A couple reports in the wee hours Friday indicate that the trade of Yankees pitcher A.J. Burnett to the Pirates is likely to finally be completed soon. First, Jon Heyman:
barring something unforeseen, aj trade will be completed w/i a few days. pirates to pay $13M of $33M, give up 2 non-roster minor leaguers
Dejan Kovacevic's Friday column tells a similar story:
This is how the trade will go: The Yankees will cover roughly $20 million of the $33 million Burnett is owed over the final two seasons of his contract. The Pirates will cover the other $13 million. And because they'll cover so much, they'll part with no more than a couple of Class A prospects, neither among the system's best.
Kovacevic also praises the Pirates for playing hardball with the Yankees and refusing to give up better minor-league talent or a major-leaguer like Garrett Jones.
Assuming the deal does go down, the Pirates will get a nice upgrade in their rotation. Burnett struggled last season with the Yankees, but he's a good rebound candidate due to the difference in parks (the Yankees' park is homer-happy; PNC Park is not), leagues, and divisions.
For more on the Pirates, check out Bucs Dugout.