Oct 4, 2011; Detroit, MI, USA; New York Yankees starting pitcher A.J. Burnett walks back to the dugout after being relieved in the sixth inning in game four of the 2011 ALDS against the Detroit Tigers at Comerica Park. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-US PRESSWIRE

MLB Trade Rumors: Pirates, Yankees Nearing A.J. Burnett Deal

Initial trade discussion involving New York Yankees starting pitcher A.J. Burnett focused on the Pittsburgh Pirates.  This focus has shifted to other potential suitors over the past couple of days, but it now appears that the Yankees have returned their attention to the Buccos.  Thursday’s consensus was that the Pirates and Yankees will eventually get a deal done, and George A. King III of The New York Post believes that a trade will be announced this weekend.

Over the past few days, teams such as the Indians and Angels have tried to enter the discussions for Burnett.  Not wanting to miss out on a potentially superior offer, the Yankees have done their due diligence and listened to other proposals.

While the Yankees were nearing a deal with the Angels that involved Bobby Abreu, Burnett himself vetoed the trade.  New York and Cleveland discussed a transaction that would have sent slugger Travis Hafner to the Bronx, but those talks have since fizzled.

Now, days after Burnett trade rumors began, the Yankees focus seems to have returned to the Pirates.  Many reporters chimed in yesterday expressing renewed confidence that a deal would eventually be reached by New York and Pittsburgh.  What is still to be determined at this time is how much money the Pirates will take on and which players will be returning to New York in exchange for Burnett.

It’s been reported that the Pirates will likely receive $13-15 million of Burnett’s remaining contract.  It is also generally agreed upon that two prospects not on Pittsburgh’s 40-man roster will be shipped to New York.  The Yankees have said that they are looking for the right pieces, and that they do not view Burnett as merely a salary dump.

Joel Sherman of the New York Post reported last night that the Yankees are offering the Pirates a sliding scale of sorts when it comes to the salary they take on.  Basically, the more money the Pirates agree to accept, the lesser the prospects New York will request.

Whatever the case, King ended last night’s discussion by saying that Burnett will be dealt by this weekend, most likely Saturday.  However, Ken Davidoff of Newsday reminds readers that once an agreement is reached Major League Baseball will have to approve it because of the amount of money changes hands.

For more on the Yankees and Pirates, be sure to check out Yanks Go Yard and Rum Bunter.

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Tags: A.J. Burnett Bobby Abreu New York Yankees Pittsburgh Pirates Travis Hafner

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