NY Yankees: Trade Talks for A.J. Burnett to Cleveland Indians Fall Through

Bill Ford@billfordwritesCorrespondent IIIFebruary 15, 2012

DETROIT, MI - OCTOBER 04:  A J Burnett #34 of the New York Yankees pitches in the sixth inning during Game Four of the American League Divison Series against the Detroit Tigers at Comerica Park on October 4, 2011 in Detroit, Michigan. The Yankees defeated the Tigers 10-1.  (Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images)
Leon Halip/Getty Images

Discussions to trade New York Yankees right-handed starting pitcher A.J. Burnett to the Cleveland Indians have come to an end.

The Indians briefly expressed an interest in Burnett, but their interest quickly faded away.

The Yankees were interested in trading Burnett to the Indians for Travis Hafner, but the short-lived talks produced nothing for either ball club.

Burnett has a no-trade clause which allows him to veto and block any potential trade to a West Coast ball club, and he exercised that right to block a trade to the Angels.

Since the interest in Cleveland has faded, that leads the focus back to the Pittsburgh Pirates. Pitchers and catchers report to spring training on Sunday and the Yankees want to complete a deal by then.

Burnett is owed $33 million through the 2013 season, according to his current contract. The Yankees want Pittsburgh to take on $12 million of that, or take a little less and add a couple of their prospects in the deal.

So far, the Pirates have not made an offer that the Yankees are interested in or find acceptable, but both teams seem to be confident that they can negotiate a mutually beneficial trade.

The Yankees need a new designated hitter and appear to have held off acquiring a DH until the trade for Burnett has been settled.

There are some quality free agents on the market who can fill the DH role, such as Johnny Damon, Hideki Matsui and Raul Ibanez, but NY intends to resolve trading Burnett first.

When Brian Cashman traded Jesus Montero for Michael Pineda and then signed Hiroki Kiruda, it paved the way to begin discussions about unloading Burnett since the Yankees no longer need him.

Negotiations will likely continue with Pittsburgh for the remainder of the week and it sounds as though A.J. Burnett may be out of pinstripes by the weekend.