It seems nothing has changed with the A.J. Burnett situation. Actually, after a few early afternoon phone calls, I was told nothing had changed in the past two days.
The Pirates still seem to be the most likely match in trade talks, but right now they’re willing to pickup only $10 million of the $33 million left on Burnett’s contract. I don’t have an exact number, but the Yankees want the Pirates to pay more like $13-15 million with a couple of marginal prospects thrown in. No specific prospects are on the table right now. One source compared it to a game of chicken — who’s going to blink first? — but there’s still hope a deal will be done fairly soon.
A deal was in place with the Angels – a deal that would have sent Bobby Abreu to New York – but Burnett wouldn’t waive his no-trade clause. The Indians have been in and out of negotiations – with Travis Hafner’s name tossed around – but those talks never went anywhere. As others have reported, I heard today that there’s a fourth team in the mix, but that team’s interest doesn’t seem serious.
As for a deadline, I was told that there is no true deadline, but the Yankees would like to get a deal done by the weekend to avoid having Burnett show up in camp only to be traded a few days later.