Per Jon Heyman, AJ Burnett passed his physical today and his officially a Pirate. The terms from Friday all stand: the Pirates pay $13 million total to Burnett over the next two years and send Exicardo Cayones and Diego Moreno to the Yankees. I feel like I've said everything that I have to say about this deal.
Well, except that I love that this trade is already going through the Yankee fan/NY media hype train and I hope that Pirate fans don't start falling for it. Joel Sherman tweeted on Friday that the Yankees think that Moreno is one of the Pirates' ten best prospects, and that's ludicrous. Moreno is a middle reliever and a closer at best. He's 25 and he's never pitched well at Double-A. He's got enough maturity issues that even though he's basically the perfect profile of a Rule 5 pick (hard-throwing reliever, huge strikeout totals, a little old for being stuck in the low minors) he went undrafted this year, even by the Yankees.
Moreno might someday make a good big league reliever (I actually wouldn't even call it surprising if he does), but that shouldn't have kept the Pirates from making this trade nor will it mean that the Yankees "win" the trade if it happens. Hard-throwing right-handed relievers are a dime a dozen if you know where to look. In the last couple of years the Pirates have acquired Joel Hanrahan and Evan Meek and Chris Leroux and Chris Resop and Jason Grilli and they've turned Jared Hughes and Duke Welker into decent relief prospects. Moreno isn't appreciably better or more talented than any of these guys. A reliever like him just isn't the sort of commodity you hold on to because his skill set is pretty fungible if you have even the slightest idea where to look.
Yeah right. I see why I win so many fantasy league championships. If people think Paul Maholm is better or even equal to A.J. Burnett, I'll keep winning them for a long time. Thank You.
@DoobyDoobyDoo I understand why they declined Maholm's option, but why not go after him in free agency if they were willing to spend the money they spent on Burnett? Also, Burnett being a better pitcher is debatable at this point in his career. The only way this makes sense to me is if the front office thinks Burnett will be worth more if they decide to ship him out of town at the deadline
If the pirates were willing to pay this much for a league average starter, why not bring back Paul Maholm?
@Jose_Chico Well, they're playing less for Burnett than they would've for Maholm's option. And who says Maholm would've come back after the Bucs turned down his option?
@whygavs Maholm signed with the cubs for 4.25, and an option for 6.5 next year. The pirates are paying Burnett more than that. It just doesn't make a lot of sense to me.
@Jose_Chico@whygavs Jose, if the Pirates wanted to bring back Paul Maholm he had a team option to pay him $9.75m this season. This figure was non-negotiable as it was worked into the contract he signed several seasons ago. The Pirates declined this option, thus making him a free agent. The dollar figures he signed for in Chicago have absolutely nothing to do with what the Pirates would have had to pay. The Pirates are paying AJ Burnett $5m this season; that is half of what they would have had to pay Paul Maholm to pitch this season. That's why they didn't bring back Maholm.Not to mention the fact that AJ Burnett is a better pitcher than Maholm....