We’ve been tracking the Yankees-Pirates’ talks about A.J. Burnett. The Yankees want to unload him. The Pirates, for some reason, want him. Earlier today we heard that the Pirates were willing to absorb as much as $10 million of the $33 million still owed to Burnett over the next two years.
One would think that’s enough. Joel Sherman of the New York Post says that’s not the case, though: the Yankees want the Pirates to pay even more.
Seems excessive. A.J. Burnett is not worth more than $5 million a year over the next to years to a team like the Pirates. The Indians, by point of comparison, are paying only $5 million of Derek Lowe’s contract for 2012. That seems to be the market for dead weight with a shred of potential, no?
Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times reports that the Angels have inked outfielder Eric Young, Jr. to a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training.
Young, 31, played in just six games and logged one plate appearance in the majors this past season with the Yankees. He last played regularly in 2014. While Young doesn’t do much with the bat, he could provide value as a pinch-runner. He also offers versatility, having played all three outfield positions along with second base.
The Angels have Ben Revere as their fourth outfielder and Jefry Marte behind him, so Young would need to have a very impressive showing in spring training to find a spot on the Angels’ roster.
Update (5:20 PM EST): It’s a minor league contract, per Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports. If he makes the major league roster, Saltalamacchia will earn $1.25 million with an additional $250,000 available through incentives.
The Blue Jays are close to a deal with free agent catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia, Shi Davidi of Sportsnet is reporting.
Saltalamacchia, 31, hit a meager .171/.284/.346 with 12 home runs and 38 RBI in 292 plate appearances with the Tigers this past season. With Russell Martin getting regular playing time behind the plate, Saltalamacchia will serve as his understudy, pushing A.J. Jimenez and Juan Graterol down on the depth chart.
The veteran catcher isn’t far removed from being a productive backstop. He had an .805 OPS in 70 games with the Diamondbacks in 2015 and also helped the Red Sox win the World Series in 2013 with an .804 OPS in 121 games.