First baseman/right fielder Garrett Jones, previously reported as a player the Yankees wanted to acquire in the deal, was not part of the discussions, the source said.
It seems the Pirates prefer to assume more of Burnett’s salary rather than part with players from their organization. Burnett will earn $33 million over the next two years, the final seasons of a five-year, $82.5 million contract he signed before the 2009 season. The Pirates agreed to pay $10 million of the $33 million owed to Burnett, according to a CBS Sports report.
It seems to me that the Pirates are playing this one just about right: they don’t need Burnett because he carries quite a bit of inherent risk and Joe Blanton and John Lannan are also on the market (Burnett is undoubtedly the most talented of this trio, but I think he also presents a bit more risk of bottoming out). The Yankees, meanwhile, do need to get rid of Burnett’s salary. They’d like Jones, but if they don’t get him they can sign Johnny Damon or Raul Ibanez. They’d like a prospect, but they’re also the Yankees and they’re more concerned with the near future. If no one else is interested in Burnett, the Pirates have all of the power in this negotation and there’s no reason for them to buckle anywhere.