The A.J. Burnett rumors have been quiet today, although Jon Heyman of CBS Sports has an update. Heyman says the Pittsburgh Pirates and the New York Yankees are still talking, and that a deal is likely to get done. He reports that the Pirates will be paying $13-15 M of Burnett’s remaining $33 M, and that they will be giving up two players who aren’t on the 40-man roster.
This is similar to the reports we’ve heard over the weekend, so there’s nothing new to this, other than more assurance that the two sides are close and will probably make a deal. At $6.5-7.5 M per year Burnett doesn’t seem like as much of a value, although we’ve heard that the Pirates would rather take on money than give up prospects. A rough look at Burnett’s trade value shows that the Yankees picking up $19-20 M would net them a value of two grade C hitting prospects. For reference, that’s similar to the Derrek Lee trade that sent Aaron Baker. It seems unlikely that the Pirates would lose anything of value if they picked up that much salary.
This morning Buster Olney wrote about the urgency for the Yankees to make a deal. He mentioned that the Yankees don’t like to enter Spring Training with distractions, and like to resolve trade talks before camp opens. That makes it even more likely that a deal will be reached prior to pitchers and catchers reporting on Friday.
UPDATE 7:17 PM: Joel Sherman reports that the Yankees would do the deal if the Pirates agreed to take on north of $13 M owed to Burnett. He says that so far the Pirates are offering to take on $10 M while offering “two blah prospects”. Sherman adds that the feeling is that the two sides will get a deal done, but the Yankees want the Pirates to pick up more money or give up better prospects.