The A.J. Burnett trade rumors are very real, but they’re apparently not leading to a transaction.
According to ESPN’s Buster Olney, the Yankees asked the Pirates for outfielder Garrett Jones in exchange for Burnett. New York was quickly rebuffed and there is currently “no traction” for a deal.
Jones hasn’t come close to the .938 OPS that he posted in his breakout rookie campaign (back in 2009), but he possesses a decent power bat and is still an inexpensive arbitration-eligible everyday player for Pittsburgh. Burnett, meanwhile, has registered a 5.20 ERA over the past two seasons and is owed $16.5 million in both 2012 and 2013. The Yankees would probably have to eat close to $25-27 million to make the trade worth it for the Pirates.
It’s always a bit deceiving to see offseason workout photos of players who are said to be getting into great shape because guys in those pics are wearing compression shirts and crap and we’re used to seeing them in baseball uniforms. I remember pics of Miguel Cabrera and David Ortiz in the offseason looking svelte, only to see them in uniform come spring as their familiar beefy selves. Uniforms are often loose and billowy and the players wear a couple of layers when they’re suited up, so at least visually speaking it’s better to compare apples to apples.