Thursday, February 16, 2012

Yankees Set Deadline for Burnett Trade

Mike Carlson/AP
So the latest on the AJ Burnett trade saga, is that the Yankees have now set a deadline for interested teams to accept an offer: make something happen on Burnett by noon Saturday!

Smart move by the Yankees. Not only does this put pressure on teams that want Burnett to not waste more time haggling over money and players, it also avoids the Yankees having to deal with questions on Burnett during Spring Training. It's a distraction that would irritate Joe Girardi, Larry Rothschild, the players and most importantly, Burnett.

So it will be interesting to see who steps up and whisks him away. According to this article by ESPNNewYork's Wallace Matthews, the Yankees were reportedly in talks with the Angels about trading Burnett for Bobby Abreu, a move that I would have absolutely loved. But, AJ used his no-trade clause to block it. Apparently, he is not a fan of playing on the West coast, and his wife is afraid to fly.

There is also word of a "mystery team" that the Yankees are talking to. Such teams always to seem to appear from nowhere at the 11th hour, and normally walk away the victor. Think the Phillies for Cliff Lee; the Angels for Albert Pujols; the Yankees for Alex Rodriguez (heh, heh!), etc.

But in the midst of getting caiught up in all the craziness surrounding this trade, I also find myself feeling very sympathetic for Burnett. I really like him, and was one of the Yankees biggest cheerleaders when they decided to bring him to New York. He hasn't been everythig that this team has needed, but he has had his moments. Particularly Game 2 of the 2009 World Series where he completely shut down the Phillies. And when his changeup and fastball are on, he's one of the best out there. It must be rough for Burnett to sit back helplessly and watch his team fervently scramble to get rid of him. I personally wish him well; I think that it would be a better situation for him to go to a team where he's guaranteed a starting role, and could probably fit somewhere 3rd or 4th in a rotation.

And please, don't forget to check out Bomber Boulevard's first Fan Poll at the top right. What do you think will be the Yankees biggest story this year? The poll remains open until February 29 at 11pm.

Follow Rasheeda Cooper on twitter: @ra_cooper

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