Saturday, February 18, 2012
A.J. deal may not be final until Tuesday
The Yankees and Pirates are in full agreement on the terms of the A.J. Burnett deal, but they still need the approval of Big Brother Bud Selig before Burnett officially becomes a Buc. That approval was not given Friday night -- the deal was finalized too late in the day for that -- and a source deeply involved in the negotiations told me last night that the official Selig Stamp of Approval would probably not come before Monday afternoon or perhaps Tuesday.
The reason is the Commissioner's office, which must approve all deals in which large amounts of cash are involved, will wait until Burnett passes his Pirates physical, which he will take Sunday morning at their training camp in Bradenton. The results generally take a day or so to come in.
Odds are Burnett will pass -- he made 98 starts in three seasons as a Yankee and threw an average of 195 pain-free, for him anyway, innings per year -- but there is always the chance that he won't. (Think Hideki Okajima.)
In any event, Burnett will not be in Yankees camp when pitchers and catchers report Sunday morning and is, for all intents and purposes, a Pittsburgh Pirate. But it won't be official for a couple more days yet.