I write this from the perspective of a Braves fan, but the analysis is relevant in general. On Friday, A.J. Burnett spurned the Braves to sign a five-year, $82.5 million contract($16.5./year) with the New York Yankees. In October, I suggested that Burnett should have accepted the Blue Jays contract extension, which would have been equivalent to a four-year, $52 million deal ($13.5 million/year). Shows what I know.
Supposedly, the Braves had a similar offer on the table, but Burnett picked the Yankees. I think this is good for the Braves. Over the next five years, I estimate Burnett to be worth $71.25 million ($14.25 million/year). On top of this, I think it’s an extremely risky value due to his injury history. If he continues to pitch as he did in 2008, then he will be worth his contract. If he pitches like he did in the preceding two years, it’s a disaster. Given the makeup of the Braves current roster, I don’t think it would have been a good risk for the team to take on at the rumored five-year, $80 million price.
What I do wonder is why the Braves are not expressing any interest in Derek Lowe? It seems to me that if you are in on one, you should be in on the other. Even though he’s older, I think Lowe is a better bet than Burnett.