Buster Olney's report from earlier today has been confirmed, both by Ken Rosenthal and Dejan Kovacevic; the Pirates and Yankees are done on their end of the AJ Burnett deal, and all that's left now is commissioner approval and a physical on Sunday. The Pirates will pay Burnett $13 million over the next two years, the Yankees will eat the other $20 million and get two low-level prospects in return.
Both DK and Joel Sherman say one of those prospects is Diego Moreno. Moreno, you'll likely recall, is a reliever who's put up silly strikeout totals in the low minors, but he's had some really struggles in a couple of short stints at Double-A, he's 25, and he's a reported hot-head. The Pirates have plenty of right-handed arms in their bullpen right now but he does have some upside, so it makes plenty of sense for him to be one of the guys included in this trade. There's no word on the other prospect yet, though I'll stick with my Carlos Paulino guess from earlier.
When we know the second prospect, I'll update. Until then, you can check out my post from Sunday about why the Pirates need Burnett and why he's a risk that may pay off for the Bucs.
UPDATE: The second player is Exicardo Cayones.
UPDATE #2: You man recognize Cayones' name; that's because he was the highest bonus given out by the Pirates in Latin America prior to Luis Heredia. He hasn't exactly flown through the minors, though, and he struggled a lot at State College last summer, which you wouldn't expect from a prospect that's 19 years old. He's super young and obviously he's got to have the raw talent, which means he could very well put things together in the future, but there are also plenty of question marks about him after his first two years in the States. No one's seen more of him than the Pirates and if they were willing to include him in this kind of deal I think it's probably pretty safe to assume they haven't liked much of what they've seen from him to this point. For reference, he just missed the cut for my top 21 hitting prospects last October.
So that's it: Burnett for Cayonez and Moreno, plus all of the cash floating around the deal. The Pirates keep all of their top prospects and all of their second tier prospects (I'm not sure I'd even have Cayonez or Moreno in my top 50, if I were to combine my hitters list and pitchers list) and they get Burnett for what I think is a reasonable price over the next two years. There's obviously some risk for them here, but it's really hard not to like this trade, especially given the needs of the team in 2012.
The Yankees dumped salary onto the Pirates. I guess the spending cap on draft signing bonuses really is bringing about economic parity in baseball. Kudos to you, Mr. Selig. Kudos to you.
Assuming Selig doesn't exercise the Screw The Small Markets clause which he must have had slipped into MLB bylaws at some point in his tenure, this is a good deal. The best case scenario is Burnett pitching well enough to be flipped for something valuable at the deadline or spearheading a Freak Show-esque ride to glory; at worst, he flames out completely, and while $13 mil is nothing to sneeze at for the Pirates, it' s not a franchise-emasculating deal. If he performs near his FanGraphs projections, the Pirates are getting value for two guys who aren't likely to make any noise at the MLB level.
@STFD They'll have to get Dan McCutchen out of that number first. Though he's probably who I'd take off of the roster for Burnett, soooo ...