A.J. Burnett Rumors: Wednesday
Kicking off today’s A.J. Burnett watch with an update of my own. Last night I wrote in my blog that the Pittsburgh Pirates shouldn’t cave to the New York Yankees, and instead should wait them out, hoping the Yankees budge on their demand to get more money or more prospects.
My feeling was that it doesn’t make sense for the Pirates to rush to take a deal on Tuesday, paying $13 M to get the deal done early. That’s especially the case when you consider the Yankees need to unload Burnett, and there doesn’t seem to be a serious market for the right hander outside of the Pirates. The Pirates would be better off waiting, and hoping the Yankees budge from their desire for more money or more prospects.
Today I spoke with a source inside the Pirates’ organization that said the Pirates have no problem giving up $12-14 M in the end, and that the main priority for the team is keeping their prospects. This isn’t new in the sense that the Pirates would rather give up money than prospects, as we’ve heard that several times. What we have also been hearing is that the Pirates are at $10 M. I was told that the $10 M figure was “low”, since that figure would require the Pirates to give up more talent than they’d want to give up. The team has no problem giving up $12-14 M as long as they get to keep their prospects.
If I had to take a guess, I’d say the deal will eventually be completed with the Pirates paying $13 M of Burnett’s $33 M, and giving up two prospects that the team won’t miss.
I’ll keep this thread updated throughout the day as more news comes in, although I wouldn’t imagine a deal getting done today, since both teams are in stare down mode.
UPDATE 12:00 PM: Ken Rosenthal reports that there is a soft deadline for Saturday for a deal to be completed. He mentions that the Yankees would move quickly to sign Eric Chavez and Raul Ibanez after a trade, and that one or both of those moves could happen even if Burnett isn’t dealt. Rosenthal also mentions that the Pirates are the only realistic trade partner for the Yankees.