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.
The Astros remain in contact with the Athletics on starting pitcher Sonny Gray, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports. The Astros have added Charlie Morton this offseason, but the club has been trying to add a big-name starting pitcher to put at the top of the rotation behind Dallas Keuchel.
Gray, 27, was limited to 22 starts in the 2016 season due to a forearm issue. His stats left a lot to be desired, as he finished with a 5-11 record, a 5.69 ERA, and a 94/42 K/BB ratio over 117 innings. Considering how Gray pitched in the previous three years, he’s a good bet to bounce back.
Gray is under team control through 2019, which is a big draw for the Astros. Needless to say, the Athletics would want a haul in terms of prospects. Gray will earn $3.575 million in 2017, having avoided arbitration in his first year of eligibility.
As we noted last week, The Chicago Cubs took the unusual step of not waiting until the summer after winning the World Series to make their customary White House visit to meet the president. They did it today, seeing President Obama a few short days before he leaves office.
Despite the fact that Obama is a White Sox fan, he met the Cubs with diplomacy and grace. It’s almost as if he’s been in that business for the past eight years. In return, he was given some gifts by the Cubs: Theo Epstein presented Obama with a No. 44 Cubs jersey, a tile from the center field scoreboard at Wrigley Field, and a lifetime pass to Wrigley as well.
Obama is staying in D.C. after he leaves office this week, hanging around so his daughter can finish high school in the same place she started. Even so, he’s likely going to be back to Chicago a good bit over the rest of his life, so he’ll likely be able to put the free pass to work. Assuming it comes with, like, six companion passes for his Secret Service detail.