Michael Sanserino reports that the A.J. Burnett deal is done, and is awaiting physicals and approval from the commissioner's office.
If this turns out to be a false start, it would yet another for what someone recently called The Most Over-Reported Trade Rumor Of All-Time. (I think that was David, but I'm not sure, and I'm paraphrasing.) Anyway, it looks like the Pirates will send Diego Moreno and another minor-leaguer, and will take on $13 million in salary.
I'm glad the Pirates are doing this -- this is the sort of we're-trying-to-take-ourselves-seriously move we need to see more of going forward. Burnett is hardly a lock for success in Pittsburgh, given his age, but he's a pretty good bet -- he's going to like pitching in PNC Park. He's also a clear upgrade on Kevin Correia, and he should also provide the Pirates with some stability, which they're going to need badly with Charlie Morton and Erik Bedard currently in the rotation. This trade means way fewer innings for Correia and also for whoever's behind Brad Lincoln, whether that's Jo-Jo Reyes or someone else. (I think Lincoln will end up getting his chances almost no matter what, as long as he shows he's worthy of them.) That's great news.
And yes, Burnett's projection improves to an ERA+ of 91 in Pittsburgh, 9-11, 4.22, 168.1 IP
UPDATE 2:39 PM: Jonathan Mayo reports that the other player in the deal is Exicardo Cayones, who once looked like one of the Pirates' more interesting young Latin players but couldn't hack it in State College in 2011. He's now 20. I think this is probably a spot where the Pirates are pretty sure he isn't going to amount to much. If they did, they probably would have sent him to West Virginia to start the season, or at least let him spend more time struggling at State College. As with Moreno, if they had liked him better, they would have been more aggressive with him. We'll see whether the Pirates turn out to be right about these players, but my guess is that they probably feel like these were pretty safe players to trade away.