Should The Orioles Have Pursued A.J. Burnett?

It’s a done deal.  Finally.

A.J. Burnett’s tenure with the New York Yankees is over.  He’s a Pittsburgh Pirate.

Pittsburgh sends outfielder Exicardo Cayones and right handed pitcher Diego Moreno to the Yankees and take on $13 million of the remaining $33 million left on Burnett’s (horrible) contract.    The Pirates will pay him $5 million this season and $8 million in 2013.  Not too shabby.

Burnett will likely become the Pirates opening day starter and joins a pitching staff with former Oriole Erik Bedard, James McDonald, Jeff Karstens, Charlie Morton and Kevin Corriea.

After their finish last season, it’s hard to remember just how successful the Bucs were during the first half of 2011.  The Pirates grabbed sole possession of first place in the NL Central on July 16 with a record of 48-43, but finished the year 72-90.

I think that adding Burnett will only improve on their success last season, but still don’t see them finishing ahead of the Cardinals, Reds or Brewers in that division this year.

With the Yankees eating so much of Burnett’s contract, I have to wonder how he would have fit in Baltimore.  I watched him struggle for three seasons in the Bronx and was thankful that the Orioles didn’t overpay him in 2009, but at $5 million it could have been worth it given the current state of the Orioles rotation.

Zach Wilt is the Founding Editor of BaltimoreSportsReport.com and host of the BSR Podcast. He's a loyal Orioles, Ravens and Capitals fan who is obsessed with baseball, loves traveling, In-N-Out Burger and Walt Disney World.

5 Comments

  1. spy

    February 20, 2012 at 9:58 am

    I heard through the grapevine the O’s did go after him but the Yanks wanted him out of their division,,,,,,,,,,

  2. Ol' Bruz

    February 20, 2012 at 3:51 pm

    He’s 35…With an ERA over 5.00 two years in a row…And he’s expensive…YOU BET THE O’S WENT AFTER HIM!!! Good Grief!

    • MGW

      February 20, 2012 at 8:09 pm

      I hear ya, Bruz, but he woulda instantly became the Orioles opening day starter and ace.

      • Ol' Bruz

        February 20, 2012 at 8:40 pm

        And they’d still be on pace to win about 70 games…Since Uncle Peter seems to need the money, better that he keep it than spend $13,000,000 on this fella…

  3. Jay Matthews

    February 20, 2012 at 9:25 pm

    With an ERA in excess of 5, how many game would he have won for us? He couldn’t win in NY where he had a much better chance for run support. As much as I dislike the morbid pace of improvement at the warehouse, I actually agreed with this move (or non-move, as the case may be). We’ve got to have a pitcher or two in the 38 Duquette as amassed over the past few months, right?