A.J. Burnett-to-Pittsburgh has a “good chance” of happening


UPDATE: Mark Feinsand of the New York Daily News was told by a source that there’s a “good chance” Burnett gets traded to the Pirates.

1:09 PM: The Yankees and Pirates continue to negotiate a potential A.J. Burnett trade. We learned yesterday that the Bucs were willing to eat $10 million of the $33 million remaining on Burnett’s deal, but the Yankees weren’t quite satisfied with that.

Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com just reported that the Pirates are actually one of four teams in on Burnett, one of which is on his no-trade list. However, the Yankees view the Pirates as the trade partner that makes the “most sense.”

It may sound a little funny that Burnett is drawing interest from multiple teams coming off a year in which he posted a 5.15 ERA, but if the Pirates could potentially get away with paying him $5 million a year for the next two years, that could sound pretty good to someone else. For all his issues, Burnett has logged at least 186 2/3 innings in each of the last four seasons. Have to fill those innings somehow.

And hey, it’s entirely possible that the Yankees are just floating this stuff in order to get the Pirates to kick in more cash.

Mike Fiers may not be ready for start of regular season due to back issue

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Anthony Fenech of the Detroit Free Press reports that Tigers starter Mike Fiers is dealing with a back issue and may not be ready for the start of the season. Manager Ron Gardenhire characterized the injury as a “stiff back” and added, “Maybe a little bit of a bulging disk or something like that.”

Fiers, 32, signed a one-year, $6 million deal with the Tigers in December. He has had a forgettable spring, yielding 12 runs on 10 hits and eight walks with seven strikeouts in 11 1/3 innings.

Fiers had a rotation spot locked up along with Michael Fulmer, Jordan Zimmermann, and Francisco Liriano. Matt Boyd and Daniel Norris were battling it out for the No. 5 spot. If Fiers opens the regular season on the 10-day disabled list, both could have spots in the rotation.