Originally, New York was asking for Garret Jones, to fill their DH role and be an extra outfielder, but the Pirates refused to include him.
The Pirates are apparently going to take on $13-15 million of the $35 million owed to Burnett over the next two seasons.
If this deal goes through, both teams will be winners, in a way.
The small-market Pirates will land the talented veteran they are so desperate for, and the Yankees will get this monkey off their back. Sure, it will be difficult to pay Burnett around $20 million to leave, but probably not as difficult as it would be to pay him $35 million to stay and underperform, and clog up the rotation.
If this deal goes through, at least things will be become a little clearer for the rotation.
We already know C.C. Sabathia, Hiroki Kuroda, Michael Pineda and Ivan Nova are in the rotation. What we do not know, is who will take the fifth spot. As of today, it is down to Burnett, Freddy Garcia and Phil Hughes. Assuming this deal goes through, it will be left up to Hughes and Garcia, and I'd have to imagine the Yankee brass will make a strong push to give Hughes his last shot as a starter.
He'll likely land the job coming out of spring training, with Garcia taking the long relief role, although, he will be on a very short leash. If Hughes continues to underwhelm, he will see his role swapped with Garcia.
I was always a defender of A.J. I know he has talent, and at times he has shown it. But, in the pressure cooker that is the Bronx, you can't expect to keep on a job on what you can be, or what you were.
Regardless of what happens, best of luck to A.J., Phil and Freddy.