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Travis Hafner is due $13 million in 2012 and a $2.75 million buyout in 2013.
AJ Burnett, on the other hand, is due $33 million over the next two seasons.
If the Yankees trade Burnett for Hafner they will clear his entire $16.5 million salary in 2013 off the books.
AJ Burnett, Hiroki Kuroda, Freddy Garcia, Russell Martin, Nick Swisher and Mariano Rivera will all be coming off the books next offseason, as well. Assuming the Yankees' re-sign Rivera, Swisher and Martin, that frees up about $25 million that can be used to sign a frontline starter like Cole Hamels or Matt Cain.
They both have pitched in the World Series, so they should be able to handle New York, but Cain has had the luxury to pitch in the NL West in AT&T Park for his entire career.
In 2011, Hamels had a lower ERA, lower WHIP, higher strikeout rate, less walks and a lower BAA.
A rotation of CC Sabathia, Cole Hamels, Ivan Nova, Michael Pineda and Manny Banuelos would be arguably the best in the majors.