Joel Sherman of the New York Post reports that the Yankees are still trying to trade A.J. Burnett. The purpose — apart from the totally understandable and desirable deburnettification effects such a move would create — is to shake free some payroll to sign a DH or Eric Chavez or someone:
… the Yankees are quietly — but diligently — still working to trade A.J. Burnett. They know no team will take all of Burnett’s remaining two years at $33 million. But if they could save, say, $4 million this year and next year, it would provide some wiggle room to finish off their roster heading into spring training.
At present, Sherman says, the Yankees aren’t willing to eat too much payroll, so don’t expect anyone to bite. I mean, sure, if you could get Burnett for what the Marlins are paying Carlos Zambrano this year (i.e. close to nothing) you make a deal because he could be useful. But short of that? Why bother?
Phillies third baseman Will Middlebrooks suffered a serious injury during Saturday’s Grapefruit League contest against the Orioles. The infielder was chasing down a pop fly in the eighth inning when he ran into left fielder Andrew Pullin, who inadvertently trapped Middlebrooks’ ankle under his leg. Middlebrooks was unable to put weight on his leg following the collision and was carted off the field and taken to a local hospital for X-rays.
Per MLB.com’s Todd Zolecki, not much is known yet about the severity of the ankle injury or the recovery time it will require, though it appears serious enough to set Middlebrooks back considerably as he seeks a backup/bench role with the team this spring.
The 29-year-old is currently seeking another opportunity to extend his six-year major-league career in 2018. He’s coming off of two down years with the Brewers and Rangers, during which he slashed a cumulative .169/.229/.262 with four extra bases through 70 plate appearances.