A.J. Burnett turned out to be a terrible signing for Brian Cashman and the Yankees. Some players can’t handle the spotlight of playing in New York, and Burnett seemed to fit that description perfectly. When things got tough for A.J., he became completely unraveled. After an extremely rough 2011 season, the Yankees decided to unload the right-hander. Once a trade with the Pirates became official, the Yankees also chose to kick Burnett on his way out the door by highlighting his wild pitches in a press release announcing the trade.
In his three seasons with the club he went 34-35 with a 4.79 ERA (584.0IP, 311ER) in 99 games (98 starts). His 58 wild pitches recorded during his three-year stint with the Yankees (2009-11) were the most for any Major League pitcher over a three-season span since Tony Cloninger threw 62 wild pitches from 1964 through 1966, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. He posted an 11-11 record with a 5.15 ERA (190.1IP, 109ER) in 33 appearances (32GS) with the Yankees in 2011, setting career-highs in home runs allowed (31) and tying a career-high in earned runs allowed, while ranking first with a franchise-record 25 wild pitches – the most by any Major League pitcher in a single season since the start of the 2000s and the fifth most since 1900.
We get it. You had several reasons for getting rid of him. Perhaps the Yankees felt the need to justify the fact that they were eating more than half of Burnett’s remaining salary, but getting into that much detail about his wild pitch numbers seems unnecessary. I doubt anyone would have questioned the trade. It makes little sense that New York chose to pile a bunch of insults on after shipping a bad signing out of town.
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