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How the Pineda Deal Helps A.J. Burnett

By Mike Silva ~ January 17th, 2012. Filed under: New York Yankees.

One winner not discussed in the Yankees blockbuster deal that imported Michael Pineda is A.J. Burnett.

We all know that Burnett is paid like a top-of-the-rotation starter, but his performance resembles a typical fifth starter. He’s an inconsistent innings eater that struggles to produce an overall league average performance. With the acquisition of Pineda, Burnett becomes the most overpaid fifth starter in all of baseball and that is a good thing.

Burnett was given way too much attention this past summer. This was mainly due to the fact the Yankees didn’t have much controversy after the Jorge Posada-Joe Girardi blowout in May. The saturation of media coverage in New York necessitates daily opinion columns that sometimes run dry in the dog days of the season. Burnett’s struggles were the one dark cloud in what was a relatively stress-free Yankees season.

With a rotation that features Sabathia, Kuroda, Nova, and Pineda in the first four spots wouldn’t a potential Burnett 2012 record of 11-11 and 5.00 ERA be palatable in the fifth spot? How many teams go five deep in pitchers? How many fifth starters can dominate a game like Burnett? If all shakes out well he won’t be asked to pitch in the 2012 playoffs as he was in 2011.

Ironically, Burnett did step up and extend the Yankees season an extra day with his Game 4 performance in Detroit. What makes his presence in the backend of the rotation so dangerous is he can relax and just pitch. Maybe with that foundation he can produce some of his best results in pinstripes. If not, will anyone care if he is inconsistent?  Pineda will probably get more scorn if he struggles because he cost the Yankees their top prospect; especially if Montero is doing an Edgar Martinez impression out in Seattle. Burnett is just wasting the Steinbrenners money.

Yes, A.J. Burnett should be very thankful the Yankees imported a young arm with star potential. It takes the attention off his deficiencies for the first time during his New York tenure.


To hear an hour of talk about the trade, download the replay of my Sunday radio program.

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Mike Silva has hosted sports shows on 107.1 FM Champions ESPN Radio Long Island ,1240 AM WGBB , Blog Talk Radio and live from Mickey Mantle’s Restaurant. He’s also built and maintained two popular social media hubs: New York Baseball Digest and Sports Media Watchdog. Mike has broken national and local stories, as well as been mentioned on the YES Network, SNY.tv, WFAN, Sports Illustrated, ESPN, NY Daily News, New York Magazine, Journal News and the NY Post. Contact Mike professionally at mikesilvamedia.com

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4 Responses to How the Pineda Deal Helps A.J. Burnett

  1. Stu B

    Burnett sucks – he shouldn’t be in the rotation at all. They’re better off with Freddy Garcia, Oliver Perez, or even my late grandma as a 5th starter!

  2. Joe

    My fear is exactly that Montero with channel Edgar Martinez Yankee killer instinct.

  3. Frank Russo


    Oliver Perez? Wow. I’d take AJ over that piece of garbage anyday of the week. At least AJ is servicable. Perez is done.

  4. MLB Ballparks

    Was glad to see the Yankees finally make some noise on the free agent market. There was speculation that they would be increasing their payroll, sigh, in order to sign Edwin Jackson.
    They addressed their pitching, now let’s see how an aging offensive lineup does this season with the Red Sox in rebuilding mode.

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