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Should The Orioles Trade For A J Burnett?

Should The Orioles Trade For A J Burnett?

PostPost #1 by ofahn » January 22nd, 2012, 6:47 pm

With the Yankees acquiring MIchael Pineda and Hiroki Kuroda on the same day they now have five starting pitchers AHEAD of A J Burnett in their rotation. Burnett has shown that he's a BAD fit in NY and the Yanks seem to be looking for a team to take him off of their hands. Should the Orioles be that team? IMO, for the RIGHT price, yes.

I don't think Burnett will ever be a "big game" pitcher but he has shown that he can be a winner in a situation where he's comfortable. I wouldn't want to build around him, but I see him as a solid contributor to a ML rotation if he is removed from the pressure cooker that is New York. He wouldn't be the first player to emotionally self destruct there.

So, what is the right price? Would you be willing to pay 5M a year for the next two years (that's what he has left on his contract) for Burnett? I would. The question is whether the Yankees want him gone enough to cover the other 26M of his contract for those two years. I think they might. This would be a low risk move. Burnett could be counted on for at least 180 innings and, if he has the pressure removed, could be a 13 game or so winner here. At this point he's our #3 or #4 starter. Being traded in the middle of a multi year contract gives him the right to demand a trade next winter and be granted free agency if that demand is not met. I can't think of a better incentive to make a pitcher want to get his act together on a team with no playoff expectations that is located near his home.

If the Yankees ARE willing to cover 26M of his contract (I would demand it up front for reasons I will explain) which player(s) should we give up for him? Brad Bergesen and/or Jason Berken come to mind. Both are young pitchers with some upside to them although I could understand if the Yanks would hold out for someone like Tillman. I'd have to think HARD before I would give him up but I might be more willing if the Yanks pay the 26M up front. The reason I see that as really important is that IF Burnett has the kind of year that makes his demand for a trade realistic at the end of the year we could trade him for a prospect during the season or next winter and GET TO KEEP 13M of the money the Yanks paid us. That's a great start on a FA that might make a difference here.

Picking up Burnett would allow us to trade Guthrie for prospects before or during Spring Training.

What do you think? Please explain why?
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Re: Should The Orioles Trade For A J Burnett?

PostPost #2 by Zach » January 22nd, 2012, 7:44 pm

This move is the only thing that could make me feel worse right now after that Ravens game. Plus there is no way the Yankees would eat that much of his contract
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Re: Should The Orioles Trade For A J Burnett?

PostPost #3 by thezeroes » January 22nd, 2012, 8:06 pm

Burnett at $5 million per year and giving up a player or two for a one year rental plus trade away Jeremy Guthrie before the season when his worth, at his arbitration contract for near ten million, would net us very little as far a advancement in the standings.

Guthrie at the trade deadline would be worth more than he will be now. Now injuries do happen in Spring Training and his worth at the end of it (ST) may be the highest for the entire campaign. Then is when I would look to deal him (Guthrie). As far as Burnett, I would pass just as he did on us when he was a free agent.
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Re: Should The Orioles Trade For A J Burnett?

PostPost #4 by Tucker Blair » January 22nd, 2012, 8:39 pm

Zach wrote:This move is the only thing that could make me feel worse right now after that Ravens game. Plus there is no way the Yankees would eat that much of his contract

Stole the words right out of my mouth.
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Re: Should The Orioles Trade For A J Burnett?

PostPost #5 by ofahn » January 22nd, 2012, 9:40 pm

I expected this response; so allow me to explain what might, on the face of it, sound ill advised.

First, Burnett's STUFF has not been as much of a concern as his emotional makeup. IMO taking him out of New York, particularly in a trade for what he might consider a nobody or two, almost certainly will act as a wake up call AND a fresh start in an environment that he is better able to handle.

Second, my suggestion that the Yanks would be willing to eat all but 10M of his salary for the last two years on his contract did not come out of my rear end. MLB trade Rumors posted this last Thursday http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/aj_burnett/.

Though the Yankees currently have $1-2MM to spend on a designated hitter, they could free up cash by dealing A.J. Burnett, Jon Heyman of CBS Sports tweets. Burnett has $33MM remaining on his contract, and it would be a surprise if the Yankees free up more than $10MM via trade.


I think the Yankees would see moving him as addition by subtraction.

Third, while I agree that Guthrie MIGHT have more trade value at the end of Spring Training or in July, I also know that any prospects we get for him will be at AA or lower since most teams at that point are looking at AAA prospects as potential solutions for the season. I'd rather us be able to acquire a AAA pitcher and/or position player that could gain some ML playing time this year than some players we couldn't expect to see in the majors until next year at the earliest. One possibility for Guts that doesn't seem to get much attention is Boston. I think they will sign Oswalt but they will still have a hole in their rotation. Guthrie would only be a #4 or 5 on that team BUT he is a PROVEN commodity in the AL East. Please name one other pitcher of his caliber or better than is available and has made his bones in the A L East. Boston almost has to fix their starting pitching now that the Yankees have made their upgrades and Guthrie might have a better year in Boston than Kuroda has in NY.

Does anyone disagree with any of this? If so, why?
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Re: Should The Orioles Trade For A J Burnett?

PostPost #6 by Matt P » January 22nd, 2012, 11:19 pm

No thanks
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Re: Should The Orioles Trade For A J Burnett?

PostPost #7 by ofahn » January 23rd, 2012, 12:09 am

Matt P wrote:No thanks


If so, why?
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Re: Should The Orioles Trade For A J Burnett?

PostPost #8 by Matt P » January 23rd, 2012, 12:23 am

If he can't handle pressure is that really someone we want the young pitchers around for the next two seasons?
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Re: Should The Orioles Trade For A J Burnett?

PostPost #9 by Tucker Blair » January 23rd, 2012, 2:15 pm

I would argue that he is not even a proven commodity in the AL East. He has shown little during his time to be considered a player that should be targeted by the Orioles.

We should really stay away from players like Burnett. We have enough depth at SP to not need another risk like Burnett.
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Re: Should The Orioles Trade For A J Burnett?

PostPost #10 by birdwatcher55 » January 23rd, 2012, 4:11 pm

The idea is nothing short of insane. I would not give up prospects for this guy 8-)
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Re: Should The Orioles Trade For A J Burnett?

PostPost #11 by ofahn » January 23rd, 2012, 4:46 pm

TuckerBlair89 wrote:I would argue that he is not even a proven commodity in the AL East. He has shown little during his time to be considered a player that should be targeted by the Orioles.

We should really stay away from players like Burnett. We have enough depth at SP to not need another risk like Burnett.


Burnett is a textbook example of "low risk, high return". If he pitches to just league average as a starter he will be underpaid by today's standards. If he gets his act together he becomes a valuable trade chip. Just his addition allows us to trade Guthrie. If we don't start moving players like him we are not going to restock the farm system which should be our primary concern.

Look at salvaging players off of the junk heap as just ONE MORE METHOD of developing negotiable currency to spend on prospects. If Burnett becomes valuable in July he can be traded for AT LEAST as much as Guthrie and maybe more. Giving up a Berken or Bergesen to get that kind of return should be an easy decision.

DD has done a good job of adding POTENTIAL ML starters to the team this winter but which player added would be someone we could trade for quality prospects RIGHT NOW? IMO, at this point, we shouldn't be looking at any new player as adding wins. We should be looking at them as to how they could be converted into talent that will be part of the 2014 team and beyond. Am I the only one that sees that?

There are some very good baseball minds that participate in this forum. Please look ahead three or four moves on the chess board and try to see the long range result of what I'm suggesting.
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Re: Should The Orioles Trade For A J Burnett?

PostPost #12 by Zach » January 23rd, 2012, 5:30 pm

This would not be low risk. We would have to dish out money that could be spent elsewhere this offseason (development, scouting, etc...). Also, if we had to dish out anything besides money it would be a waste of prospects which is something we don't need at all. This trade just doesn't make sense right now in the stage of the development of this organization.
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Re: Should The Orioles Trade For A J Burnett?

PostPost #13 by ofahn » January 23rd, 2012, 5:57 pm

Zach wrote:This would not be low risk. We would have to dish out money that could be spent elsewhere this offseason (development, scouting, etc...). Also, if we had to dish out anything besides money it would be a waste of prospects which is something we don't need at all. This trade just doesn't make sense right now in the stage of the development of this organization.


Here's how I see the math. If we acquired Burnett for 5M and traded Guthrie's 9M (or more) 2012 salary we gain a quality prospect for him and save at least 4M to use for development, scouting, etc. I don't disagree that we should be spending money on those things, I looking for ways OUTSIDE THE BOX to add prospects and money for the important areas that need an investment.
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Re: Should The Orioles Trade For A J Burnett?

PostPost #14 by Matt P » January 24th, 2012, 12:02 am

Your plan is banking on the fact that he bounces back and is worth something in the future. There is no evidence that suggests that will happen at all. If the reason he has been bad is because he can't handle the NY spotlight why would any playoff team want to trade for him for a playoff run? If the reason he has been bad because he just isn't that good of a pitcher we are stuck with him for two seasons and wasted 10 million.
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Re: Should The Orioles Trade For A J Burnett?

PostPost #15 by ofahn » January 24th, 2012, 12:07 am

Matt P wrote:Your plan is banking on the fact that he bounces back and is worth something in the future. There is no evidence that suggests that will happen at all. If the reason he has been bad is because he can't handle the NY spotlight why would any playoff team want to trade for him for a playoff run? If the reason he has been bad because he just isn't that good of a pitcher we are stuck with him for two seasons and wasted 10 million.


That's why it's a risk. This team has been so poorly run over the last fourteen years that we are almost bankrupt in talent. We need to add talent without giving up talent using EVERY method available. This is just one more method. If it turns out to be a bad risk, so be it. I don't think it means much anymore if you lose 90 games instead of 85. The return could be at least one, if not two, B level prospects. It's a risk I'd be willing to take.
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