February 17, 2012
MLB notes: Burnett unofficially a Pirate
By QMI Agency
It took more than a week to come to fruition but A.J. Burnett finally is a Pittsburgh Pirate. Unofficially.
The Pirates agreed Friday to send two prospects to the New York Yankees for the mercurial right-handed pitcher, ESPN.com reported.
The teams were waiting for the commissioner's office to grant approval Friday, because of the significant cash involved, sources said.
The Pirates will pay $13.1 million of the remaining $31.1 million on Burnett's contract, which has two seasons to run. The Yankees will take on the rest -- requiring MLB's OK.
The Yankees will get right-handed reliever Diego Moreno and outfielder Exicardo Cayones, sources said.
Moreno, 25, had a 2-4 record with 3.63 earned-run average a single-A and double-A last season. Cayones, 20, hit .228 with no homers and 12 RBI at rookie ball and single-A.
Previously, the Yankees had hoped to get designated hitter Bobby Abreu from the Los Angeles Angels for Burnett, but the 35-year-old pitcher invoked his no-trade clause.
Burnett has a career record of 121-111 with a 4.10 ERA.
KNUCKEBALLER RETIRES AT 45
Tim Wakefield won his 200th game last Sept. 13 at Fenway Park.
That, it seems, will be the final victory of the knuckleball pitcher's career.
An emotional Wakefield, 45, announced his retirement Friday from the Boston Red Sox, shutting down plans of pitching one more season.
The right-hander spent 17 of his 19 seasons with Boston, but the Sox felt they didn't have a spot for him in the 2012 rotation.
"I just want to get through this day," he said in making the announcement in Fort Myers, Fla. I haven't slept all week."
Wakefield had a career record of 200-180 and a 4.41 ERA. Last season he struggled down the stretch, finishing 7-8 with a 5.12 ERA.
After giving up the series-losing home run to the New York Yankees' Aaron Boone in the 2003 ALCS, Wakefield went 12-10 with a 4.87 ERA in 2004, as the Red Sox finally won a World Series.
In 2007 when the Red Sox won the Series again, he went 17-12 with a 4.76 ERA.
Wakefield's retirement leaves the New York Mets' R.A. Dickey as the only active knuckleballer in the majors.
SCHILLING: HALL NOT FOR THE SHAMED
Retired pitcher Curt Schilling says Barry Bonds, Sammy Sosa and Roger Clemens should not be elected to the Hall of Fame because they have been tied to performance-enhancing drugs.
"I think you get rid of (their records)," Schilling said on Conan O'Brien's late-night talk show.
"It's a slippery slope ... if you cheated, you're done. It's not to say there's a purity about the Hall of Fame because there are some really bad people (in it), there are some really bad people in all the Hall of Fames. But if character and morals and ethics don't matter, then I'm not sure what it stands for."
Next year, Schilling will appear on the Hall of Fame ballot for the first time.
SANTANA 'NOT AFRAID'
Johan Santana, who hasn't thrown in the majors since 2010, tossed a 25-pitch bullpen session Friday and indicated he was set to open the season with the New York Mets.
"I finally had a chance to get on the mound and throw to a catcher ... and I felt really good," Santana said at the Mets training camp site in Port St. Lucie, Fla.
"For me, it's about time to get on the mound and start throwing. And I was able to throw all of my pitches, and it felt good after that."
Santana had shoulder surgery in September 2010, then had setbacks after making two minor-league rehab stints in 2011.
"I'm not afraid of anything," Santana said. "I'm actually excited about being out on the mound and being able to start competing."
The Oakland A's are close to completing a trade for Texas Rangers reliever Koji Uehara, a source told MercuryNews.com Friday. Uehara was 1-2 with a 4.00 ERA in 22 appearances in 2011 for the Rangers, who acquired him in a mid-season trade with the Baltimore Orioles ... The Yankees have reached agreement with left-handed hitters Raul Ibanez and Eric Chavez, CBS Sports reported. Ibanez is expected to be the designated hitter against right-handers.