The AJ Burnett deal is official (pending various approvals)

Buster Olney’s report from earlier today has been confirmed, both by Ken Rosenthal and Dejan Kovacevic; the Pirates and Yankees are done on their end of the AJ Burnett deal, and all that’s left now is commissioner approval and a physical on Sunday. The Pirates will pay Burnett $13 million over the next two years, the Yankees will eat the other $20 million and get two low-level prospects in return. 

Both DK and Joel Sherman say one of those prospects is Diego Moreno. Moreno, you’ll likely recall, is a reliever who’s put up silly strikeout totals in the low minors, but he’s had some really struggles in a couple of short stints at Double-A, he’s 25, and he’s a reported hot-head. The Pirates have plenty of right-handed arms in their bullpen right now but he does have some upside, so it makes plenty of sense for him to be one of the guys included in this trade. There’s no word on the other prospect yet, though I’ll stick with my Carlos Paulino guess from earlier. 

When we know the second prospect, I’ll update. Until then, you can check out my post from Sunday about why the Pirates need Burnett and why he’s a risk that may pay off for the Bucs

UPDATE: The second player is Exicardo Cayones.  

UPDATE #2: You man recognize Cayones’ name; that’s because he was the highest bonus given out by the Pirates in Latin America prior to Luis Heredia. He hasn’t exactly flown through the minors, though, and he struggled a lot at State College last summer, which you wouldn’t expect from a prospect that’s 19 years old. He’s super young and obviously he’s got to have the raw talent, which means he could very well put things together in the future, but there are also plenty of question marks about him after his first two years in the States. No one’s seen more of him than the Pirates and if they were willing to include him in this kind of deal I think it’s probably pretty safe to assume they haven’t liked much of what they’ve seen from him to this point. For reference, he just missed the cut for my top 21 hitting prospects last October

So that’s it: Burnett for Cayonez and Moreno, plus all of the cash floating around the deal. The Pirates keep all of their top prospects and all of their second tier prospects (I’m not sure I’d even have Cayonez or Moreno in my top 50, if I were to combine my hitters list and pitchers list) and they get Burnett for what I think is a reasonable price over the next two years. There’s obviously some risk for them here, but it’s really hard not to like this trade, especially given the needs of the team in 2012. 

Pat Lackey

About Pat Lackey

In 2005, I started a WHYGAVS instead of working on organic chemistry homework. Many years later, I've written about baseball and the Pirates for a number of sites all across the internet, but WHYGAVS is still my home. I still haven't finished that O-Chem homework, though.

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