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Wednesday, February 15, 2012
The latest on A.J.: It's all about the dough


In this most recent edition of The Hourly A.J., the sage of the ongoing efforts to relocate Allan James Burnett to Pittsburgh, we learn that the Yankees and Pirates are still stuck where they were yesterday, anywhere from between $3 million and $5 million apart on how much of the remaining $33 million on Burnett's contract the Pirates should assume.

According to the proverbial "source with a knowledge of the negotiations,'' the Pirates are holding fast to only taking on $10 million of Burnett's salary, not a bad deal when you consider they would be a getting a guy who throws close to 200 innings a year -- not saying they're good innings -- for $5 million per, while the Yankees are looking for between $13M-$15M. At that level, the Yankees expect any prospects they receive in the deal to be "marginal'' at best.

"It ain't rocket science,'' the source said. "The Pirates know what the number is. Now either they hit the number, or AJ's in Tampa on Sunday.''

The Yankees' aim, of course, is to have this thing done before pitchers and catchers report on Sunday, and to that end, as my colleague Andrew Marchand correctly speculated yesterday, the Yankees tried hard to sell Burnett on the L.A. Angels, one of the teams on his no-trade list, with the argument that he woulde automatically be the No. 5 starter on a team that is sure to contend this season. The ulterior motive for the Yankees was that they would have gotten Bobby Abreu, Part II, in return, filling their vacancy for a left-handed DH. Burnett, however, rejected the pitch due to his wife's fear of flying.

So that's where we are at this moment, approximately 11:30 AM on February 15, 2012. Pittsburgh or bust.