After the Yankees sent Jesus Montero to Seattle for 22-year-old right-hander Michael Pineda and shortly thereafter signed Hiroki Kuroda to a one-year deal, the writing was on the wall for A.J. Burnett’s future in pinstripes. Today, according to Buster Olney, the Yankees and Pirates have the framework of a deal in place to send the talented but cantankerous pitcher to Pittsburgh, and are now working through the details. To no surprise, most of what needs to be worked out for this deal to happen is just how much of the $33 million remaining on Burnett’s contract New York is willing to eat, but I imagine most Yankee fans are crossing their fingers that the Steinbrenner brothers have woken up this morning with a Kobayashi-like appetite.
Everyone knows what AJ Burnett is capable of, he proved as much by rescuing the Yankees in a do-or-die Game 4 in Detroit last October. But perhaps a less suffocating environment could do wonders for a pitcher who has defined inconsistency to the point it has become an uncomfortable Jekyll & Hyde act on a pitch-to-pitch basis. If the deal does go through, we already know personal catcher Francisco Cervelli will miss him dearly.