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Yankees 'optimistic' on A.J. deal

2/15/2012

I don't know if this qualifies as an update or not, but that Proverbial Source With Knowledge just told me the Yankees are "optimistic'' that a deal to send A.J. Burnett somewhere -- anywhere? -- will get done this week, although it may not be with the Pittsburgh Pirates after all.

According to the source, three teams are still active in the talks -- the Cleveland Indians, offering a swap of Travis Hafner's remaining $13 million deal for 2012 (he also has a club option for 2013 at $13 million) for Burnett's remaining two years and $33 million, are still in the hunt, as is another as-yet-unidentified team -- but the Angels, as reported here earlier, are almost certainly out unless they become part of a three-way deal. (Burnett will not play for a West Coast team because of his wife's fear of flying.)

The proposed Burnett-Hafner deal is intriguing because it would not only relieve the Yankees of a potential $17 million -- Hafner has a $2.75 million buyout for 2013 -- it would also provide the Yankees with the left-handed DH bat they are lacking as well as a backup first baseman to relieve Mark Teixeira.

There is still the tantalizing possibility, of course, that Burnett goes nowhere between now and Sunday, the day pitchers and catchers report to Yankees camp, lending the always welcome media circus atmosphere to George M. Steinbrenner Field.