The Pittsburgh Pirates continue to talk with the New York Yankees about right-hander A.J. Burnett, with most signs pointing to a trade. But as of early Sunday, the two sides were still haggling about the money and players in the deal.
The Yankees likely will pay $19 million to $23 million of the $33 million remaining on Burnett’s contract and receive multiple minor leaguers in return, according to one source with knowledge of the discussions. Those minor leaguers would not be players on the Pirates’ 40-man roster, the source said.
For clubs that trade high-salaried players such as Burnett, the more money they include, the better the quality of the players they receive. The sliding scale makes the discussions fluid and capable of changing at any time.
The Pirates are one of four clubs pursuing Burnett, but one of those clubs is on his 10-team no-trade list, sources say. The Yankees are exploring all possibilities, as are the Pirates. But the Yankees view the Pirates as the partner that “makes the most sense" for Burnett, a source said.
Burnett, 35, went 11-11 with a 5.15 ERA last season, but his strikeout rate of 8.18 per nine innings would have been the best in the Pirates’ rotation. He also had the 13th-best groundball rate in the American League – and in a typical Burnett paradox, the second-highest home-run rate.