The Yankees want an A.J. Burnett deal done by Saturday

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The first A.J. Burnett-to-Pittsburgh rumor emerged during the first epoch of the Palaeogene Period in the modern Cenozoic Era. Things got more serious during the Eocene.  Then there was that silly Burnett-to-Cleveland rumor during the late Oligocene.  Since then we’ve been waiting around for this deal to finally get done.

But there’s hope on the horizon!  Ken Rosenthal reports that the Yankees want this thing done by Saturday, which is a day before pitchers and catchers report to Tampa.

Which makes sense. If Burnett has to show up to Yankees camp it could be kinda awkward, what with reporters asking him if he’s excited to leave the Yankees for the Pirates. And with Burnett trying his hardest to be professional and say, yes, it’s everything he’s always wanted.

There is a “one million percent” chance Aroldis Champan will opt-out of his deal

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Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reports that there is a “one million percent” chance Yankees closer Aroldis Chapman will opt out once the season ends.

Just going by the math this makes perfect sense, of course.

Chapman signed a five-year, $86 million deal with the Yankees before the 2017 season. Pursuant to the terms of the deal he’ll make $15 million a year in 2020 and 2021 (he was given an $11 million signing bonus that was finished being paid out last year). This past season the qualifying offer was $17.9 million. Craig Kimbrel of the Cubs just signed a deal that will pay him $16 million in 2020, 2021, and 2022 (he’s making a prorated $16 million this year). Other top closer salaries at the moment include Kenley Jansen ($19,333,334); and Wade Davis ($18 million).

It’s fair to say that Chapman fits into that group and, I think it’s safe to say, more teams would take him than those guys if they were all freely available. As such, Chapman opting out to get more money makes all kinds of sense. Heck, opting out, getting slapped with a qualifying offer, accepting it and then hitting the market unencumbered after the 2020 season would stand him in better financial stead than if he didn’t opt-out in the first place.

The question is whether the Yankees will let it get that far or whether they’ll approach him to renegotiate the final couple of years on the deal or to add some years onto the back of it. If they’re smart they will.