A.J. Burnett Rumors: Tuesday

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.

  • Bottom line is that they should have extended Maholm.  I would rather pay Maholm 9M than trade prospects and get Burnett for 7M.  

    •  I cannot say that I agree with you.  Ultimately it just depends on who the guys are that they trade.  We can all sit here and cry and complain at the idea of sending “prospects” away.  But in reality, a week from now we could be sitting here saying, well, ya know I’m not gonna miss Calvin Anderson, or some other nothing, barely-able-to-be-called a prospect, prospect.

      I’m not saying that I couldn’t be disappointed in the end myself, but from what they’ve talked about thus far, I don’t expect the Bucs to give away anything legitimate that would actually warrant any amount of ire from the fanbase.

      Just have to wait and see though

  • So does everyone still think that time will kill this deal and leave NH looking like an ass?  It seems as time goes on that the Pirates are the only option that the Yankees have, not just the best.  Sometimes you have to slow play the competition, and realize who needs whom more.  Identifying the desperate party is a key to maximizing your return.

    Fortunately for once, it seems as though the Buccos aren’t the ones exuding that desperation.

  • I’m still kinda surprised that NO names of the prospects have been leaked/dropped/bandied about.  
    BTW:  I was messing around on Baseball Reference in the draft section.  I went to “All Active Players” that the Bucs have drafted.  I had no idea we drafted the following (but failed to sign):  Chris Capuano/ 45th round/1996; Scott Baker/36th rd/2000; Stephen Drew/11th rd/2001; Jeremy Guthrie/3rd rd/2001; Lonnie Chisenhall/11th rd/2006

    Chisenhall would look great at 3rd about now and Pedro (or Smoak) would have been at 1st from the get-go.

    •  I think that’s really just highlighting the fact that you can’t always lock down those guys in the middle rounds, even if you throw money at them.

      When you’re talking about Capuano and Baker, for instance, it makes perfect sense that they didn’t sign.  If my son was coming out of high school and got drafted that late, I’d tell him to take it as an honor, and take your free education, because guys like that are still getting serious offers.  I don’t think there are many ball players that regret taking the college route, it’s just a matter of, can the team that drafted you make a deal you can’t refuse.

      Bell, for instance, would have been the biggest idiot on the planet not to take 5 million on principle alone.  Now he has that sitting in the bank, and if it doesn’t work out 4 or 5 years from now, the interest alone will more than pay for a fine education wherever he’d like. 

      Signing when you’re drafted in the 40th round, on the other hand, is for those guys that misspelled their names on the SATs.  Idk, I suppose I’d always recommend the education unless the money’s right.  I think there are very few guys that end up regretting that choice.  If you could make through the first couple of years in the low minors where the prep guys go first anyhow, you’ll likely be able to succeed in D-1 or JC.  Then, 2 or 4 years down the road, there’s a good chance you’ll have a bigger pay day, and you got the education…..and the college girls, lol.

  • I like that they are using the Derek Lowe situation as reference point.

    Also, it’s pretty unbelievable, looking back to 2008, that Derek Lowe, then at the age of 35, was signed to a 4 year, 60 million dollar contract by the Braves. (and Burnett is a better pitcher).

    That is at least twice as much money, back in 2008, as what the Pirates would be paying Burnett in 2012-13, even if they cover their maximum of 15 million for the next 2 years.

  • This speaks more about the BMTIB than anything else. Neil should have had a realistic deadline to get it done. If not, walk away. I love the Kiner reference!  

  • I would use on cashman the Ralph kiner negotiating stance. “Brian, we will finish under .500 with Burnett, and we will finish under .500 without Burnett.” 

    Hold steady. Cashman has no other offers. He has 7 SP for 5 spots. Burnett has to be moved. 

  • Lose the deal, no big deal in my mind. Stay firm NH – this whole thing is atrocious anyway!

  • Slipping through your hands NH.  

  • Looks like the Angels are wanting a piece of Burnett as well.  Hes on the no-trade list, but I would bet Moreno would go out of his way to convince AJ and his family that SoCal is the place to be.

  • The Yankees want to do it.  No more, just wait them out.

  • We now have the lowest projected payroll in MLB.  Get the deal done, don’t give up major prospects. This is the last chance we have to add an impact player before the season.

    Come on Neal!

  • Why are you guys so damn hung up on the money? The $3M is not the issue and hasn’t been from the get to. It is the players that the Yankees are wanting in return along with the money. If they would accept $13M and Noah Krol, this deal would have been done on Friday. I have to assume that they are asking for too much in terms of prospects, just as they started off asking for too much in Jones + money. NH needs to stand pat and not give up ANYTHING of value here. I want Burnett as much as anyone to be a Pirate and I think it will get done, but not at the expense of a legit or semi-legit prospect.

  • I know how to get this deal done.  We need to run out real quick and sign Xavier Nady and Damaso Marte to one year deals.  Send both to the Yankees in return for AJ Burnett, Phil Hughes, Dellin Betances, Dante Bichette and $23MM of Burnett’s contract.  Done.

  • It seems that when anything happens it is always on the Pirates if it does not work out, 3mil, the Yankees are tripping over money and they won’t come down another 3 mil, they are the ones dumping a player, not the Pirates, the Pirates have other options they might just take one of them.
    If 13 or 14 mil is such a great take for the Pirates, why don’t a bunch of teams with lots of money jump in and grab this great deal?
    We don’t know who the prospects are that the Yankees want either, that could change my mind about Burnett in a hurry.

  • I sure hope this doesn’t sour the relationship between the two clubs… I wonder if absorbing that extra 1.5 mil per season doesn’t keep Cashman’s ears open to further deals with the bucs.  

  • Hold tough Neal, now I am wondering if we sign Burnett if Oswalt would reconsider coming aboard.  Giving us 3 guys that 3 years ago would be considered one of the top staffs in NL.  Give him a one year deal overpay him and are payroll is still only around 60 million.  Start season with Bedard, Oswalt, J-Mac, Karstens, and Burnett with giving Morton some time to heal and ready when Karstens regresses

    • HAHAAH, yea right, oswalt isn’t coming to Pittsburgh, they wouldn’t pay him enough anyways.  They are balking at 3M, Oswalt is asking for 10M…..

      • …so basically the same amount that they offered Edwin Jackson?  Clearly, the Pirates would never offer that much money.

        •  No, that would have been one year for Jackson.  He got what?  like 10 mil for one year.  Even if they go up to 13 million, that’s still only 6.5 for a starting pitcher who, knock him if you want to, will likely assume the role of the 1 or 2 man. 

          If I were Neil, I’d be willing to go up to 13.  However, what we don’t know is what the personal conversations are like, or really what other teams are involved and what they’re offering.  I believe they’re looking to get rid of Burnett, and if the Pirates are already in the lead, then why cave so early.  We as fans just get antsy and want to hear results as soon as a single word about the story comes out.  The rumors for this started not even a week ago.

          Ultimately I see this deal as one that will be worked over by the GM’s until something works out, but I don’t see the Pirates caving on Prospects.  If they did, it would be the first time in the NH regime; it’s just not in the track record.  Personally if they have the space in the budget, which they’ve alluded to more than once, even going up to 15 over two years to Burnett would be worthwhile.  That would still be less than Jackson for the same amount of time. 

          Looking at their numbers, even now Jackson and Burnett are very similar pitchers in regards to numbers.  The question would be, would I sign Jackson to 4 or 5 years, yes; depending on the money.  I would not give Burnett that much time, but for two years I see it working out. 

          • I was referring to his assertion that the Pirates would never be able to sign a guy like Oswalt because he wants $10MM – even though we’ve already offered that same money to a pitcher this offseason.

            As for Burnett, I agree – it wouldn’t be a huge deal to go up to 13, but for now there doesn’t seem to be any reason to bid against ourselves.  We know the Yankees need to dump Burnett, and we know nobody else has offered more than we have.  The cheaper we can get Burnett, the more value he has.

            •  Oh yeah, definitely, I think we should squeeze the Yanks.  It’s not everyday the buccos have the opportunity to do that.

              I think I started to respond to you post then just got off on a tangent; something I tend to do frequently on this website.


  • Bob—If the Pirates offer $13 million, then do the Pirates keep the two “prospects” ?

  • Dont budge Neal… Dont let the yankees and cashman push you around. If they want to get rid of Burnett badly enough they will come to you. I would love to see Burnett in Black and Gold but let be realistics its the yankees own d**n fault for signing this guy to a 5 year 82 mil dollar contract why should the the pirates be the one suffering from this mistakes. Im fine with picking up 10 mil of his remaining contract and 2 low level prospect, cause even if burnett, and i pray to go he is not, a bust it doesnt hurt us in the long run.. this is a win win situation for us… LETS GO BUCS AND LETS GO NEAL!!!!!!

    •  Wow.  That’s exactly wrong .  You are willing to walk away for a lousy 3 million?

      • do you have 3 mil to spend i sure of heck dont you make it sound like 3 mil isnt a lot of money.. burnett is not worth it.. why should we bail out the yankees for there mistakes. Yes, Burnett will be an upgrade to our rotation, but thats not hard to do, jamie moyer would be an upgrade too, but we arent going after him, should we make this deal, Yes, but not for what the yankees want. Neal needs to stand put and not let the “big dogs” push him around.. Like the statement belowe “Take it or leave it”

        •  I don’t have 3 million but the Pirates do. “Yes, Burnett will be an upgrade to our rotation.”  That says it all.  It is the GM’s job to upgrade when possible.  Do you want me to find the typical quote from NH?  This is a great time and opportunity that will not “mortgage the future, and be a good baseball decision”  PBC projected to be over 50 million this year in payroll.  They currently are at 46.  If they take on 13 over 2 years, thats 52.5 million.  This isn’t difficult. 

          • well if it ONLY 3 mil why wont the yankees come down a LOUSY 3 mil? Why arent we arguing about that? We dont need burnett. The Yankees NEED to get rid of him to clear salary space. So the Yankees need to be the ones to budge. I know we all talk about how the Bucs dont spend money and here is our opportunity to prove other wise and i agree with that if it was for a player that deserves that kind of money. Burnett is not that type of player, maybe if this was 5-7 years ago after his years in florida or even toronto we were making this trade definatly give him the money, since being with NY he hasnt proven to be worth that type of payroll hit

          • The Pirates can afford to pick up his entire salary.  Doesn’t mean it would be a good idea to do so.

    • How is paying 13M of 82M suffering?  We would get a guy that can strike people out and eats up innings.  Paying that extra $$ also allows us to give up minimal prospects, if we only cover 10M they will make us give up guys we think have a future here.  

  • Time is going to kill this deal.  Sadly enough  PBC is this close to making a statement to it’s PLAYERS and FANS that they are interested in winning, but will find a way to botch this.  They are 3 million away.  That’s an extra 1.5 Million/year.  Is Huntington this strapped for cash to walk away from this deal to BETTER HIS TEAM!!!??  Ask Bobby Nutting to add another bobble head, or ask Styx to play twice this year.  3Million away, quit being stubborn and cheap, and MAKE A STATEMENT!. 

  • Good lord, just give them the extra 3 mill and keep our good prospects, we cannot afford to give up young talent for this guy.  

    • Why would we continue to bid against ourselves?  Nobody else is willing to even go up to $10MM at this point, or else they would have a deal done by now.

      No need to continue adding money on top of the best offer available, just because a small handful of fans would rather see the deal done on Tuesday instead of Thursday.