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Burnett to send teammate's daughter to college

Former Yankee will establish fund in exchange for No. 34
02/27/2012 4:57 PM ET
By Lou DiPietro

For A.J. Burnett, No. 34 is worth a college education. (AP)
The Pittsburgh Pirates had to agree to pay $13 million and give up two Minor Leaguers to acquire pitcher A.J. Burnett from the New York Yankees earlier this month.

As for Burnett's cost to acquire No. 34 from Pirates reliever (and former Yankees farmhand) Dan McCutchen, well, that won't be fully be known until 2030 or so.

It's customary that when a veteran joins a new team and requests his number from an existing teammate, said teammate is rewarded with some kind of trinket; perhaps a Rolex, maybe a new car, or, as former Giants punter Jeff Feagles requested (and received) from Plaxico Burress years ago, a new outdoor kitchen for his vacation home.

But McCutchen had his family's future in mind, and according to Bill Brink of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Burnett has agreed to start a College America 529 fund for McCutchen's unborn daughter as "compensation" for taking No. 34. Once the child is born (she is due in May) and gets a social security number, Burnett will set up the fund.

"When a veteran comes in and takes a number, some of the guys usually get something," McCutchen told the Post-Gazette. "I know he has kids. He asked me what I wanted, I brought that up."

It's unknown what the initial investment will be from Burnett, but no matter what it is, it's certainly worth the switch to No. 25 for McCutchen, who was drafted by the Yankees in 2006 and traded to Pittsburgh in 2008. And come college time for his baby girl, that fund may be worth more than a Rolex or a new car.

As McCutchen said, "Eighteen years from now, we'll see what the market is."

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