Monday, February 20, 2012

A.J. Burnett: My wife flies

(photo by John Lembo)
A.J. Burnett wanted to make something clear during Monday morning's meeting with the media at Pirate City: His wife, Karen, has no problem with the friendly skies.
"My wife flies everywhere. Can I just say that real quick?" Burnett said a day after the Pirates aquired him in a trade with the New York Yankees.
Reports surfaced last week that Burnett nixed a deal to the Los Angeles Angels that would have sent outfielder Bobby Abreu to New York because Burnett's wife doesn't fly. While Burnett said he never spoke to the Angels about the trade, he said his family is the reason he can veto trades to West Coast teams.
The Burnetts live in Maryland and have two sons ages 10 and 7.
"Now they're in school," A.J. said of his kids. "I'm not going way over there. I've got nothing but respect for (the Angels) and (manager) Mike Scioscia. But it's just too far."
As for Karen...
"She met me on, I don't know, 15 trips last year...She loves to fly."
Burnett learned the deal to Pittsburgh was finalized Saturday while he was driving to Florida for spring training and didn't get bogged down in the trade talk.
"I stayed as far away from it as I could," he said. "I knew Pittsburgh was in it, I knew Cleveland and that's all I knew. And when management called, that's when I talked about it. Besides that, I just sat back and waited to see what happened."

Sunday, February 19, 2012

It's official: Burnett is a Pirate

(photo from

A.J. Burnett is a Pittsburgh Pirate.

The Pirates announced their trade with the New York Yankees, which brings the 35-year-old righty to Pittsburgh in exchange for Single-A prospects Diego Moreno and Exicardo Cayones, has been finalized.

The Pirates will also pay $13 million of the $33 million owed to Burnett over the next two seasons.

Burnett went 11-11 with a 5.15 ERA last season with the Yankees and was 34-35 in three seasons in New York.

He is 121-111 in his career, which has also included stints with the Florida Marlins and Toronto Blue Jays. Burnett threw a no-hitter with Florida in 2001 and his best year was with the Blue Jays in '08, when he won 18 games and led the American League in starts (34), strikeouts (231) and strikeouts-per-nine-innings (9.4).

They're baaaack!

(photo by John Lembo)

The Pittsburgh Pirates are back at Pirate City, their spring home away from the Steel City since 1969.

The players are headed out to the fields now for their first official workout of the spring, and general manager Neal Huntington addressed the media for a few minutes earlier this afternoon.

One of the first questions thrown Huntington's way was about A.J. Burnett, who the Pirates have acquired from the New York Yankees in exchange for two minor leaguers. But the deal is contingent on Burnett passing a physical, and it also needs the blessing of commissioner Bud Selig because the Pirates have agreed to pay $13 million of the $33 million owed to Burnett over the next two years.

Consequently, Huntington chose not to discuss the 35-year-old righty Sunday afternoon.

"When and if it becomes official, I'll address all the questions on Burnett," he said. "Until then, I'd like to stay with what we have right now in-house."