Honestly, believe me when I say, nothing is more frustrating about the Cubs blogosphere than the suckers who pitch ludicrous ideas for nonsense trades. If I had a nickel for every time I read someone write, "GIVE THEM SORIANO AND ZAMBRANO FOR HEADLEY," or some derivative of that thought, I swear to you I'd be a billionaire.
So if the idea of trading Alfonso Soriano plus cash to the Yankees for AJ Burnett strikes you as a similarly stupid idea, then please, leave a comment on this post, saying, "Shut up you idiot." And I will shut up.
But seriously though.
Burnett's owed $33 million. He hasn't been able to get his ERA below 5.00 in either of the past two seasons, but for me it's obvious what's keeping his numbers in the crapper: HR/9. Despite a K:BB of about 2:1 — not great, but at least decent — Burnett saw 17% of the fly balls hit off of his pitches leave the park. That is an obscene rate, which would undoubtedly go down on days when the wind was blowing in at Wrigley.
Burnett's been worth about 1.5 fWAR per year over the past two seasons — roughly the same as Soriano's average over the past three, which included ups and downs (0.0, 3.1, 1.3). So if one assumes they make roughly the same contribution to winning, swap the bodies and keep the contracts. It'd be as though the Cubs just cut Soriano straight up, and then added a 35-year-old pitcher with a 93 mph fastball for free. See, look how nice that sounds!
Over at Bleacher Nation (IF YOU DON'T READ BLEACHER NATION WHAT ARE YOU DOING WITH YOUR LIFE), Brett says he'd rather keep Soriano around than bring on an older pitcher with bad numbers the past couple years. I think Brett is sure Burnett is broken, so that's why he doesn't like the idea. Obviously we disagree on that point.
Get the starting pitcher (remember, we need those?) with some velocity left on his fastball, bring him to a park where the wind blows in on a lot of days, and move an outfielder that's probably better off DHing to make room for a younger player who could use the ABs.
Makes sense, right?