Trade to NL would up A.J. Burnett's value

Updated: February 17, 2012, 11:20 AM ET
By Eric Karabell
Many things would change if the New York Yankees and Pittsburgh Pirates agreed to a trade involving much-maligned right-handed starting pitcher A.J. Burnett, as has been reported recently. For one, the New York media wouldn't have poor Burnett to kick around anymore (watch out, Michael Pineda!). The Yankees wouldn't have as much rotation depth, which always seems to matter. And fantasy owners, well, they'd get a deep-league sleeper pick, because Burnett just isn't as bad as people think, and the Pirates could use the help.

On Sunday night, while avoiding a show in which a lot of people I've never heard of sang songs I didn't know on national television, I tweeted about Burnett and his potentially new employers -- who actually pays Burnett is irrelevant for this discussion -- and wondered if Pirates fans felt excited about possibly acquiring him. I wasn't aiming to be sarcastic. Some of the tweets made me laugh, ranging from the requisite "He's terrible," and "Pirate fans are probably excited, but not as much as Yankee fans," to "It's easy to be excited when expectations are so low," and "Getting that clown is about as exciting to a Pirate fan as a colonoscopy would be."