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Saturday reading: Alex Rodriguez, A.J. Burnett, Dan Haren and Jason Bay

 At last night's Yankees game, I wrote about Alex Rodriguez, and how the fans seemed to be enjoying his quest for 600 career home runs last night. I admittedly am tired of the meme that casts A-Rod as some horrible sinner. I think most people are.

From A.J. Burnett's standpoint, the rain delay worked out quite well. He got in a sharp five innings, enough for the victory, and then the storm pulled him out. He'll be fine. Or, to be more precise, he'll be him. He'll start more fires, but as long as he still has his stuff, he's worth having around.

(But when he loses his stuff? It'll be ugly.)

--Here's our Yankees notebook, leading with the Yankees' pursuit of Dan Haren. This'll be an interesting one. If the Yankees pull the trigger on Haren, it will result in part from the Diamondbacks' urgency to unload Haren . But it also will speak to just how concerned the Yankees are about their rotation, now and moving forward.

If they traded for Haren and then signed Cliff Lee this winter to, say, a five-year, $110-million contract, here's what next year's rotation would look like from a payroll standpoint:

1. CC Sabathia, $23 million.

2. Lee, $22 million. 

3. Burnett, $16.5 million.

4. Haren, $12.75 million

5. Phil Hughes, who will be arbitration-eligible for the first time. Without exhaustive research, I'd guess a $3 million salary.

If this comes to fruition, does that mean the Yankees are forcing Andy Pettitte into retirement? And does it mean that they're not offering Javier Vazquez arbitration, out of fear that Vazquez  might accept? They acquired Vazquez last December with the notion that, on Vazquez's way out the door, they'd recoup one or two draft picks.

Interesting stuff. But for now, it's anything but imminent, and I believe (and intend to confirm) the reports this morning that Joba Chamberlain won't be part of the package for Haren.

--Kyle Davies pitches for the Royals today, and he'll try to avoid giving up A-Rod's 600th homer, after surrendering his 500th three years ago.

--The Mets won, finally, and Jason Bay won admiration with strong play on both sides of the ball. Speaking of which, how has Bay's defense, much discussed prior to the season, turned out?

According to UZR, Bay is at -1.8 for the season, which projects to -2.8 over 150 games. That's below average, but not horrible. To the naked eye? From what I've seen, Bay has OK range, and he generally makes the plays he can. He's sound fundamentally, at least in my amateur evaluation.

The Mets shuffled their lineup, with Angel Pagan hitting third. As I drove home, I listened to WFAN's Howie Rose and Wayne Hagin absolutely blister Pagan for bunting in the eighth inning, with men on first and second and none out. The move could be justified, as the Mets wound up breaking the game open with four runs, but still. You have to wonder about that thought process.

 --Big start today for Mike Pelfrey.

--Jim Baumbach is in Cooperstown this weekend, but Pete Rose isn't. Something tells me that not too many Hall of Famer will be heartbroken by this development. Jim also spoke with Paul Molitor and Gaylord Perry about A-Rod. I'l leave it to Bob Tufts to point out the irony there.

--A horrible Mariners season grew worse last night, as a scrum emerged in in the team's dugout. It resulted from Chone Figgins' laziness in not chasing after an errant outfield relay by Michael Saunders. If you see the replay, you'll see how awful it was. And Figgins is looking, so far, like an awful acquisition by Seattle.

--Jorge Posada recorded his 1,000th career RBI last night, and baseball-reference.com has a list of those who caught 1,000 games and drove home 1,000 runs. I found this on Twitter. Oh, Twitter, shall I compare thee to a Summer's day

--Have a great Summer's Day.

--UPDATE, 11:46 a.m.: Indeed, the reports are correct: Arizona wanted Joba Chamberlain, Ivan Nova and Zach McAllister and another prospect, in addition to taking on the roughly $33 million left on his deal. The Yankees didn't bite on that, so the saga goes on. It'll be an interesting week on the trade front with the Yankees. Perhaps not as much with the Mets.

UPDATE, 1:24 p.m.: Big news here from Yankee Stadium: I'm having a live chat Monday at 11.

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