Back in December, George A. King III of the New York Post reported the Yankees were willing to eat $8m of the remaining $33m of the contract of A.J. Burnett. A lot has transpired since then, including the signings of Freddy Garcia and Hiroki Kuroda and the Jesus Montero-Michael Pineda swap. New York suddenly faces an overage of rotation candidates and have been rumored to be shopping Burnett. Tim Dierkes at MLBTR recently examined some possible fits for the righthander and the two years left on his contract, and the "Pittsburgh Pirates are one team that actually might want to trade for" him, Ken Rosenthal adds. Agreeing with their sensible analysis of why this would be a good fit for both teams and Burnett, I propose this package to complete a deal:
PIT receives P Burnett, OF Justin Maxwell, and $25m
NYY receives P Daniel McCutchen, C Eric Fryer, and 1B Matt Curry
This trade allows Burnett to fill out the Bucs rotation with James McDonald, Erik Bedard, Jeff Karstens, and Charlie Morton or Kevin Correia, depending on Morton's recovery from surgery. Out-of-options Maxwell can fight with Yamaico Navarro, Chase d'Arnaud, and Josh Harrison for the final two bench spots.
The first two listed pieces New York would receive are former Yankee farmhands, so GM Brian Cashman should know what he's receiveing. McCutchen could serve as a decent bullpen piece and still has at least one minor league option available, while Fryer provides some AAA catching depth after the departures of Montero and Jorge Posada. Curry is a wild card, but no top prospect, offering some left-handed pop as he heads for a full season at AA. In the end, Cashman is unable to rid himself of all but $8m of Burnett's contract, but rather will pay all but $8m to the Pirates.