A.J. Burnett: Voice of Reason?

Yeah, yeah, it would have sounded pretty unlikely to me a few days ago too. But Thursday evening, my wonderful husband took me to our favorite tapas bar for my birthday and, as we waited for our table we both caught up on the last few days’ news. What can I say? All work and no Hot Stove makes Kristen an uninformed girl. Imagine my surprise, given that I had missed all of the rumors. The Angels and the Yankees were in the process of a straight up trade, Bobby Abreu for A.J. Burnett? And folks in the Angels front office thought this was a good idea? Thank you A.J. Burnett, or Mrs. Burnett if some of the subsequent stories are true, for answering a birthday wish I didn’t even know I needed to make! *sigh of relief* Thank you. A.J….er…Mrs. Burnett…heck both of you, for being the voice of reason.

Now I’m not saying the Angels shouldn’t be trying to move Bobby Abreu. I like the guy and he has made excellent contributions to the team in the past but we have quite the backlog in both the DH position and in the outfield (And, really, he can’t play in the outfield except in extreme emergencies anymore. His heart and efforts are in the right place but it just doesn’t work.) and his offensive production fell drastically in 2011. I just don’t see where he fits on the roster anymore. If a team were willing to take on Abreu’s contract, I’d miss the player he was but moving him would be an excellent idea.

And I’m not saying that A.J. Burnett is a terrible pitcher. He’s not. I have seen him pitch very well indeed. I am aware that when his stuff is on, it’s scary good. But he is a terribly inconsistent pitcher. And, when his stuff is off…well…look if off means that you can’t win while backed up by a team whose offense usually gives you a nice big fluffy cushion to play with, moving to a team where allowing one or two runs is often enough to cost you the game? (Of course, we do hope that certain offseason moves that may have been mentioned in the papers once or twice will help change that, but it’s all theoretical at this point.) And playing in a division where every single win is likely to be essential in determining the winner? Let’s just say that might not be the best move for any party concerned. I realize that according to the current story, these thoughts did not factor into Burnett’s decision much if at all, that he made his decision based on the need to remain on the east coast for family reasons, but the end result still makes him sound like an unlikely voice of reason to me.

Now, if the Angels could have gotten in on a three way trade with the Yankees and the Pirates, sending Abreu to New York for Burnett and then sending Burnett to Pittsburg for the two minor league prospects the Pirates wound up trading to New York for Burnett? Well, that would have been the best of all possible worlds, even if we never had a need for the minor leaguers. But the Angels have never been big on participating in multiple team deals and I guess that much has not changed…at least not so far.


  1. Red State Blue State

    Sad to see Abreu as the odd man out but baseball can be cruel sometimes, even to its most loyal of participants/observers. The last thing the Angels needed to do was add a questionable arm/attitude to that starry roster.

  2. WrigleyRegular

    My favorite part of the Burnett story was a quote from catcher Rod Barajas saying that he was very excited to be joining AJ in Pittsburgh. If your a catcher excited to catch a pitcher that has had a 5+ era the past two seasons, then you truly still love this game…..


    • This is a very simple game...

      I had not heard that Russel but it definitely makes me laugh! I like Rod Barajas and, with a large family of his own and the way he comically cradled Dee Gorden last season maybe he is just the catcher to handle A.J.’s inner crybaby the next time he decides to make rude gestures at a manager, beat up a clubhouse door or the like.

      — Kristen

  3. Minoring In Baseball

    Sometimes the best deals are the ones that arent’ ever made. It’s scary sometimes, but there are so many deals that are almost made that most fans never even know about. Angels will do fine, though.

  4. Emma

    lol Kristin, I remember Barajas holding Skinnyswag (Dee Gordon). Barajas sure has a large family. They did a taping of him making pancakes for all his kids and his wife on Father’s day. Maybe AJ just needed a change. I wish him and Barajas well. Hey! Can you make the Baseball Reliquary event this Saturday? Check my blog for details. It is at 3 PM.

    • This is a very simple game...

      Oh man, Emma. I’ve been helping my sister move this morning and have plans for the afternoon. But this looks like a good one. Enjoy! I did look at the website though and I think I can make the one in March. We’re out of town the weekend before the talk, but that weekend is as yet unbooked.

      — Kristen

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