The Yankees traded A.J. Burnett to the Pirates. They’re paying $20 million of his contract. The Pirates are getting a pitcher who, despite his problems, could be pretty good in the NL Central and definitely improves their staff. They’re only paying $6.5 million a year for him and didn’t have to give up much talent at all to get him.
This is a win-win deal, right? And even if it’s not totally win-win, it’s not like anyone is taking advantage of anyone, right?
Well, that’s not what Richard Griffin of the Toronto Star says. He thinks the trade is an atrocity of some kind that should have be voided by Bud Selig in the best interests of baseball. Allow him to explain:
It’s great for the Pirates because they are not a real contender and now have a short-term starting ace who won’t get attached and be looking for something awkward — like, say, an extension. It’s great for the Yankees because now they can add in other areas and win it all again.
Wait. That makes it sound like a fine deal, Mr. Griffin. Try again. Why is this so awful?
With A.J. coming off an 18-win, 231 strikeout season, the Yanks outbid all comers. They offered an outrageous five years and $88.5 million for a guy who was barely .500 and has always required the presence of better pitchers on his own staff to be most effective.
The commissioner’s office should consider how that bad Burnett contract impacted other similar free agents in the winter of 2008-09 and the next off-season and how it had a negative trickle down effect that hurt small market teams like Pittsburgh.
I dunno, I’m lost. You go read it. The best I can gather is that Griffin didn’t like the original contract the Yankees handed out to Burnett so … the trade three years later should be voided? Am I missing something here?
This is a perfectly acceptable baseball move. Each team is trying to get better, the Pirates by moderate addition, the Yankees by subtraction. In what possible way does this deal make anyone uncomfortable?