On Saturday it looked like a done deal that we would be spending this week talking about A.J. Burnett only in past terms. And yet here we are two days later, not only with the trade not being completed with the Pirates but with more potential trade partners coming to light. The Yankees find themselves in a situation where they have options and at the moment it certainly seems like they are willing to weigh them. So where do we stand? Let's check what's behind Door # 1:
Behind Door #1 is the scenario that still seems most likely to happen- the Yankees and Pirates completing a trade. Garrett Jones is off the table, now replaced by one or two "blah"-level prospects, and the money has gone from the Pirates picking up $8-10 million on A.J. to somewhere between $13-15 mil, according to the Hey Man. That won't help the Yankees fill any DH gaps directly, but is about the best they could expect to get from a trade partner willing to take on that much money. And with the "framework" for any deal already being in place with Pittsburgh, there aren't as many details to hash through, which is helpful when you're trying to get things done in a timely fashion before pitchers and catchers report.
And what do we have behind Door #2?
Behind here we find the Cleveland Indians, a new interested party that was introduced today by Hey Man. Initial rumors centered around the possibility of a Burnett-for-Travis Hafner swap, but that would have been complicated with serious money still owed to both, and a report this afternoon from Bryan Hoch put the kibosh on that anyway. If the Indians are serious, they could start talking money to keep the Yankees interested (hey, it never fails me with the ladies). But they have a lot of work to do to catch up to Pittsburgh.
Lastly, let's check out what's behind Door #3
Behind here we have the very unattractive option of not trading A.J., keeping him on the roster, and heading into the opening of camp next with a big, dreary cloud of A.J. drama hanging over everything. I'm sure everybody will do their best to go about their business and be professionals, but that's just not a scenario that benefits the Yankees in any way. Nobody needs outside distractions while they're trying to get back into the swing of things, literally and figuratively. Especially not for a guy who would be emergency rotation fodder and could probably be outperformed in that role by guys like David Phelps and Adam Warren.
There have been enough reports out for a long enough amount of time for everybody to know that you're not just dipping your toe in the pool on this one, Cash, but that you're really trying to move this guy. So just pull the fucking trigger already and get it done. You aren't going to get your new DH back in any deal, and you'll take enough money off your hands to still make this a win for you. Just pick two scrubs from Pittsburgh, get them to settle on a number they want to pay, and get this thing done so we can all move on with our lives.