Latest on A.J. Burnett to Pittsburgh Pirates Deal

By Troy Pfaff

With every passing day, the proposition of the New York Yankees salary dumping a player onto the Pittsburgh Pirates becomes more of a reality than a twisted futuristic dream of Pirates fans.

Rumors of starting pitcher A.J. Burnett leaving New York for Pittsburgh have resurfaced again after starting up about a month ago. Now, Burnett to the Pirates seems as close to happening as ever.

On Wednesday, ESPN’s Buster Olney speculated the Pirates may send first baseman Garrett Jones to the Yankees in exchange for Burnett. We have since learned the Yankees did ask for Jones in the deal, but the Pirates rejected that notion. Trading Jones would have left the Pirates with only his platoon partner Casey McGehee at first base (though they likely would have called up 26-year-old “prospect” Matt Hague) so it didn’t make much sense on Pittsburgh’s part.

Today, Jon Heyman of CBS Sports reports the two teams continue to discuss a deal involving Burnett and that the Pirates “have rejected a Yankees request for Garrett Jones.” Heyman says the two sides are still a couple million dollars apart in terms of how much of Burnett’s salary the Yankees will pick up. He says the Yankees requested the Pirates “pay well more than one-third of the $33 million, something closer to a 50-50 split.”

Also, this:

[blackbirdpie url=”!/JonHeymanCBS/status/168038094359105536″]

Be sure to check out my take on Burnett from when the rumors first surfaced, found here. 

Sounds good to me. That link there has a breakdown of Burnett’s stats and why he’d surely be better in Pittsburgh than he’s been in New York. Hopefully the Pirates can get this done and staple their starting rotation without giving up much in return.

Follow Troy on Twitter @TroyPfaff

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