Sunday, February 12, 2012

Will A.J. Walk The Plank?

Could it really happen? Could the Yankees rid themselves of the enigma that is A.J. Burnett? Not long after signing his five year deal with the Yankees, which has two years and $33MM remaining, the phrase "But he has such good stuff" or a variation has been thrown out there numerous times.

CBS Sports' Jon Heyman reported on Friday that Yankees' GM Brian Cashman was in talks with several teams for Burnett's services, with the Pirates being the front runner. It's no easy match though, primarily because of the $33MM albatross hanging around Burnett's neck. The Yankees wanted the Pirates to pick up 50% while the Buccos said 10% was more to their liking.

The Yankees also asked for 30-yr old left-handed hitter Garrett Jones, who averaged 19 home runs the last three seasons. Pitt GM Neal Huntington answered that with a big fat 'NO'.

Sunday morning, ESPN's Buster Olney reported the two sides had the "framework" in place for a deal. Fox Sports' Ken Rosenthal later added that the Yankees would probably have to pay $19MM-$23MM and the Yankees would receive multiple prospects, none of which are on the Pirates' 40 man roster.

Unless the Yankees can unload Burnett, the DH position could very well be filled by an Andruw Jones/Russell Branyan platoon, with the every day position players taking the spot often as well. You can bet most Yankees fans are starting a prayer circle that Burnett is gone by the time pitchers and catchers report to Tampa next Sunday.

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