Jerry Crasnick at ESPN.com has reported that the Yankees and free agent pitcher AJ Burnett have decided on terms on a five year $82.5 million dollar contract.
While Yankees general manager Brian Cashman and Burnett’s agent, Darek Braunecker are still negotiating final contract terms, the deal is expected to be complete once Burnett passes a physical exam, the source said.
The Yankees made a late charge to beat out the Atlanta Braves for Burnett, who went 18-10 with a 4.07 ERA in 35 starts with Toronto this season.
I have mixed feelings about this. Burnett can be good, maybe great. He’s the kind of pitcher that doesn’t want the attention. He’d be glad to let Sabathia, A-Rod, Jeter, and Joba get the attention. I have very serious concerns about his stability and whether he will stand up to pitching in pinstripes and not become Carl Pavano II.
The Yankees now have among the best rotations in baseball. Bar none. Sabathia, Wang, Burnett, Chamberlain. It is a huge, vast improvement over last year where they had a patchwork rotation, yet came so close to making the playoffs with the fourth best record in the AL.
As I sit and play armchair computer desk General Manager, the Yankees need to upgrade their bench and their outfield. No. Mike Cameron is not the answer. I’m perfectly content with a Cabrera/Damon/Gardner platoon in centerfield. The Yankees will need an utility infielder to replace Wilson Betemit and a few more bats on the bench. Trevor or I will discuss these later the week or next week.