It looks like the A.J. Burnett saga may finally be coming to a close, as Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com reports that the Yankees and Pirates are “in agreement” on a deal that will send the right-hander to Pittsburgh.
Burnett is expected to undergo a physical exam Sunday to make things official and according to Rosenthal the Yankees are eating about $20 million of the $33 million remaining on his contract over the next two seasons.
In return New York will receive a pair of minor leaguers, neither of whom are expected to be significant prospects, but by trading Burnett the Yankees save $13 million and open up a rotation spot for Freddy Garcia or Phil Hughes.
Burnett, who signed a five-year, $82.5 million contract with New York in 2009, had a 4.79 ERA in 98 starts for the Yankees after posting a 3.73 ERA in 131 starts for the Marlins and a 3.94 ERA in 80 starts for the Blue Jays.
UPDATE: Bryan Hoch of MLB.com reports that the two prospects going to the Yankees are 25-year-old reliever Diego Moreno and 20-year-old outfielder Exicardo Cayones, neither of whom are considered more than marginal prospects.
In his latest column for MLB.com, Jon Morosi reports that the Phillies have interest in potentially trading for Rangers third baseman Adrian Beltre. While Beltre’s bat would be a help, Morosi notes that the Phillies are just as interested in his professionalism for their otherwise young roster.
Beltre, 39, has been on the disabled list twice already this season due to calf injuries. When he’s been in the lineup, he has managed a .302/.357/.428 triple-slash line along with three home runs and 22 RBI in 182 plate appearances. Beltre is in the last year of his contract, earning $18 million, so he would be a rental for the Phillies.
Third base has been a problem for the Phillies. Their composite .699 OPS from their third basemen is 25th-best in baseball. Maikel Franco has seen the most time at third base, but Scott Kingery and J.P. Crawford (currently on the disabled list) have also seen time there. The Phillies are getting to a point where they may turn the page on Franco, who was once one of the organization’s top prospects. Kingery should see regular time at shortstop with Crawford on the disabled list, so adding a rental third baseman makes sense for the team as presently constructed. The Phillies have also been linked to Manny Machado, but it would make more sense for the club to pursue him in free agency rather than acquire him as a rental.