Print and Go Back ESPN.com: New York Yankees [Print without images]

Tuesday, January 31, 2012
Exec: Why the Yanks can't trade A.J.

By Andrew Marchand

He stinks!

I can hear, you all, in chorus.

Got it, but that is not where we are going here.

I spoke to an MLB GM who explained the problem in trying to trade A.J. Burnett at the present time.

1. He is viewed as an erratic, back of the rotation type guy, who has a reputation for accountability-issues
2. Even if the Yankees picked up $22M of the $33M, there may not be any takers
3. If a team wanted to spend that type of dough, they could've signed a guy like Joe Saunders (1-year, $6M)
4. Most teams have already spent their money for the year so they don't have $8-to-$10M laying around

So, when you look at it, this is why Burnett will likely be in camp in three weeks. Now, I'm not saying it is impossible that Burnett is traded, it is just the Yankees are basically going to have to pick up so much of the tab they may not think it is worth it. Plus, I believe he will get a chance to compete with Phil Hughes and Freddy Garcia for the fifth spot.