The soft deadline for the A.J. Burnett trade discussions is Saturday – the day before the New York Yankees’ pitchers and catchers report to spring training in Tampa.
The Yankees and Pittsburgh Pirates continue to discuss a Burnett deal, but as of Wednesday morning the teams remained at an impasse, according to major-league sources.
If a deal is completed, the Yankees plan to move quickly to sign free-agent designated hitter Raul Ibanez and infielder Eric Chavez, sources said. One or both of those signings could occur even if Burnett is not moved.
At this point, the Pirates are perhaps the Yankees’ only realistic trade partner. While the Yankees have discussed Burnett with three other teams, a trade is not likely with any of them.
Talks with the Cleveland Indians about a possible Burnett-for-Travis Hafner exchange “never got serious,” one source said.
The Los Angeles Angels were willing to part with their own left-handed DH, Bobby Abreu, but the Angels are on Burnett’s no-trade list and the pitcher will not approve such a deal, sources said. His family lives in Maryland, and his wife, Karen, does not like to fly.
The identity of the fourth club that checked in on Burnett is not known, but their interest has been lukewarm, sources said.