According to the New York Daily News, the Yankees are refusing to go so far as to offer free agent hurler A.J. Burnett the 5-year deal he is seeking. Burnett’s agent, Darek Braunecker, is determined to fetch his client a long term deal and the Yankees and Red Sox were believed to be the most likely destination considering the lofty contract demand. Given Burnett’s injury history, and the fact that his only two healthy seasons were contract years; it is likely that the services of Derek Lowe would be more appealing to both New York and Boston. The Yankees still have their offer on the table for C.C. Sabathia as well.
Toronto is looking more and more like the most logical destination for A.J. Burnett. There is a lot of uncertainty surrounding the Blue Jays’ starting rotation for next season as Shaun Marcum is already lost for the season with Tommy John surgery, and Dustin McGowan will be coming back from shoulder surgery. That leaves just Roy Halladay, who works as hard as 3 men anyway, Jesse Litsch, and the unreliable David Purcey as their returning starters. Burnett had the best year of his career last season with the Blue Jays, and while it may be ludicrous to think he would be healthy for the duration of a 5-year deal, he does provide some stability to a team with a window of opportunity that is becoming foggy.
General Manager J.P. Ricciardi’s job will be on the line if this team fails to improve.