A.J. nixes the Angels
In the end, the most surprising thing about the Yankees’ discussions with the Angels concerning A.J. Burnett are that they went as far as they did.
MLB.com has learned that the Angels indeed talked to the Yankees about a deal that would have sent Burnett to Southern California in exchange for a second helping of Bobby Abreu in New York, but Burnett shot the deal down, invoking his partial no-trade clause. Abreu would have stepped in as the Yankees’ 2012 DH, but that’s obviously not going to happen now.
Burnett had that no-trade clause placed in his contract in part because his wife, Karen, dislikes flying and prefers to travel by car or rail from their Maryland home. It’s interesting, though, that the Yankees were apparently willing to pick up a large portion of Burnett’s contract while also adding the $9 million Abreu is owed for 2012. That could say something about the caliber of the package New York has been offered by the Pirates; thought to be talent that is not Major League ready.
There is still optimism that a deal can be reached with the Pirates. While Sunday isn’t necessarily a hard and fast deadline, it can’t help but create an awkward situation if Burnett winds up reporting to a club that clearly is intent upon moving him.