So A.J. Burnett decided to play closer to home, and opted to sign with the Yankees instead of the Braves. Good for the Braves.
ESPN.com reported the Yankees’ offer to Burnett was worth $82.5 million. The Braves’ offer was believed to be worth $80 million, after the Braves increased an initial four-year, $64 million offer by turning a fifth-year option into a guarantee.
Burnett, who will be 32 in January, struggled with injuries throughout his career before having his best season for the Blue Jays. He never had more than 12 wins before 2008.
I can understand there is a shortage of good arms, but I think it would have been a poor move to give Burnett such a huge contract. It may turn out that Burnett is worth every penny, but I like where a writer from the Boston Herald (right, no bias here) takes this one.
The Yankees have committed five years, with an average annual value (AAV) of $16.5 million to a pitcher who has won more than 12 games exactly once in his major league career. That’s a curiously modest track record for someone with Burnett’s stuff.
But there are times – too many times – when Burnett looks like a classic underachiever. Despite the quality of stuff, he’s a mere 11 games over .500 in his 10-year career. And durability is hardly his calling card, topping 200 innings only three times.
So the premise here is that Burnett has great stuff, is frequently injured, and only pitches big in contract years. Sounds like a perfect fit for the Yankees.
Now maybe the Braves will focus on trying to shore up the farm, and only signing (or trading for) a value pitcher instead of going after an overvalued big name pitcher.