The Pittsburgh Pirates are interested in trading for New York Yankees starting pitcher A.J. Burnett, according to CBS Sports.
The Yankees are reportedly willing to pay a substantial portion of the money remaining on Burnett’s contract, totaling $33 million. The Pirates have unsuccessfully attempted to acquire several starting pitchers this winter. They reportedly made substantial bids for both Edwin Jackson and Roy Oswalt, but the two veteran hurlers had no interest in teaming up with Pittsburgh.
Burnett, 34, went 11-11 last season with a 5.14 ERA in 32 starts for the Yankees. It marked the second consecutive season that the right-hander posted an ERA above 5.00, and the fourth year the hurler failed to post a sub 4.00 ERA. The former 18-game-winner, however, has been able to pitch 185 innings-or-more in each of the past four years. New York signed Burnett in 2009 to a five-year, $82.5 million contract after he went 18-10 with a 4.07 ERA with a league-leading 231 strikeouts for the Blue Jays. With the offseason acquisitions of Hiroki Kuroda and Michael Pineda, the club is likely looking to clear up spots in their rotation.