The New York Yankees today announced they have traded right-handed pitcher A.J. Burnett and cash considerations to Pittsburgh in exchange for minor leaguers RHP Diego Moreno and OF Exicardo Cayones.
Moreno, 25, combined to make 41 relief appearances with Single-A Bradenton a Double-A Altoona in 2011, going 2-4 with a 3.63 ERA (44.2IP, 18ER). He struck out 45 batters and held opponents to a .218 (36-for-165) batting average. In five minor league seasons (2007-11), he has combined to strike out 212 batters in 194.0IP over 116 games (six starts). A native of Higuerote, Venezuela, Moreno was signed by the Pirates as a non-drafted free agent on August 21, 2006.
Cayones, 20, was signed as a non-drafted free agent on July 4, 2008, out of Valencia, Venezuela. In three minor league seasons, he has batted .272 (128-for-471) with 34 doubles, seven triples, one home run and 68 RBI in 149 games, appearing at all three outfield positions. He split the 2011 season between the GCL Pirates and short-season Single-A State College, combining to hit .228 (26-for-114) in 38 games.
Burnett, 35, was signed by the Yankees as a free agent on December 18, 2008, to a five-year contract. In his three seasons with the club he went 34-35 with a 4.79 ERA (584.0IP, 311ER) in 99 games (98 starts). His 58 wild pitches recorded during his three-year stint with the Yankees (2009-11) were the most for any Major League pitcher over a three-season span since Tony Cloninger threw 62 wild pitches from 1964 through 1966, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.
He posted an 11-11 record with a 5.15 ERA (190.1IP, 109ER) in 33 appearances (32GS) with the Yankees in 2011, setting career-highs in home runs allowed (31) and tying a career-high in earned runs allowed, while ranking first with a franchise-record 25 wild pitches – the most by any Major League pitcher in a single season since the start of the 2000s and the fifth most since 1900.