Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Burnitz a burden

The Yankees want Roberto Hernandez. The Staten Island Advance reports this much about the talks:

An official with one of the teams involved said the Yankees were in "very serious" discussions with the Pittsburgh Pirates about relief pitcher Roberto Hernandez. The official, who requested anonymity because he didn't want to jeopardize the discussions, said the Yankees and Pirates had spoken several times in the past few days and that he believed Hernandez to be the Yankees' top relief-pitching target right now.

The Yankees, who had a scout at the Pirates' series over the weekend, have spoken with the Pirates about several players, including infielder/outfielder Craig Wilson and reliever Solomon Torres. But it's the 41-year-old Hernandez in whom they appear most interested.

Hernandez posted a 2.58 ERA in 67 relief appearances last year for the Mets. When he became a free agent in the off-season, the Yankees tried to sign him, but he went instead to Pittsburgh on a one-year, $2.75 million deal. The Pirates are out of the race now and looking to dump some salary. It's unclear what the Yankees would have to send back in return, but they rejected the Pirates initial request that they take outfielder Jeromy Burnitz, who's making $6.7 million this year, as a condition of a Hernandez deal.

Burnitz is hitting .227 / .275 / .414 so far this season. Dan Szymborski was right; these numbers nearly match his .237 / .309 / .415 projection.

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