The New York Yankees and the Pittsburgh Pirates are “on the verge” of deal that would send A.J. Burnett to Pittsburgh, sources have told ESPN.
The Yankees are expected to receive a pair of prospects in return for the former All-Star pitcher, but New York is expected to absorb about $20 million of Burnett’s remaining $33 million he’s owed on his contract. The deal is reportedly pending approval of the commissioner’s office, according to ESPN.
Burnett had been on the trading block for the majority of the winter. The team had also spoke to the Los Angeles Angels about a potential swap for another bloated contract, Bobby Abreu's, as well as the Cleveland Indians for a potential swap for Travis Hafner. The Yankees are still in search of a full-time designated hitter for next season. Burnett, 34, went 11-11 last season with a 5.14 ERA in 32 starts for the Yankees. It marked the second consecutive season that the right-hander posted an ERA above 5.00, and the fourth year the hurler failed to post a sub 4.00 ERA. The former 18-game-winner, however, has been able to pitch 185 innings-or-more in each of the past four years.