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MLB Trade Rumors: A.J. Burnett Once A Possible Target For Pirates, According To Report

For whatever it's worth, Ken Rosenthal reports that the Pirates showed interest in Yankees starting pitcher A.J. Burnett "at one point."

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The Yankees have had no success in their efforts to trade right-hander A.J. Burnett, who is owed $16.5 million in each of the next two seasons.

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The Pirates expressed interest at one point, sources say, and a rival executive speculated that the Braves could pursue Burnett if they trade right-hander Jair Jurrjens ...

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$16.5 million a year is way, way too much to pay Burnett, but he still has value as an innings-eater, and he deserved much better than his 5.15 ERA suggests - his underlying numbers are still pretty good. The Pirates badly need someone who can fill 200 innings next season, since their current rotation is loaded with question marks. Burnett is a pretty good bet to do that. Whether the Yankees will trade him might depend on how much salary the Pirates are willing to absorb. Also, we don't know when, exactly, the Pirates "expressed interest" - if it was before they acquired Erik Bedard, it might not matter now.

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For more on the Pirates, check out Bucs Dugout.

Photographs by dizfunk used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.