The Pittsburgh Pirates have acquired right-handed pitcher A.J. Burnett and cash considerations from the New York Yankees in exchange for minor league pitcher Diego Moreno and minor league outfielder Exicardo Cayones. The announcement was made by Pittsburgh's Senior Vice President, General Manager Neal Huntington.
The 35-year-old Burnett posted an 11-11 record in 33 games (32 starts) with New York in 2011, winning at least 10 games for the seventh straight season and for the ninth time in his career. He also started and won Game Four of the American League Division Series at Detroit on October 4.
Burnett ranks seventh among Major League pitchers in strikeouts (1791) since making his debut with Florida in 1999. In his 13 big league seasons, he has recorded a 121-111 record and a 4.10 ERA in 314 games (309 starts) while making at least 30 starts five times. Burnett has also pitched over 200 innings four times in his career, including a career-high 221.1ip with Toronto in 2008.
"A.J. Burnett is a solid veteran starting pitcher with an above average pitch repertoire and potential to provide us with significant quality innings from our starting rotation," said Huntington.
Originally selected by the New York Mets in the eighth round of the 1995 First-Year Player Draft, Burnett was traded to Florida on 2/6/98 and spent parts of seven seasons pitching with the Marlins before signing as a free agent with Toronto on 12/6/05 and with the Yankees on 12/18/08.
Burnett became the 98th pitcher in National League history to throw a no-hitter when he did so with the Marlins on 5/12/01. He struck out a career-high 231 batters and won a career-high 18 games with Toronto in 2008. His 8.18 strikeouts/per 9.0ip ratio ranked 10th in the A.L. in 2011 and his 7.91 strikeouts/per 9.0ip ratio since 2009 ranks 34th in the Majors and 13th in the A.L.
The 24-year-old Moreno went 2-4 with five saves and a 3.63 ERA (44.2ip/18er) in 41 total games with Class-A Bradenton and Double-A Altoona last season. The Venezuelan native was originally signed by Pittsburgh as a non-drafted free agent on 8/21/06. Cayones, 20, is a left-handed hitting Venezuelan who hit .228 (26-for-114) with 12 RBI in 38 total games with State College and the GCL Pirates in 2011. He was signed by the Pirates as a non-drafted free agent on 7/4/08.