The big news in Pirate land the last few days is the possible trade for Yankees starter A.J. Burnett. It’s kind of messed that up Pittsburgh is so excited acquiring a guy that has posted ERA’s of 5.15 and 5.26 the last two seasons, but that’s kind of where we are right now. The rotation needs a boost, and Burnett is a good for Pittsburgh and a candidate for a big bounce back season.
Believe it or not, there is more good to this (potential) acquisition than just making the rotation better.
The Pirates had a lot of trouble getting players to Pittsburgh this offseason. Derrek Lee, Edwin Jackson, and Roy Oswalt all shut us down basically just because we’re the Pittsburgh Pirates. That’s an issue.
Getting A.J. Burnett to come here isn’t going to fix that, especially since this is a trade and not a free agent deal and nobody else in the league seems to want Burnett. However, it couldn’t hurt, right?
Burnett is a big name in the game of baseball, and the Pirates getting a hold of him could make Pittsburgh a more desirable destination. You can say that same about Derrek Lee last year, although the fact that he basically said he’d rather retire than play here again kind of hurts our arguments.
Again, the only thing that is going to want to make free agents come here is some winning baseball and management to show they are willing to open up the checkbook. We still might be a ways away from those two things, but hopefully we’re closer than we think. Until then, let’s take all the positives we can from this whole A.J. Burnett ordeal.