Pirates, Yankees making progress toward A.J. Burnett trade

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Mark Feinsand of the New York Daily News was told by a source on Saturday night that there’s a “good chance” of A.J. Burnett being dealt to the Pirates.

It appears that source was onto something.

According to ESPN’s Buster Olney, the Pirates and Yankees have the “framework” of a deal “in place.”

Olney says the two teams haven’t agreed on the other players who will be swapped nor the exact dollar amount that will change hands — two of the biggest factors in any trade — but they’re talking within a “common ground” and beginning to make steady progress.

Burnett, 35, posted a 5.15 ERA and 173/83 K/BB ratio in 190 1/3 innings (32 starts) last season. The Yankees are expected to eat more than $20 million of the $33 million remaining on his current deal.

UPDATE, 10:47 AM: ESPN New York’s Andrew Marchand says the Yankees are engaged in trade talks with four different teams, but are only “50-50” to actually part with Burnett before spring training.

UPDATE, 11:02 AM: According to the New York Post‘s Joel Sherman, the Yankees know they can make a Burnett deal with the Pirates but are waiting to hear from other interested teams.

UPDATE, 11:59 AM: CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman is hearing that the Yankees “don’t love” the two minor leaguers that the Pirates offered and Sherman says a deal is “very doubtful” to happen this weekend.

World Series Umpires announced

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In the Major League Baseball system, the people are entertained by two separate yet equally important groups. The players who play the game and the umpires who call the balls, strikes and outs. These are their stories.

Wait, that’s not true. They’re not equally important and we certainly don’t want to hear the umpires’ stories. If the stories are about the umpires it usually that means they’ve screwed up.

Not always, though! In 2013, you may recall, I wrote a story about an umpire who made a much talked about call in a World Series game that (a) happened to be right, even if it was much-debated; and (b) his story is one I’ve always found compelling, even if he’s most famous for a call he got wrong.

Jim Joyce, though, an umpire who was widely admired and respected despite his famous blunders, is one of the few exceptions to the rule about what it means to know an umpires’ name. Most of the time we’re all lucky — umpires included — if the introductions are the first and last time we hear of them.

Here they are for the 2018 World Series, with Game 1 assignments noted:

Home: Tim Timmons
1B: Kerwin Danley
2B: Ted Barrett — Crew Chief
3B: Chad Fairchild
LF: Jeff Nelson
RF:Jim Reynolds
Replay, Games 1-2: Fieldin Culbreth
Replay, Game 3-End: Tim Timmons