A.J. Burnett Rumors: Thursday

Multiple teams are discussing right-hander A.J. Burnett with the Yankees, according to yesterday's rumors. The right-hander vetoed a trade to the Angels, so it's down to the Pirates and at least one unknown club. Burnett will earn $33MM between now and the end of the 2013 season, and the question of how much money the Yankees absorb figures to shape trade talks. Here are the latest rumors as we await resolution on a deal:

  • The Yankees and Pirates are nearing a deal that would send Burnett to Pittsburgh for two marginal prospects and $13-15MM in salary relief, reports George A. King III of The New York Post"It will happen this weekend,'' said King's source. "Probably Saturday.''
  • Joel Sherman of the New York Post reports that the Yankees have countered the Pirates offer with a sliding scale, meaning they'd have to surrender lesser prospects the closer they get to eating $15MM of the $33MM left on Burnett's contract. He says it would be an upset if he's not traded before the Yankees open camp on Sunday (all Twitter links).
  • Ken Davidoff of Newsday reminds us (on Twitter) that MLB will need to approve any trade because of the large amount of cash changing hands.
  • The Yankees and Pirates know which players would go from Pittsburgh to New York if the Pirates take on $13MM in salary, Davidoff tweets.
  • The Yankees and Pirates should complete a deal within 24 hours, according to Jim Bowden of MLB Network Radio and ESPN.com (on Twitter).
  • A team other than the Pirates and Indians made a proposal for Burnett yesterday and the Yankees appear to be approaching a decision, ESPN.com's Buster Olney reports (Twitter links). Burnett told the Yankees three weeks ago that he would block a trade to Anaheim.
  • Considerable optimism exists that the Yankees and Pirates will work out a deal, Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com tweets. Heyman adds that the Yankees will pay $20MM of Burnett's contract.

Mike Axisa contributed to this post.

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