I just caught wind of what Darek Braunecker, A.J. Burnett's agent, told the Daily News (h/t BBD) and felt obligated to share it with you.
“I haven’t spoken to A.J. since (Friday) night, but it’s safe to say everyone assumed the Yankees would make moves to improve their rotation,” Braunecker told the Daily News. “How and if it affects A.J. is yet to be seen. I know he has worked as hard this offseason as any, even more so, to make sure he’s healthy and capable to pitch as well as he can.
“He fully expects to be in the rotation.”
That first part is fine, but those last eight words may not have been the wisest way for Burnett's camp to respond to the Yankees' two big pitching acquisitions yesterday.
I expect fake (hopefully genuine) clarifying remarks from Burnett himself, as well as a really vague and confused response from Brian Cashman and Joe Girardi, though Girardi would be wise to keep his mouth shut when the new manager in Boston is making his fans look like fools.
As for Burnett's realistic chances at making the Yankees' rotation, he's got some competition in spring training now. The top four, in some order, is pretty clear (CC Sabathia, Michael Pineda, Hiroki Kuroda & Ivan Nova), but two other pitchers besides Burnett are vying for the final spot (Freddy Garcia & Phil Hughes).
Unfortunately for Burnett, and his agent, he probably trails Garcia and Hughes in this race before spring training starts, in that order. Do I really need to remind you of Burnett's numbers the last two seasons?!
Frankly, he'd be the odd man out in my book purely based on his representation or (if it is his) an attitude like that.