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A.J. Burnett And Hot Stove League Caution

This just in: New York Yankee and erstwhile free agent-in-demand A.J. Burnett managed to hit two batters in a simulated start. I mention this not because I have all that much Yankees-related rancor; it's just that, as we come close to the St. Louis Cardinals' Hot Stove League season, a little caution is in order as we demand that DeWallet is opened up at every possible opportunity.

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I say this in particular because I loved A.J.-Burnett-the-free-agent, whose high strikeout rate and heavy fastball would have made for a great Dave Duncan Rehabilitation move. He turned out to be way out of the Cardinals' price range, because the Yankees got into the bidding, and that turns out to have been for the best; Burnett has been victimized by home runs since joining the Yankees, and in 2010 his high strikeout rate finally lost a little ground. End result: A pitcher who is still, sadly, much better than Kyle Lohse. (But he also costs, incredibly, twice as much.)

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The Cardinals are probably out on big-ticket free agents for a while, except their own, but I'll be keeping the story of A.J. Burnett in mind whenever I think the Cardinals can't possibly lose on a Brad Penny-sized contract.

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