Morning Bits: Burnett, Game Time

Things are sure to heat up today with the AJ Rumors and News.  Also will Soler become a Yankee today as well.  Lot’s of things can happen so keep checking back with us for all the latest.

Now for some links to get you through the morning.

* The Daily News reports that AJ balked at a trade that would have sent him to the Angels for Bobby Abreu.

* reports that the Yankees are talking to 4 teams still about A.J. Burnett.

* Rangers vs Yankees on April 23rd has been moved to ESPN.

Check this video out of Hughes talking about his workout this off-season.

About Matthew S.

Avid Yankee fan since birth. I have been going to Yankee games with my father since i was young. I have many memories at YSII including many playoffs and world series games. I hope that you enjoy our blog. Comment often.

Posted on February 16, 2012, in Notes & Links and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. 34 Comments.

  1. I look for Hughes to have a bounce back year this year. Last year he was on the Verducci list from increasing his innings more than 25 in one season. He is still young and I see him pitching more like Ian Kennedy than what we saw last year. I will say that pitching is very unpredictable. This could be a big day, with the Yanks trading Burnett, and signing Jorge Soler. The Yanks seem to know how to stay in the news, which I really like. Cashman has done his best job the last 2 years, he’s on a roll.

    • Doug – I agree about Hughes but not totally about Cashman. Trading Montero leaves a hole in the lineup that he has yet to fill and there is still no viable backup 3B in case ARod is lost.

      Despite all the runs scored, the Yankee offense tends to disappear at times (especially in playoffs) and I think it was important to add a high average guy that pounds RHP. Montero was that guy and even Posada hit RHP better than almost everyone on the team. Until Cash replaces them, I can’t say he’s done a great job. Kuroda & Pineda were great additions but he’s done nothing but subtract Montero & Posada from the offense.

      Last yr, although he didn’t sign any big players, he found Garcia, Colon, Ayala and later Cory Wade.

  2. Nice link with the Hughes video Matt. Was the lefty throwing next to him Ricky Romero from Toronto? Usually working out hard isn’t big news for pitchers but with a guy like Hughes it is. He’s a guy with a laid back attitude and has been lazy and overweight in the past. So to see him working hard and the reports that he is in great shape, it’s a good sign. I’m expecting a big bounce back out of him.

    • This has been the year of the unknown team so I woudn’t be surprised if a team other than Pittsburgh trades for him.

      I think the important thing is that there is enough interest to know pretty definitively that AJ is gone. Now the bigger question is what will the Yanks do with the $5-7 Million per year in savings? I’m hoping there is another trade for a bat and not just the scraps left on the FA list. None of those guys pound RHP.

      • I’m thinking you may be disappointed about that trade for a left handed bat/DH. My monies on Ibanez if he’s willing to take the job on the cheap.

        • Unfortunatey you are probably right. Although a month or 2 ago, a lot of people thought I was crazy for saying the Yanks could trade AJ if they ate $20-23M so its not impossible. If Cashman was gonna sign Ibanez, he could have done it already for $1-2M.


    A.J. Burnett Rumors: Thursday
    By Ben Nicholson-Smith [February 16, 2012 at 9:56am CST]
    Multiple teams are discussing right-hander A.J. Burnett with the Yankees, according to yesterday’s rumors. The right-hander vetoed a trade to the Angels, so it’s down to the Pirates and at least one unknown club. Burnett will earn $33MM between now and the end of the 2013 season, and the question of how much money the Yankees absorb figures to shape trade talks. Here are the latest rumors as we await resolution on a deal:

    The Yankees and Pirates should complete a deal within 24 hours, according to Jim Bowden of MLB Network Radio and (on Twitter).
    A team other than the Pirates and Indians made a proposal for Burnett yesterday and the Yankees appear to be approaching a decision,’s Buster Olney reports (Twitter links). Burnett told the Yankees three weeks ago that he would block a trade to Anaheim.
    Considerable optimism exists that the Yankees and Pirates will work out a deal, Jon Heyman of tweets. Heyman adds that the Yankees will pay $20MM of Burnett’s contract.

  4. Just a thought about the Barnett trade. It would seem to me IF the Yankees can get one of the teams to pick up about $13MM of AJ’s salary and they sign sign say Ibanez as the Left Handed DH for about $2MM +/- that basically means the Yankees really just traded Burnett for Kuroda in the rotation at no cost.

    Pretty shrewd on Cashman’s part if you ask me.

    • I’m glad Cashman has finally come to the realization that the AJ signing was a disaster and was willing to cut bait to at least save the $10-13M. If he somehow comes up with a productive player in return than it’s a great move.

      I just hope he comes up with a good bat because in the ALDS, it was the offense that failed them. Raul Ibanez won’t put them over the top and looking at some of the lineups around the American League, I see some pretty heavy firepower.

  5. sorry “Burnett”. Hopefully if he’s traded I won’t make that mistake again.

  6. Fish you do not see Nunez as a god backup 3B? He would be starting at SS for a lot of teams

    • Matt B –
      I don’t like Nunez as a 3B at all. He looks very uncomfortable there and I think the Yanks hurt his development by asking him to play as a utilityman. There were many times last yr where he was out of position on bunts at 3B. The Yanks know this and it’s why they brought in Bill Hall and are still looking for a 3B.

      I think he’ll eventually be a good SS if given the chance and I feel his best position would be 2B. My ideal role for him would be to start about 60 games at SS, 15 at 2B and some at DH getting 350-400 PAs.

  7. Jonny Damon told CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman that he’s unsure why the Yankees haven’t made him an offer.

    • I can think of at least 2 reasons.
      1st) The last time they made him an offer he decided he had a better offer from the place he always wanted to be – Detroit.
      2nd) His reported asking price this off season of $5MM far exceeds what any team values him at.

      • Yup and I think the Yankees are worried he will complain if he isn’t played because of his chase for 3,000.

        They will have to use the DH to rest A-Rod and others.


    Sources: Yankees will receive $12-15M
    February, 16, 2012
    5:32PM ET

    By Andrew Marchand
    The Yankees will receive $12-to-15 million in salary relief when the A.J. Burnett trade to the Pirates is finally completed, according to two baseball officials with knowledge of the talks. This means the Bucs will pay anywhere from 36 percent to 45 percent of the remainder of Burnett’s $33 million contract

    Sources on both sides of the negotiations say they are optimistic that a deal will be completed, but one said he tended to think it would happen over the weekend rather than Friday. Many reports have had the Pirates unwilling to budge off of $10 million, but a source said they are already prepared to pay more than that.

    An official with knowledge of the Pirates thinking said the team is willing to take on more money, but give up lesser prospects. The official said he expected to the Pirates to likely give up marginal prospects with some upside.

    When the trade is finally done, the Commissioner will still need to approve it.

  9. Fishjam, I think the addition of Pineda and Kuroda were about the best you could hope for from Cashman. Pitching wins, and Montero is not a proven player were Pineda is. Cashman can sign either Damon or Ibanez who will be better than Posada was last year. If you remember he really didn’t want to DH.

    • Doug, not to get semantical on you but pitching doesn’t win…..the team that outscores its opponent does. If it only took pitching, Tampa Bay and Philadelphia would have been in the World Series last year.

      But I do agree with you that Kuroda & Pineda were great additions to the staff but the offense needs attention too. Montero is a dangerous hitter that would have been a major presence in the lineup. Posada sucked last year but against RHP, he was much better than ANY of the DH’s the Yanks are looking at now. Last yrs team had its problems with RHP and outside of Cano, Granderson and pre-injury ARod, Posada was their best hitter vs RHP.

      Posada vs RHP had an .814 OPS
      Ibanez was .747
      Damon was .715
      Matsui was .654

  10. If you take the DH position alone, I think that with A-Rod, Jones, Nunez, and either Damon or Ibanez will be an upgrade over what Posada did in the regular season.

  11. To hear the postings the last few days, one would be under the impression we HAVE to HAVE a lefty DH.
    Why not think outside the box as you’ll say. Move Swisher to DH in spring training get him into the flow, so to speak. Bring up the best OF we have and put him in RF…Dickerson! This approach has many liabilities or pit falls, if you will. Obviously having a power, avg, switch hitter as DH rises the question…can he do the DH thing, some can’t. One benefit of doing this would be, it gives Cashman the rest of this year to find the best DH they can, after they sign Josh for right field.
    I don’t know about you guys but, there are many other ways to go about filling the black hole called DH.

  12. Fishjam, I don’t agree with you pitching does win. The teams that have good pitching make it to the playoffs. That’s all you can bank on, after that it’s a crap shoot with the team that gets hot at the right time. Years ago, the top record in the NL played the top record in the AL, that was a true test of who was the best team. Today it is random with too many series. You could make a case that the Cards and Giants weren’t the best teams the last 2 years. They were the team that got hot. It’s the same thing with football, the Giants got hot while the Patriots and Packers were problaly the best teams.

    • Doug, we’ll just agree to disagree.

      Pitching is very important but only one aspect of the game. Look at the Yankees from 2002-2011. They’ve made the playoffs every year but one based on the strength of their offense mostly. They are 1st or 2nd in MLB in Runs scored every year. The one year (2008) they didn’t make the playoffs, they dropped to 10th in Runs Scored. I’m not saying offense wins everything but it’s too much of a cliche to just say pitching wins. Complete team’s win.

      The playoffs come down to the team’s that are playing the best all-around baseball at the time. Rarely does a team win based only on pitching or only on hitting. The TEAM playing best in all aspects (Pitching, Hitting, Defense) wins in the post-season.

      To use your football analogy, the cliche in football is “Defense wins Championships”. No it doesn’t – just like in ALL sports, the best all around team wins. No one wins with one side of the ball.

  13. I see we are having a difference of opinion here, that ain’t all bad.
    Getting to the WS is not the gold ring, no one remembers #2. Pitching can get one to the WS but, without putting runs on the board…yua just ain’ta gona win nutting folks!
    The best team is the one that is balanced between Pitching, Defense and Hitting at the time of the WS. Just pointing out a few things. 🙂

  14. You know a funny thing. If Jeter Does NOT exercise his 2014 option the Yankees could conceivably afford an outfield of: Gardner, Hamilton and Heathcott and also afford Hamels OR Cain. With just minor tweaks with the rest of the roster. Assuming a nice mix of prospects for some of the bench/role players and bullpen. They can still get to the $189MM luxury tax threshold of $189MM for 2014.

    But it’s all dependent on Jeter not exercising his option. If he does exercise his option it’s one or the other (Hamels OR Cain – OR Hamilton).

  15. I have a feeling Jeter will exercise his option, but I would be surprised to see Cain, Hamels, or Hamilton reach free agency. I really think their teams will resign them, I would. If that happens we’ll have to win with what we have.

    • Agree with you Doug. Jeter is def going to exercise that option.

      • There’s alot of baseball between now and that option .I think everyone presumes way to much on a player breaking 40 years of age.
        I don’t like to predict 3 years down the road on ageing players or future payrolls.Some guys spend way too much time on the Yankee 2014 payroll,so much can happen by then.
        My one prediction ,Arod won’t be on this team in 2014 making it easy for the Yanks to be under 189….
        His hip and regression in performance will cause him to leave the game on disability allowing the Yanks to collect insurance……
        Lastly offense in baseball absoloutly gets teams to the playoffs,pitching wins in the playoffs.

        • well if that blood spinning treatment works that he had done in you could be wrong. but that’s a stretch.

          I hated when he optioned out and the resigned me. This contracts he has blows.

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