But, as is normally the case for a player set to bank as much as the Yankees still owe Burnett, deciding on a ratio of who will pay what has driven talks into a stalemate. The two teams seem unable to agree on how much each should pay of the $33 million left on AJ's contract. And today, another team made things more interesting, momentarily.
Bryan Hoch of yankees.com reported this afternoon that the Cleveland Indians were in talks with the Yankees on a possible trade for Burnett as early as today. However, the discussions fell through. As per Hoch, CBS Sports claimed the Yankees would have acquired slugger Travis Hafner. Makes some sense, as Hafner has a quality the Yankees are looking for in a potential DH: left-handed power.
But the deal was never made and talks have ceased. No word yet on why or on which side pulled out.
Unless another team decides at the last hour that perhaps their lineup could benefit from Burnett's fastball and changeup, it seems that either the Pirates or the Yankees will end up with him on their roster. It's common for teams to jump into trade talks at the last minute, but there may not be many teams left where a trade for Burnett would make sense, I'm assuming, since there has been no talk of the Yankees aggressively looking elsewhere.
Hafner might not have been a great option for the Yankees anyway. He is injury-prone, and hasn't played so much as 120 games in four seasons. His last great season was in 2006, where he managed 42 home runs and 117 RBIs, and slugged to a .659 percentage. Those numbers have dropped dramatically since then.
Follow Rasheeda Cooper on twitter: @ra_cooper