Yankees Pay AJ To Leave
Recently, the Yankees finally decided to give up on the tattooed head-case AJ Burnett by sending him a little further east to the Pirates. The Yankees wanted him gone so badly, they are willing to pay about 18 million for him to just go away. This deal is making Red Sox pitcher John Lackey look like one of the best pitchers in baseball (although the Cubs refused to take that bum off the Sox hands essentially for free when Theo left, so I'm not sure how good it makes him look? Whatever.)
This got me thinking, what players were cast off and were able to revive their careers after being let go by their team. How about a top 5 players "let go/paid to leave because they're terrible now, but actually aren't yet" list.
5. Lance Berkman
Cast out by the 'Stros in 2010, Sir Lance was dealt to the Yankees where he became essentially an All-Star pine heater. In 2011, the Yankees, let him take the ankle express to St. Louis where he hit to the tune of .301, 34 homers and 94 rbi.
4. Mike Lowell
Back in 2006, as just a throw in, the Marlins famously shipped the 3rd baseman to the Red Sox as part of the Josh Beckett trade. After, Lowell would go on to win the ship with the freakin' Saux in `07 with an All-Star appearance and World Series MVP under his belt. Wicked pissah brah.
3. Miguel Tejada
A bit of a history lesson kids, but back in 2003, the Athletics decided to not resign Tejada because they had a stud shortstop in Bobby Crosby waiting in the wings (he turned out to be a great one, has anyone other than this baseball nerd heard his name since 2006?) Then in 2004 with the O's, Tejada turns in one of the greatest seasons ever for a shortstop with 151 RBI in 2004 with a monster home run derby appearance.
2. David Ortiz
"He cant hit the inside fastball." That was the rationale from the Twins braintrust in letting Ortiz walk to Boston back in 2003. Ever since, he has been one of the best hitters in all of baseball, with clutch hits, and World Series rings. Seriously, how can you hate the Large Father?
1. Roger Clemens
As a freakin' Saux fan, I hate Dan Duquette for ever saying Roger Clemens was "washed up" (sorry Baltimore, have fun with him letting HOFamers walk in the prime of their career.) Everyone knows the story, multiple Cy Youngs, a couple World Series rings and a $28.1 million dollar contract where he got to chill at home with his kids while the Astros traveled the country.
AJ Burnett will not make this list. Pittsburgh is where talent starts and is traded away or goes to die. Seriously, the baseball gods hate Pittsburgh more than they hate Raffy Palmeiro. These gods took Bonds slim, size seven head and sent him across the country along with all thoughts of winning for the next 20 years. If Burnett resurges out of the butt crack that is Pirates baseball, "help me Allah. Help me Jewish god. Help me Tom Cruise."