A.J. Burnett is all but a Pirate, and an ex-Yankee. After several days of rumors, the two sides agreed Friday to terms of a trade that is now pending a physical and commissioner approval. Neither should be a big stumbling block. This is going down.
But the Yankees aren't only saving a little money. They're also receiving two minor leaguers - Diego Moreno and Exicardo Cayones, according to Dejan Kovacevic.
Moreno is a 25-year-old righty reliever who spent last year in single-A and double-A. He generated strong strikeout numbers and is capable of reaching the high-90s with his fastball. Also there's this, from Kovacevic:
[...] the Pirates began souring on him last summer in large part because of that suspension in 2010. Moreno was kissing a fan in the Class AA Altoona bullpen during a game and was suspended a week for "unprofessional conduct." In general, the team saw immaturity issues on and off the mound and, later that winter, left him exposed in the Rule 5 draft. No one claimed him.
Moreno, clearly, is not a top prospect. Neither is Cayones. The Yankees were never going to receive top prospects. Cayones is a 20-year-old lefty outfielder who was pursued by the Yankees before he signed with the Pirates as an international free agent some years back. He has spent his career to date in the very low minors, posting acceptable batting numbers with minimal power. As with most players like this, odds are Cayones never makes it. There is a slim chance he could make it, and a slimmer chance he could make it and be good.
So the Yankees are trading A.J. Burnett for salary relief and two young players. But, really, they're trading A.J. Burnett for salary relief.