The five-man starting rotation now has six members. The agreement between the Pirates and the Yankees on a trade that will bring A.J. Burnett to Pittsburgh is not official. Burnett must pass a physical and MLB commissioner Bud Selig must approve the deal because it involves a transfer of more than $1 million. But all indications are that it will be official soon, and Burnett will join Charlie Morton, Kevin Correia, Erik Bedard, James McDonald and Jeff Karstens in the rotation. Morton is recovering nicely from October hip surgery, but may not be ready for opening day, so the Pirates might not have to address the problem right away. Karstens has bullpen experience but his performance as a starter last season will make it tough to put him there. It is possible, given the Pirates' luck with injuries last year, that they could let the six of them get after it in spring and see where they are April 1. The early injury to Ross Ohlendorf, in addition to the issues the rest of the staff had, brought Brad Lincoln and Jeff Locke into action, so the Pirates probably want more as many major league caliber starters as they can fit on the roster.
A.J. Burnett deal to Pirates almost complete, must pass physical
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette | Feb 17