Per Jon Heyman, AJ Burnett passed his physical today and his officially a Pirate. The terms from Friday all stand: the Pirates pay $13 million total to Burnett over the next two years and send Exicardo Cayones and Diego Moreno to the Yankees. I feel like I’ve said everything that I have to say about this deal.
Well, except that I love that this trade is already going through the Yankee fan/NY media hype train and I hope that Pirate fans don’t start falling for it. Joel Sherman tweeted on Friday that the Yankees think that Moreno is one of the Pirates’ ten best prospects, and that’s ludicrous. Moreno is a middle reliever and a closer at best. He’s 25 and he’s never pitched well at Double-A. He’s got enough maturity issues that even though he’s basically the perfect profile of a Rule 5 pick (hard-throwing reliever, huge strikeout totals, a little old for being stuck in the low minors) he went undrafted this year, even by the Yankees.
Moreno might someday make a good big league reliever (I actually wouldn’t even call it surprising if he does), but that shouldn’t have kept the Pirates from making this trade nor will it mean that the Yankees “win” the trade if it happens. Hard-throwing right-handed relievers are a dime a dozen if you know where to look. In the last couple of years the Pirates have acquired Joel Hanrahan and Evan Meek and Chris Leroux and Chris Resop and Jason Grilli and they’ve turned Jared Hughes and Duke Welker into decent relief prospects. Moreno isn’t appreciably better or more talented than any of these guys. A reliever like him just isn’t the sort of commodity you hold on to because his skill set is pretty fungible if you have even the slightest idea where to look.