What Can The Yankees Do If They Trade A.J. Burnett
It looks like the New York Yankees are getting closer and closer to completing a trade with the Pittsburgh Pirates. There apparently are three other teams involved although one of them is on Burnetts no trade list. Joel Sherman is speculating that Cleveland may be one of the teams involved and that the trade talks could involve Travis Hafner. The Yankees had asked for Garrett Jones from Pittsburgh one of their top outfield prospects who will probably be starting for them. The Pirates have rebuffed that but it looks like the Yankees will take a couple of lesser prospects if Pittsburgh eats more of the money. It is looking like Pittsburgh is the likely trade partner. I would guess that Pittsburgh will end up eating somewhere between 13-15 million of the 33 million left on his contract. The question that I am trying to answer here is what happens when they do trade Burnett.
The Yankees will have six starters for five spots. They have CC Sabathia, Ivan Nova, Hiroki Kuroda and Michael Pineda penciled in. It may be in that order also but that isn’t set in stone. I would guess to start the year that would be the order of the rotation to lessen the pressure on Pineda and let him get settled in. That would leave Phil Hughes and Freddy Garcia battling for the fifth spot in the rotation. I think the guy who doesn’t win though will stick around as a long man in the bullpen and a spot starter. If you go through a whole season with no starting pitcher being injured you are very lucky. I would expect that all six of the starters will play a role in the upcoming season. The Yankees also feel they have a lot of depth at AAA Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. They have D.J. Mitchell, Adam Warren and David Phelps. They also have prized prospects Dellin Betances and Manny Banuelos getting closer although they would love to keep them in AAA all year.
If the Yankees can save even 6-8 million from Burnett they could sign one of the three lefty hitting DH’s. They will choose from Raul Ibanez, Johnny Damon or Hideki Matsui. They could also still sign Eric Chavez for the bench, I know they signed Bill Hall and Russel Branyan but those were both minor league deals so they could still sign Chavez.
I would guess that this deal with Pittsburgh is likely to get done in the next couple of days. Once the trade is completed the Yankees will quickly sign a DH and maybe Chavez and they will be ready for