I am an AJ Burnett fan. Game 2 of the 2009 World Series has bought the man a lot of credit in my eyes and I root hard for him to succeed. That being said, AJ’s best chance for success is in a small market, in front of small crowds, in a suddenly light hitting division. Pittsburgh offers everything he’ll ever need to revive a career and make him a top of the line starter again.
As for the Yankees, dumping the contract for nothing but financial relief is the only way to go. If Pittsburgh can take on even $15M of the $33M on AJ’s deal it gives Brian Cashman $7.5M plus the $2M remaining in the “budget” to make two necessary moves. If Eric Chavez wishes to play in 2012, make it happen! Alex need an able back up at the hot corner on his days at DH and Eric Chavez is a Gold Glove option. With the remaining money go get either Raul Ibanez or Johnny Damon. Either player will thrive in a limited role as a DH and emergency OF option. Having the line up of Granderson, Gardner and Swisher with Andruw Jones and the fourth option means Johnny or Raul can rest those knees and supply a bat when needed.
New York would still be entering camp with CC, Pineda, Nova, Kuroda, Garcia and Hughes fighting it out for five spots and knowing the Killer B’s are in the wings it will keep the 3-4-5 spots honest. These are the final dominoes to fall in the Montero trade. A loaded, young rotation and several one year deals coming off the books for 2013 to make a major move in a deep free agent class. Now pull the trigger!