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Yankees ship Burnett to Pirates

NEW YORK — Much-maligned pitcher A.J. Burnett has been traded by the Yankees to the Pirates for two minor-leaguers, a deal that clears the way for New York to add Raul Ibanez.

Pittsburgh will pay $13 million of the $33 million salary due Burnett for 2012 and 2013, the Associated Press reported.

New York will receive right-hander Diego Moreno, 25, and outfielder Exicardo Cayones, 20, both low-level prospects.

The agreement is subject to Burnett passing a physical, which is likely to take place Sunday. Commissioner Bud Selig also must approve it because of the money involved.

"I think he's looking forward to the opportunity to re-establish himself and mentor some of the young pitchers," Burnett's agent, Darek Braunecker, said Friday.

Braunecker said Burnett planned to be at the Pirates' spring training complex in Bradenton on Sunday.

New York intends to use the money saved to sign a designated hitter. The Yankees already have been negotiating a major-league contract with Ibanez, 39, who spent the past three seasons with Philadelphia.

The right-handed Burnett, 35, went 34-35 with a 4.79 ERA during three seasons with New York, including 11-11 with a 5.15 ERA last year.

Burnett became superfluous when the Yankees acquired Michael Pineda from Seattle and agreed to a one-year deal with free agent Hiroki Kuroda. They join CC Sabathia, Ivan Nova, Phil Hughes and Freddy Garcia.

Boston knuckleballer Wakefield retires

FORT MYERS — Tim Wakefield is retiring after pitching the past 17 seasons for the Red Sox.

The 45-year-old knuckleballer from Melbourne made the announcement at the team's spring training facility Friday.

After two seasons with the Pirates, the right-hander signed as a minor-league free agent in 1995. He was 186-168 with a 4.43 ERA with the Red Sox. Only Roger Clemens and Cy Young had more wins (192) with the team.

Wakefield is first in team history with 3,006 innings and 430 starts, and second in games and strikeouts.

For his career, Wakefield was 200-180 with a 4.41 ERA. He was 7-8 with a 5.12 ERA last year in 23 starts and 10 relief appearances. He won two World Series titles in Boston.

"There were a few seasons I didn't know if I was coming back, but I kept coming back and proving myself year after year," Wakefield said. "I was fortunate enough to play 17 years here. It's been a great one. I've been very blessed. I am just very grateful."

On Sept. 13, Wakefield earned his 200th win on his eighth try, in an 18-6 rout of the Blue Jays at Fenway. It turned out to be his last victory.

Wakefield mostly had his way with the Rays, especially in the climate-controlled dome, though they figured him out in recent seasons. His 21 wins against Tampa Bay were his most against any team, and overall he was 21-8 with a 3.71 ERA.

A's still eyeing Ramirez: The Athletics remain interested in signing former slugger Manny Ramirez, 39, to a deal for slightly more than the league minimum of $480,000. The sides could reach agreement in the next few days or sometime next week. Ramirez, who retired from the Rays after playing in five games last season rather than serve a 100-game suspension, must sit 50 games without pay for violating baseball's drug policy for a second time. His suspension was cut because he missed nearly all of last season.

Mets: Johan Santana (torn capsule in left shoulder) threw 25 pitches off a mound in his first outing after a 4½-month break. "I was able to throw my pitches, and it felt good after that," he said.

Times staff writer Marc Topkin contributed to this report.

Rays ticket sales information

Ticket sales for individual Rays games will start Feb. 25, with a two-day exclusive window on Starting Feb. 27, tickets will be available at the usual outlets, including the Tropicana Field box office, the Tampa team store, via phone (toll-free 1-800-745-3000 or 1-888-326-7297) and through Ticketmaster. Until then, the team is selling season tickets and a special FanFest eight-game package that includes a ticket to the April 6 opener.

Marc Topkin, Times staff writer

Yankees ship Burnett to Pirates 02/17/12 [Last modified: Friday, February 17, 2012 9:53pm]
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