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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.

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