Update: the teams have now confirmed the trade.
While neither team has officially announced the deal, the two hurdles involved in the trade sending A.J. Burnett to the Pirates and two prospects to the Yankees have now been cleared, according to CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman and ESPN’s Buster Olney.
Those two hurdles were Burnett’s physical, which he passed, and league approval of the deal because there was more than $1 million changing hands.
An announcement of the trade will probably come Monday. The Yankees are getting RHP Diego Moreno and outfielder Exicardo Cayones in return for Burnett and $20 million of the $33 million he’s owed over the next two years.
Burnett is set to pitch at or near the top of a Pirates rotation also set to include Jeff Karstens, James McDonald, Erik Bedard and Kevin Correia. The worst performer from the group will likely be shuffled off to the pen once Charlie Morton is ready to return from hip surgery.
Corey Dickerson of the Tampa Bay Rays wasn’t a super huge guy or anything, but he’s going to be smaller this year: he told reporters today that he’s lost 25 pounds. He attributes it to a new diet and a workout regimen and says it’ll help him with his running, swing and throwing.
Dickerson had a down year in 2016, so if losing 25 pounds is something he thinks will work for him he’s got nothing to lose. Of course the best way for him to improve his numbers is to convince the Rays to trade him back to Colorado, but that’s not likely.
As I note every spring, “Best Shape of His Life” stories aren’t really about players being in The Best Shape of Their Lives. They’re about players and agents seeking to create positive stories.
We know this because the vast majority of Best Shape of His Life claims are about guys who were either injured the season before, guys who had subpar years the season before or players whose conditioning was a point of controversy the season before. These folks, or their agents + reporters who have little if nothing to write about in the offseason = BSOHL.
James McCann hurt his ankle last season and had a subpar year at the plate. So not only is he a perfect BSOHL candidate, he went old school with the claim and hit it right on the money, verbatim:
Spring training is less than a month away, folks!