Burnett, Yankees reach 5-year deal

December 12, 2008 3:20:27 PM PST
The New York Yankees reeled in another pitcher with a rich offer, reaching agreement with free agent A.J. Burnett on a five-year contract Friday. CC Sabathia and the Yankees made a deal for $161 million over seven years on Wednesday during the winter meetings.

But after missing the playoffs following a 13-year run, the Yankees again showed they were more than willing to shell out big bucks for pitching. FoxSports.com and ESPN.com reported Burnett's deal was worth $82.5 million.

Burnett's agreement was confirmed by the office of his agent, Darek Braunecker.

Burnett won 10 of his last 12 decisions and finished 18-10 with a 4.07 ERA for Toronto. He set career highs in wins, strikeouts (231) and innings (221 1-3).

The 31-year-old righty was especially sharp against the Yankees, going 3-1 with a 1.64 ERA in five starts. Burnett, however, has been plagued by injuries over the years.

Atlanta was among the teams that also pursued Burnett. With the Yankees and their $1 billion-plus new ballpark, he would join a rotation that includes Sabathia, Chien-Ming Wang and Joba Chamberlain.

Wang was hurt for most of this season and Mike Mussina retired after winning 20 games. Andy Pettitte remains in the mix, if he and the Yankees want to work out a deal for him to return.