WEDNESDAY: SI.com’s Jon Heyman says Burnett is only considering five-year offers; the Yankees haven’t committed to that yet.
TUESDAY: Kat O’Brien of Newsday has the latest on free agent starter A.J. Burnett. She says the Red Sox have "significantly increased their involvement" on Burnett recently. They’ll butt heads with the Yankees, who have yet to make a formal offer. O’Brien shoots down George King’s recent suggestion of "perhaps" a five-year, $80MM offer from New York. The initial offer will be four years at more than $13.5MM per.
There’s talk that Ryan Dempster’s four-year, $52MM deal will raise the stakes for Burnett, but he figured to soar well beyond $13MM per year regardless. The Dempster and Kyle Lohse deals could give Burnett’s agent justification in asking for five years though. Aside from the Red Sox, Yankees, and Blue Jays, the Braves, Phillies, and Orioles are in the mix. The Braves will have to be aggressive on Burnett and Derek Lowe, in case they aren’t able to acquire Jake Peavy.