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Rant: Apparently, Being At Sea Makes You Stupid

The New York Yankees have found the latest "undervalued commodity": Teams with sea-based names who are willing to make dumb trades, each dumber than the last.

The Mariners at least got some value for Michael Pineda, forcing the Yankees to give up Jesus Montero, who has a chance to be a great hitter. But with his defensive limitations, Montero has limited upside and here's where an A's fan has to be glad to have Billy Beane calling the shots. For Trevor Cahill, Oakland got back a major league ready pitcher with #1 upside who is now arguably their #1 prospect, plus two other possibly useful pieces. Pineda is younger, cheaper, and better than Cahill and is the type of rare talent who could, and should, bring back a true haul -- and really didn't.

But here's the move that has me scratching my head even more than I have already been scratching elsewhere for years. What were the Pittsburgh Pirates thinking when they agreed to take A.J. Burnett off the Yankees' hands, for the privilege of sending a couple prospects New York's way and pay $13M of Burnett's contract? {Update: Apparently, it's being ME that makes you stupid. When I wrote this post, I didn't realize Burnett had two years left on his contract for that $13M. Oopsies!}

Forget the prospects, as they are likely forgettable. Why would the Pirates pay $13M to add A.J. Burnett to their team? Burnett isn't worth paying $13M, period, and even if he were he would only be worth it to either a team with a huge payroll and few financial concerns, or to a team just in need of one "decent" starting pitcher in order to get over the hump and into serious contention. Pittsburgh is neither. Plus, if a team felt the need to add "a veteran starting pitcher with a track record," they could sign Roy Oswalt for a lot less than $13M. Neal Huntington should be forced to take a long walk off a short plank for making this trade.

Any team with any semblance of a clue would have told the Yankees, "You want us to take Burnett, and $13M of his contract, off your hands? Fine: You send us a good prospect." But apparently, the Yankees' mystique forces teams like the Pirates to say, instead, "Harrrrrrr!!! Got me a tattooed man for me rotation!!!"

Seriously, what does acquiring A.J. Burnett, and paying him $13M, do for the Pittsburgh Pirates? What are they thinking? Are they thinking, or is the parrot making the decisions? With the eye patch over his left eye as he reads the spreadsheets. Unreal. The Yankees' pilfering of Seattle and Pittsburgh is the biggest abuse of seamen since --

-- Never mind.

When you see a deal like the Burnett trade, you understand why the Pirates are an organization that has swum in place for the better part of three decades. The A's may not look like a winning team in 2012, but there's a method to the madness, not just madness. I like my AJs with a Cole at the end, thank you very much.

{end rant} Happy Precedent's Day, and be sure to set one.