Ken Davidoff's baseball insider

Yankees, Mets, trade rumors, free agents, off-the-wall predictions and other MLB musings.

A.J. Burnett, Joba Chamberlain, Alex Rodriguez and the luxury tax

Tomorrow, I vow to do some digging on the Mets. It's amazing how dormant they appear to be. Today, however, I attended a Yankees event in Manhattan's Washington Heights neighborhood.

I'll post the link later about the actual event, but Brian Cashman was there, and he discussed some Yankees issues:

--New pitching coach Larry Rothschild will spend a week to 10 days with A.J. Burnett in January, at Burnett's Maryland home.

“We signed A.J. not to be not a back of the rotation starter, but to pitch toward the front of the rotation," Cashman said. "That’s what his abilities are. That’s what he’s capable of doing. And that’s what we expect. I believe you’ll see that again."

Burnett has never been an elite starting pitcher but his 2010 did mark his worst regular season of his career, using ERA+ and WAR as measures. You'd think he'd bounce back some., but his 2010 was so erratic and disturbing - what kind of guy shows up at work with a black eye and refuses to discuss its cause? - that we'll wait and see.

--Cashman on why Joba Chamberlain won't be considered for a switch back to the starting rotation: “His stuff plays so much significantly (better) out of the ‘pen. We had given him an opportunity to pitch in the rotation, and the velocity dropped. It’s just not the same stuff.”

--Cashman said that Alex Rodriguez visited with hip specialist Marc Philippon in November and received a clean bill of health.

--Thanks to Twitter, to which I would send a holiday card if I knew where to send it, I learned that the Yankees' luxury tax figure for 2010 was $18 million. I'd be highly impressed if they someday got to a payroll that didn't require a luxury tax payment. If that actually happens, I expect it to be a result of the collective bargaining agreement changing dramatically, rather than the Yankees dramatically cutting their spending.

--Have a great night.

Tags: Brian Cashman , Alex Rodriguez , Joba Chamberlain , A.J. Burnett

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