Here is the latest on the A.J. Burnett rumors:
-Jon Heyman of CBS Sports reports that the two sides continue discussing a possible deal that would send Burnett to the Pirates. Heyman reports that the Yankees are willing to pay a substantial portion of Burnett’s remaining salary, but that the two sides are still a few million apart. Heyman mentions that the Yankees first offered a deal where the Pirates would pay more than one-third of Burnett’s salary, closer to a 50-50 split.
-Joel Sherman of the New York Post expects the Yankees to deal Burnett before camp opens. He feels the team will wait to see if the Pirates, or any other club, offers to take on more salary.
-Sherman also provides some insight as to why the Pirates weren’t on Burnett’s no-trade list (Three Twitter links). Burnett’s list includes all of the teams on the West Coast because his wife has a fear of flying. When he signed with Toronto, he negotiated a deal where his wife would receive eight round trip limo rides from their home in Baltimore to Toronto. So while the Pirates don’t have a winning record, the distance from Burnett’s home is a positive for Burnett.
UPDATE 12:18 PM: Jon Heyman was on 93.7 The FAN earlier and said he thinks this deal will get done. He also said that Garrett Jones is off the table. (h/t to Jim at North Side Notch). Heyman also added on Twitter that the Pirates haven’t agreed to pay $10 M of Burnett’s remaining $33 M.
UPDATE 1:47 PM: Heyman says there seems to be a fair amount of optimism that a deal will get done.
UPATE 5:17 PM: Joel Sherman reports that the Yankees are telling the Pirates that absorbing $10 M in salary isn’t enough. Jon Heyman reported earlier that the Pirates were willing to absorb that much. He also added that the Yankees have been pushing for an even split and want an “OK” prospect in return.
Jayson Stark was on Baseball Tonight earlier and reported the Pirates were looking at Joe Blanton and John Lannan if Burnett didn’t work out. Ken Rosenthal reports that talks haven’t hit a wall yet, but the two sides aren’t close. He also added that the Pirates were looking at other options. It doesn’t seem like the Yankees have much leverage here. There are more teams looking to unload high priced pitchers than there are teams willing to take on those salaries.
UPDATE 5:23 PM: Heyman reports that if there is a deal, Garrett Jones won’t be a part of it.