Monday, July 7, 2008

CC's off the board - Another possible Target? AJ Burnett

A couple of positives first regarding CC going to The Brew Crew - 

1. We don't have to worry about facing him the rest of the year
2. It's unlikely that the Brewers will pony up the necessary cash to keep CC long term, so we can sign him after the season and pay only cash and a draft pick.

With CC off the board, where else can the Yanks turn to add depth and talent to a rocky 'ro? Well we've already made the case for Rich Harden. Should Harden be too expensive (Billy Beane doesn't make bad deals), the next pitcher the Yanks might consider is AJ Burnett.

Burnett has an opt-out clause in his contract that would allow him to void the last 2 years of his contract and become a free agent after this season. The 31 year old is slated to make $12mm in both 2009 and 2010 if he does not opt out.

Much like Harden, Burnett has experienced injury issues in the past. Only twice in his 10 year career has he exceeded 30 starts and in 3 seasons he failed to make 15. This season he has struggled a bit with a 4.92 ERA in 18 starts. 

For his career, however, Burnett has allowed only 1,104 hits in 1,268 IP; he has a career HR allowed rate of 0.79/9 innings and a 8.22 K/9. 

The Jays know they are gonna lose Burnett after this season, so it shouldn't take too much to pry him away from JP Riccardi. In making the trade, Cash could add a year to Burnett's deal to get him to forego the opt out.

I don't think this is the route I would take, but it is an option. If we are going to trade for an injury risk, Harden is both better and younger than Burnett; but no doubt he would be far more expensive in terms of prospects.

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