The Yankees and Pirates are still talking about A.J. Burnett

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The Pirates apparently nixed a proposed A.J. Burnett-for-Garrett Jones deal, but Heyman reports that the sides are still talking and that it’s more along the lines of salary dumpage now.  Specifically, they’re “a few million apart” on a deal that would basically send Burnett to Pittsburgh in exchange for salary relief.

And — setting aside how odd it is to be hearing the Yankees in need of salary relief — what would the Yankees do with the dollars saved on Burnett?  Likely sign Eric Chavez for another year of his backup infield duty and then sign the other half of a DH platoon, likely in the form of Raul Ibanez.

No one sounds crazy optimistic that this will happen, but I’m struggling to think of the last time the Yankees were reported to be trying to do a deal and didn’t accomplish it.

Masahiro Tanaka throws two-hit shutout vs. Rays

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Yankees starter Masahiro Tanaka went the distance, holding the Rays scoreless on two hits and one walk with 10 strikeouts across nine innings on Monday night in the Bronx. It’s the fourth shutout of his career, accounting for four of the Yankees’ last six shutouts. The other two were thrown my Luis Severino and Brandon McCarthy.

DJ LeMahieu provided the bulk of the offense, swatting a two-run home run off of Yonny Chirinos in the third inning. Cameron Maybin tacked on a solo homer off of Chirinos in the fifth as the Yankees went on to win 3-0.

After Monday’s performance, Tanaka owns a 3.23 ERA with 84 strikeouts and 20 walks across 92 innings on the season.

With the win, the Yankees increase their lead over the Rays for first place in the AL East to 1.5 games.