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Prospects in the A.J. Burnett Trade

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Prospects in the A.J. Burnett Trade

The New York Yankees traded right-hander A.J. Burnett to the Pittsburgh Pirates today in exchange for two prospects, reliever Diego Moreno and outfielder Exicardo Cayones. Here is a look at who the Yankees got.


Exicardo Cayones, OF: Cayones is 20 years old, born October 9th 1991. A left-handed hitter and thrower, Cayones was signed out of Venezuela in 2008, earning a $400,000 bonus, as part of Pittsburgh's attempt in recent years to invest more in Latin America. His career got off to a good start in the Venezuelan Summer League in 2009 with a .302/.396/.424 mark, but he hit just .263/.369/.362 after moving up to the Gulf Coast League in 2010. A disastrous 2-for-32 beginning in the 2011 New York-Penn League sent him back to the Gulf Coast League, where he hit .293/.389/.427. Cayones has a keen eye and has posted solid OBPs, but he hasn't produced much power and doesn't run well enough to play center field. He is a marginal prospect at this point.

Diego Moreno, RHP: Moreno is another product of Pittsburgh's scouting effort in Venezuela, signing as a free agent in 2006. A right-handed hitter and thrower born July 21, 1986, Moreno throws very hard, hitting 98 MPH on his best days and consistently in the 94-95 range. He also has a good slider and is frequently overpowering, posting consistently strong K/IP ratios. He fanned 45 in 45 innings last year between High-A Bradenton and Double-A Altoona, and he posted a terrific 69/8 K/BB in just 46 innings at those two levels in 2010. However, the results sometime seem less than the sum of the parts, he hasn't been consistently effective in Double-A, and his makeup has been questioned. He profiles as a middle reliever if he can put everything together, and his component ratios imply that he has sleeper potential. His arm strength makes him worth a flyer.