A.J. Burnett

A.J. Burnett passes physical, trade to Pirates approved


Update: the teams have now confirmed the trade.

While neither team has officially announced the deal, the two hurdles involved in the trade sending A.J. Burnett to the Pirates and two prospects to the Yankees have now been cleared, according to CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman and ESPN’s Buster Olney.

Those two hurdles were Burnett’s physical, which he passed, and league approval of the deal because there was more than $1 million changing hands.

An announcement of the trade will probably come Monday. The Yankees are getting RHP Diego Moreno and outfielder Exicardo Cayones in return for Burnett and $20 million of the $33 million he’s owed over the next two years.

Burnett is set to pitch at or near the top of a Pirates rotation also set to include Jeff Karstens, James McDonald, Erik Bedard and Kevin Correia. The worst performer from the group will likely be shuffled off to the pen once Charlie Morton is ready to return from hip surgery.

Joe Girardi is not a fan of Game 162 scheduling

Joe Girardi
Getty Images

The Yankees fell behind early to the Orioles on Sunday afternoon, a day after dropping both ends of Saturday’s doubleheader. Their game, as did every other game on Sunday with the exception of the Braves-Cardinals doubleheader, started at 3:05 or 3:10 EDT, a change Major League Baseball recently made to create fairness on the final day of the season.

Girardi is not a fan. Per the Associated Press:

It was cloudy at Camden Yards at 3:05 p.m., but late-afternoon games often make it difficult for batters to see pitches.

Girardi said, “Here’s the thing that bothers me: If it’s a sunny day you’re playing in shadows.”

He added, “If it’s the most important game of the year to get in, I don’t think that’s right.”

Understanding the idea is for every team to play at the same time, Girardi said, “Then play all night games.”

One wonders if MLB had scheduled Sunday’s slate of games for the night, if Girardi would have instead complained about batters losing fly balls in the stadium lights. Furthermore, both teams have to play in the same conditions.

Video: Ichiro Suzuki pitches an inning for the Marlins

Ichiro Suzuki
AP Photo

Marlins outfielder Ichiro Suzuki was given an opportunity to play a new position in Sunday’s series finale against the Phillies. After the Phillies rallied to take a 6-2 lead in the seventh, the Marlins let Suzuki take the hill in the eighth. And, in news that surprises no one, he was impressive.

Though Suzuki gave up a run on two hits, he flashed a fastball that hit the mid-80’s and a breaking ball with some bite.

Suzuki, who turns 42 years old later this month, is 65 hits of 3,000 in his major league career. The Marlins are interested in bringing him back in 2016.