Burnett Wouldn’t Mind Playing For Cubs

SUNDAY, 9:09pm: Burnett clarified his comments, explaining that his focus and loyalty still lies with the Jays.  Burnett also pointed out that it’s no lock that he’ll opt out of his contract at year’s end.

SUNDAY, 10:30am: Wittenmyer continues working the Burnett angle today, getting quotes from the player indicating that he’d welcome a trade to the Cubs.  The Jays are six games out of the wild card, though, so they’ll probably want to hang on to Burnett for now.

SATURDAY: Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun-Times writes that the Cubs might want to take a second look at A.J. Burnett as the Jays are expected to shop him all throughout the next several weeks until the trade deadline.

Last night’s Cubs-Jays game served as a bittersweet "scouting foray" as Burnett pitched five effective innings, striking out seven. Pitching for the Cubs was Sean Gallagher, who according to Wittenmeyer, wasn’t on anyone’s radar to be the club’s fifth starter in June.

After Rich Hill‘s struggles and demotion, the first-place Cubs are increasingly being mentioned in trade speculation.

Burnett is slated to make $12MM in ’09 and ’10; and can opt out of his contract at the end of the season.

By Alejandro A. Leal and Tim Dierkes

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