Source: Burnett to the Pirates will happen

A.J. Burnett #34 of the New York Yankees

A.J. Burnett #34 of the New York Yankees walks off the mound after the sixth inning against the Los Angeles Angels at Yankee Stadium. (Aug. 9, 2011) (Credit: Jim McIsaac)

The Yankees and Pirates Monday continued to talk about A.J. Burnett, and though a deal wasn't imminent, a source said the prevailing feeling is that one will get done before pitchers and catchers report Sunday.

Burnett has two years and $33 million left on his five-year, $82.5-million contract, and the primary obstacle to a trade is how much of the $33 million each team will pay. The most common figure publicly floated has the Pirates paying $10 million, but a source with knowledge of the Yankees' thinking has consistently said, "10 million isn't going to get it done."

The alternative, the source said, is that if the Yankees do agree to pay a figure like $23 million, they will have to receive better players than the Pirates are offering.

The Pirates, who desire a veteran for their young rotation, have looked at other trade options -- such as the Nationals' John Lannan, a Long Beach product and Chaminade High School graduate -- but the thought is that an agreement will be reached with the Yankees.

At the Yankees' minor-league complex in Tampa, Phil Hughes and Derek Jeter said they weren't paying attention to it.

Hughes, in line to battle Burnett and Freddy Garcia for the fifth starter's job, said "even if there were five guys for five spots" instead of the current logjam, his approach still would be that he needs to prove himself.

Jeter said experience has taught him to to avoid making assumptions based on the latest talk. "I learned a long time ago, show up at spring training, read the name tags and you move on," he said. "If you paid attention to all the rumors that went around with our organization, I think you'd drive yourself crazy. I just try to stay away from it."

advertisement | advertise on newsday

Baseball videos

advertisement | advertise on newsday