The A.J. Burnett saga continues. Yesterday we heard a few updates, although they were similar to the updates we’ve been hearing for the past several days. The Yankees and Pirates are still talking. A deal between the two clubs is likely to get done. The two sides are still apart on how much money the Pirates will assume. The Pirates would send two prospects, but the Yankees don’t like the prospects. It seems that the two sides are stuck in a holding pattern, waiting for the other side to budge. Here are the latest updates on the talks, which will probably include more haggling between the two sides.
-Joel Sherman of the New York Post reported yesterday that the Pirates would only pick up $10 M, and that the Yankees didn’t like the prospects the Pirates were offering in the deal. Today, Sherman elaborated on that. He says that the Pirates are willing to spend $10 M on Burnett, broken down as $5 M a year. He also says that the Yankees don’t like the prospects involved. Sherman mentions that the Pirates view this like the Derek Lowe trade from earlier in the off-season. The Indians only assumed $5 M of the $15 M owed to Lowe, and only sent one minor prospect in return.
Sherman mentions that $13 M is the magic number, and if the Pirates go north of that, a deal would be done. He mentions that the Yankees are waiting for the Pirates to pick up more money or add better prospects. Sherman also added that the Yankees would be fine holding on to Burnett, although this seems unlikely for several reasons. First, there’s the fact that they’d have a three way battle for the number five spot with Burnett on the team (Burnett vs Phil Hughes vs Freddy Garcia). There’s also the purpose for the deal: the Yankees want to clear some of Burnett’s money so that they can fill out their roster with Eric Chavez and a left handed DH option.
Based on Sherman’s update, it sounds like we’re just waiting for one side to blink first before a deal is completed.
UPDATE 10:47 AM: Ken Rosenthal has an update via three Twitter posts. Rosenthal says that there is still an expectation that a deal will be done between the two teams, with the Pirates paying $10-15 M. He says the Yankees would likely receive marginal prospects, and that the teams are trying to narrow down the players. He also added that some in the Yankees organization oppose trading Burnett, believing that the team could get more at the deadline.
UPDATE 11:46 AM: Rosenthal says that the Angels are interested in Burnett, but that they are on his no-trade list and that Burnett wants to stay in the east. He mentions that Bobby Abreu would make sense coming back to the Yankees, but that such talk is pointless since Burnett won’t waive his no-trade clause.
UPDATE 1:15 PM: Jon Heyman says there is still optimism that a deal will get done, although it may take a few days. He says that Pittsburgh may pay $13 M, and adds that the Angels and Indians have checked in. Heyman adds that the talks with the Indians revolve around a Travis Hafner for A.J. Burnett swap, but that the Indians are unsure if they’d do the swap, and the Yankees don’t mind the free agent DH options.
UPDATE 3:54 PM: Count the Indians out of the race. Jordan Bastian, the Indians’ MLB.com beat writer, reports that talks are dead between the Yankees and Indians on Hafner. We’ve heard there are four teams in on Burnett. The Indians are out. The Angels are out, since Burnett won’t accept a trade to the west coast. We haven’t heard about the other team, and what we have heard is everyone saying a deal will be made between the Pirates and Yankees.