There hasn't been a whole lot of A.J. trade chatter lately, although that may be an option that the Yankees are still open to and even pursuing behind the scenes. But with the Cubs moving Carlos Zambrano to the Marlins last night, and eating a hefty chunk of his remaining salary in the process, the likelihood that the Yankees actually move A.J. now is slim to none.
The Yankees opening bid for what they were willing to pick up on A.J.'s remaining salary was $8 million. That's a decent chunk, but still not nearly enough out of the $33 mil that he's owed for teams to be willing to take him off Cash's hands. For the sake of comparison, the Cubs are picking up $15.5 mil of Zambrano's remaining 18, or 86.11%. That same percentage of the balance of A.J.'s contract would be $28.42 million, a figure much too rich for the Yankees' cost-saving blood. For that kind of money, they might as well keep him on the team and pay him to at least eat innings.
Then there's the pesky little 2nd year still remaining on A.J.'s contract. Zambrano, psychotic as he is, represents a smaller risk for the Marlins because if he goes off the reservation again, at least they know they're done with him after the season. Any team willing to take on A.J., regardless of what the Yankees agree to pick up money-wise, is stuck with him for another year. And with the way he's pitched, that's not an ideal situation to be in.
A.J. being traded was probably never actually going to happen, although I would have been the first one to celebrate and suggest a parade through the Canyon of Heroes if it did. But with the precedent set by the Zambrano trade yesterday, any slight chance that something could be done was definitely killed. And that means we can all really start to prepare ourselves for another season of this guy:
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