Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Yankees stuck with AJ Burnett

For me, the New York Post “exclusive” about the New York Yankees shopping AJ Burnett falls under the category “Duh!”

Of course, the Yankees are making Burnett available. Brian Cashman and Joe Girardi have been talking up Burnett’s good qualities such as his relatively good health and innings pitched and some solid postseason starts. They would never acknowledge it publicly, but I think they are just as tired of his inconsistency as Yankee fans are.

But Yankee fans should not get their hopes up about a possible trade. I think even Cashman would privately admit that trading Burnett is a pipe dream, even though the possibility of a trade has obviously been on his mind for quite some time.

The Yankees would have to offer a hell of a lot more than $8 million of the $33 million left on his contract to get some other team to take Burnett off their hands. Except for the Miami Marlins, this is the start of an age of austerity for many baseball teams, including the Yankees. No team is going to agree to take on the erratic Burnett and $25 million, even if they think they can do a better job of harnessing his talent than the Yankees have done.

But Burnett could prosper in a different, less-pressurized environment. Compared to New York, the glare of the spotlight would be a lot dimmer in any baseball town, other than Boston of course. In that context, a team could decide to take a risk on Burnett. But I highly doubt any team will. Unless the Marlins want to use some of their newfound wealth to bring Burnett home.

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