Yanks dump baggage on Pittsburgh, trade Burnett to the Pirates
The Pirates will reportedly pay $13 of the $31.9 million left on Burnett's contract, which runs through the 2013 season.
The Yankees have been trying to trade Burnett, who has struggled mightily in New York, especially the last two seasons, ever since they traded for starter Michael Pineda and signed starter Hiroki Kuroda. After those two were acquired, it was clear that there was no room for the 35-year-old Burnett in the Yankees' rotation.
In 2010 Burnett went 10-15 with a 5.26 ERA in 33 starts. He followed that up with an 11-11 2011 with a 5.15 ERA.
Burnett did have a successful 2009, his first season in pinstripes. That year he was 13-9 with a 4.04 ERA and pitched well in the in the playoffs during the Yankees' run to the '09 World Series title.
After the Kuroda signing and Pineda trade, the Yankees had seven starting pitchers for five rotation spots. With Burnett gone, the Yankees now have C.C. Sabathia, Pineda, Kuroda and Ivan Nova populating the first four spots in their rotation, with Phil Hughes and Freddy Garcia battling for the fifth spot.
Pittsburgh's rotation is also muddled. It is unclear where Burnett fits in among James McDonald, Erik Bedard, Kevin Correia, Charlie Morton and Jeff Karstens. The trade seems like a weird one for Pittsburgh, who doesn't seem to be in position to contend in the N.L. Central. However, with the Brewers losing Prince Fielder and Ryan Braun facing a 50-game drug suspension, the Cardinals losing Albert Pujols and the Cubs in rebuilding mode, the division is wide open.
Expect the Yankees to use the $13 million they saved on Burnett's contract to pursue a left-handed hitting designated hitter, perhaps Raul Ibanez or Johnny Damon.
Burnett had reportedly turned down a trade to the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim with his partial no-trade clause, that would have sent Bobby Abreu back to the Yankees.
It's unclear which prospects are coming to New York, but it won't be any of the Pirates' top prospects.