Friday, December 12, 2008

And the other shoe falls

Well Part II is now in the fold. First it was CC and now it's A.J. Any other free agents with initials for names better watch out cause the Yanks have tons of money left and we'll buy you too. Anyway the deal for Burnett looks to be in the absurd range of 5 years and $82.5 million.

Now I know that this deal has no standing in reality and that you would be foolish to expect Burnett to actually survive all 5 years of the contract, but his ability is pretty damn exciting. Watching him school the Yankees all last season gave New York a close up view of his 98-mph fastball and that filthy curve that just breaks knees.

Of course his talent is only exciting when he's on the field. In the first season that Burnett topped 200 innings he only through 23 innings the following season. In his walk year with Florida he again cracked the 200 inning barrier only to see his innings total drop to 135 2/3 during his debut with the Blue Jays. Now he hasn't had any major arm issues since he had Tommy John surgery in 2003. Since then it has only been minor things that have kept him from being a horse of the Blue Jay rotation.

The hope is that Burnett doesn't have to be the number one in New York and it's very likely he might only have to be the number three guy. It is a very risky signing. The easy way out would have been for Cashman to sign Derek Lowe, but the general feeling was probably that they wanted the guy who would miss bats. It also helps that over the past three seasons, Burnett has posted a 5-0 record against the Red Sox with an ERA of 2.56. Don't forget, a former teammate of Burnett's went to Boston in 2006 with a very small track record of success. Now look at how Josh Beckett is regarded throughout baseball.


Dennis said...

AJ Burnett is a hell of a talent, but eh has the mindset of Carl Pavano, in that he looks for any and every excuse to NOT play baseball. This contract guarantees 2 things, $80 million or AJ, and a 20 win season by Burnett for the Yankees in 2013.

Peter said...

Burnett definitely has the potential to be a Pavano, but he just has so much more talent than Pavano ever did. I know it isn't saying much but I don't think any contract, save Mike Hampton's, can ever be as a big a disater as Pavano's. At least that's what helps me sleep at night now.

Dennis said...

Yeah, Burnett is more talented, but they are both very good pitchers when they want to be. Problem is, they only want to be in contact years. The reason is, they don't like baseball. They both play the game because they are good at it, kind of like someone who becomes an accountant because they are good with math.

Burnett will make 25 starts a season, half of them will be outstanding, 25% will be mediocre, and 25% will be awful. Now if Wang, Sabathia, Chamberlain, and Hughes all make 30+ starts, and all pitch well, that is not a problem.

And as for disasterous pitching contracts, my team is paying $18 million a season to a lefty with an 82 MPH fastball for the next five years, Pavano doesn't even compare. Hell, I wish Zito would hurt his shoulder in a car accident and be unable to pitch.

Peter said...

Your right about Burnett not pitching up to his potential. I think its a bit of an overstatement to say he doesn't like baseball at all. He can get pretty fired up out there for someone who doesn't like playing.

The Yanks will be disappointed if Burnett only makes 25 starts a season. I'm sure they don't want to pay him a million dollars a start like they had to for Pavano. But if 75% of his starts are quality starts, well, isn't that what every team expects from their starters? Only Johan, Lincecum and Cliff Lee had 74% or more of the starts registered as quality starts. So I'd take that from Burnett.