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

50 Comments

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.

Padres may have more interest in Dallas Keuchel than Bryce Harper

Dallas Keuchel
Getty Images
1 Comment

An interesting tidbit today from The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal, who noted that ongoing talks between agent Scott Boras and the Padres have focused more on starting pitcher Dallas Keuchel than slugger Bryce Harper. Earlier this week, there were conflicting reports on the Padres’ level of interest in Harper — MLB Network’s Jon Heyman heard the club had not ruled out another big signing after getting Manny Machado, while Kevin Acee of the San Diego Union-Tribune talked to multiple sources who believed otherwise — but any agreement between the two is looking unlikelier by the day.

As for Keuchel, Rosenthal cautions that a potential deal is still a “longshot,” especially as the team has other, cheaper options in mind. The 31-year-old southpaw turned down a qualifying offer from the Astros last year and is likely angling for something north of the five-year, $90 million contract extension he rejected from the club in 2016. He’s coming off of another solid performance in Houston, where he went 12-11 in 34 starts with a 3.74 ERA, 2.6 BB/9, 6.7 SO/9, and 3.6 fWAR through 204 2/3 innings in 2018.

While Keuchel has failed to garner substantial interest around the league this offseason, Heyman points out that the Phillies are looking to establish themselves as frontrunners for the lefty — and they’re far less likely to have hang-ups about his asking price, too.