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The Pro's & Con's of Acquiring A.J. Burnett


Pro's & Con's of Acquiring  A.J. Burnett: Throwing good money after bad?

Pro – Durable, Burnett has tossed 165.2, 221.1, 207, 186.2, 190.1 innings since 2007.

Con – Why are the Pirates the only team lining up for Burnett, why isn't there a bidding war of sorts?

Con – Burnett is 35 years of age.

Con – According to FanGraphs, his average fastball has declined in each of the past five seasons (95.1 mph, 94.3, 94.2, 93.2, 92.7).

Con – Aging pitchers who have relied on fastballs don't always make Frank Tanana-type transitions once their fastball leaves them.

Pro – Moving from the AL to NL helps pitchers, especially from the AL East to the NL Central.

Con – Burnett has a limited no-trade clause. How that works itself out remains to be seen.

Con – Second worst career ERA (4.79) in New York Yankees history (minimum 500 innings), according to the MLB Network.

Con – Burnett is not seen as a mentor for young Pirates pitchers.

Pro – Burnett has been more productive throughout his career in small-market situations ie Florida and Toronto.

Pro – May help legitimize Pittsburgh as a destination for veterans. Edwin Jackson and Roy Oswalt showed little interest in signing with the Bucs this year. Carlos Pavano reportedly showed little interest last season.

Pro – Sends a message to current Pirates players that the organization is willing to spend money.

Pro – Burnett posted 4.15 ERA and 1.25 WHIP in 119.1 innings before the 2011 All-Star break.

Con – Burnett posted a 6.85 ERA and 1.75 WHIP in 71 innings after the break.