting pitcher A.J. Burnett from the Yankees to the Pirates. Ken Rosenthal writes that the deal still appears likely, although he also says that not everyone in the Yankees organization approves of the trade.

Interestingly, some #Yankees people oppose trading Burnett, believing team could get more at deadline.

In the deal the two teams are discussing now, the Pirates would send the Yankees “marginal prospects.”

More trade rumors: MLB Daily Dish

It looks like this trade is still on track; all that’s left is haggling over prospects and money. The Pirates will probably end up taking on something like $12 million of Burnett’s salary, while giving up two marginal prospects who are unlikely to be serious contributors in the big leagues. If the Pirates end up giving up much more than that, I won’t like it so much, but the Bucs do need to do something about their rotation, and I’d rather the Pirates overpay a little (in money, not prospects) than go into this season with Kevin Correia in their rotation.

For more on the Pirates, check out Bucs Dugout. For more on the Yankees, there’s Pinstripe Alley.


MLB Trade Rumors: A.J. Burnett 'Likely' To Head From Yankees To Pirates, According To Report

Jon Heyman tweets that the trade of A.J. Burnett from the Yankees to the Pirates now appears “likely.”

#yankees, #pirates still talking aj. deal likely to get done w/ bucs paying $13-15M of $33M, & giving up 2 non-roster guys

The two “non-roster guys” will likely be minor-leaguers who aren’t particularly good prospects. Burnett really isn’t worth more than $13 million for two years to begin with, so it would be foolish for the Pirates to give up anyone good, and I’m confident they won’t.

More: MLB trades and rumors at MLB Daily Dish

Assuming no real prospects are involved, I like this trade for the Pirates, despite the high price tag. The Bucs have money to spend, but they’ve struggled to give it away to higher-tier free agents like Edwin Jackson and Roy Oswalt. Meanwhile, they have a patchwork rotation that badly needs stability, and as annoying as Burnett was to Yankees fans, he’s probably capable of providing some stability in Pittsburgh, once one accounts for the difference in leagues and ballparks. He’s 35, so it’s possible he could fall off a cliff at any time, but given his stuff and strikeout rate, he seems like a reasonably good bet to pitch 180 or so league-average innings.

For more on the Pirates, check out Bucs Dugout For more on the Yankees, there’s Pinstripe Alley.


MLB Trade Rumors: A.J. Burnett's Agent Speaks On Possible Trade To Pirates

The Pirates have been spurned by free agent starting pitchers Edwin Jackson and Roy Oswalt so far this offseason, but it appears the starter they have their eyes on now, the Yankees' A.J. Burnett, is open to taking his career to Pittsburgh if the two teams can complete a widely reported deal to send him there.

His agent had this to say to the New York Daily News' Peter Botte on 35-year old righty's future.

"He is getting ready to go to spring training, whether it’s with the Yankees, Pittsburgh or anyone else," Darek Braunecker said in a brief phone interview. "A.J. understands this is a business and will do what he has to do. He’s healthy and he’s looking forward to pitching for somebody."

Burnett, as the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette's Bill Brink reports, has a limited no-trade clause in his contract that lists 10 teams he cannot be traded to, but the Pirates are not on that list, indicating he has stronger reservations about heading to a number of other teams than to the Bucs.

For the latest on the Pirates-Yankees trade talks, be sure to stay tuned to SB Nation Pittsburgh.


A.J. Burnett Trade Rumors: Pirates, Yankees Have 'Framework' Of Deal

The Pirates and Yankees continue to work on an A.J. Burnett trade, a number of reports indicate, but as of noon on Sunday, they don’t yet appear to be close on a deal.

Buster Olney tweets that the two teams have a “framework” in place to make a deal. However, Jon Heyman indicates that the Pirates have offered two minor leaguers for Burnett, but the Yankees are nonplussed. Heyman also writes that the Pirates are more worried about protecting their minor-league system than about the amount of Burnett’s salary they’ll have to take on.

Assuming Heyman’s reporting is accurate, my guess is that the Pirates didn’t offer prospects of any significant value. One report Sunday morning linked Pirates prospect Nick Kingham to the deal, which is ridiculous; Kingham is one of the Bucs’ top 15 prospects, and there’s no way they’ll trade anyone that good for Burnett unless other players are involved. The Yankees want to clear salary, and the Pirates have money to spend, so they’ll likely offer to take on $12 million or so of the remaining $33 million on Burnett’s contract.

For more on the Pirates, check out Bucs Dugout. For more on the Yanks, there’s Pinstripe Alley.


MLB Trade Rumors: 'Framework' Of A.J. Burnett Trade To Pirates In Place, According To Report

It appears trade talks between the Pittsburgh Pirates and New York Yankees over veteran right-handed pitcher A.J. Burnett are continuing to progress, and in fact the two sides may be nearing a deal. Via ESPN's Buster Olney:

Having "a framework" in place is the easy part. Now the Pirates and Yankees would need to decide on both the players and the amount cash being exchanged in the deal, two major sticking points.

Burnett posted a 5.15 ERA in 32 starts last season, throwing 190 1/3 innings. He had a 173/83 K/BB ratio. The 35-year-old is still owed $33 million on his current contract.

For the latest on the Pirates and Yankees' discussions about A.J. Burnett, stay tuned to SB Nation Pittsburgh. For more on the Pirates, check out Bucs Dugout.


MLB Trade Rumors: Pirates One Of Four Teams In On Burnett, According To Report

The Pirates aren't alone in their pursuit on Yankees starting pitcher A.J. Burnett.

FOX Sports' Ken Rosenthal tweets that Pittsburgh is, in fact, one of four teams looking to trade for the 35-year-old righty, but notes that the Bucs are the team the New York front office thinks makes the most sense to trade with.

Meanwhile, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette's Bill Brink describes the talks between the two teams as "moving forward" as of Friday night, so this is all good news for those hoping the Pirates might be able to bring Burnett to PNC Park.

However, general manager Neal Huntington is apparently not bidding against himself in these talks, so it'll be interesting to see how that changes the leverage most assumed the Pirates to have until this point with the Yankees looking to free up payroll to make some additions to their offense.

For the latest on the Pirates talks with the Yankees about A.J. Burnett, be sure to stay tuned to SB Nation Pittsburgh.


MLB Trade Rumors: Garrett Jones Will Not Be Included In Deal For A.J. Burnett, According To Report

CBS Sports Jon Heyman tweets that the Pirates will not include outfielder/first baseman Garrett Jones in any potential deal for Yankees starting pitcher A.J. Burnett. Reports earlier in the day indicated the Yankees coveted the 35-year-old lefty, but that option appears to be off the table at this point.

Meanwhile, the New York Post's Joel Sherman, in a pair of tweets on his account, offers a report on the financials of the negotiations as they stand at this point.

telling absorbing $10M of AJ's $33M isn't enough, won't do deal at that level," Sherman said, adding, "I'm surprised. Thought Yanks would be happy to defray any of Burnett's $$ to move on from him."

Heyman also said the Yankees want an "OK" prospect in a potential trade.

The guess here is that the Pirates' financial obligation would be adjusted based on the quality of prospect they are willing to send to New York, if they're willing to send one at all. Our own Charlie Wilmoth writes over at Bucs Dugout says he'd be OK with giving up a prospect on the level of Brooks Pounders and Aaron Baker (who the Pirates shipped out in the last year for Yamaico Navarro and Derrek Lee, respectively), so it'll be interesting to see what the Pirates' thinking is.

Stay tuned.

For the latest on the Pirates and Yankees' discussions about A.J. Burnett, stay tuned to SB Nation Pittsburgh.

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