Monday, February 20, 2012

Burnett In Yinzerville

(Contrary to popular belief, only one of this blog's authors lives in Pittsburgh, and it's not the guy writing this post)

After two often ugly years, it looks like the Yankees have finally divested themselves of A.J. Burnett. He's going to Pittsburgh, along with $20M of a $33M contract, in exchange for two low-level prospects and the chance to not have A.J. Burnett pitch for the Yankees any more. The deal makes sense on a lot of levels. Burnett, his gutty playoff performance notwithstanding, was clearly done in New York. The fans and the media had turned on him, and his inconsistent performance wasn't what a pennant contender in the Boston/NY/Tampa/Toronto crab boil needed. Getting him out of the rotation and even partially off the books is a win. At the same time, Pittsburgh gets a guy who, regardless of anything else, is durable, and can set up at the front of a rotation that could generously be called "interesting". And, away from aforementioned crab boil and in the cozy confines of the NL Central - home to toothless lineups in Chicago and Houston - and in a pitcher's park, Burnett should experience what, at least superficially looks like a Comeback Player Of The Year-worthy season.
This will, of course, cause Yankees fans to go berserk. Roughly half of them will pillory GM Brian Cashman for trading Burnett away "just as he was getting good", and the other half will resurrect the spectre of Ed Whitson, sneeringly dismiss Burnett as "another guy who just couldn't make it in New York", and then go back to obsessing about whether Derek Jeter is the greatest player ever, or just the greatest Yankee ever.
You know. The important stuff.
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