Some various AL East rumblings:
-It appears Manny Ramirez might have lost one suitor from the original ‘Jays, A’s and Orioles’ group as it does not appears the Orioles are interested anymore.
-A’s scouts saw Ramirez work out recently and they’re interested, ESPN.com’s Buster Olney confirms (Twitter link). A final decision on whether to try to sign him is expected within the next week.
The A’s continue pursuing Manny Ramirez and they’re much more interested in him than Magglio Ordonez. Ordonez’s health is more of a concern, Slusser writes. Signing Ramirez would be the last thing the A’s do before starting Spring Training, and a deal could be reached after camp opens.
Analysis: It is hard to say whether the Jays are serious about adding Manny Ramirez or if they were used as the “other” team by Manny’s agents to create a market given the Jays team policy of not commenting on interest in a player one way or another.
-Amazingly the New York Yankees might find a suitor for SP A.J. Burnett as they continue discussions with the Pittsburgh Pirates.
From Ben Nicholson-Smith at MLB Trade Rumours:
4:14pm: The Yankees are telling the Pirates that absorbing $10MM isn’t enough, Joel Sherman of the New York Post tweets.
3:47pm: The Pirates appear to be willing to absorb $10MM in a trade, Heyman tweets. The Yankees have been pushing for an even split and seek an OK prospect in return. Heyman tweets that the chances of a deal remain “decent.” The clubs are talking, but aren’t close to a deal, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports tweets. The Pirates are also looking at other starters.
12:34pm: There seems to be a fair amount of optimism about a deal, Heyman tweets.
10:28am: The Pirates haven’t yet offered to pay $10MM of the $33MM remaining on Burnett’s contract, Heyman tweets.
7:57am: The Yankees and Pirates continue discussing a possible A.J. Burnett trade, Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com reports. The Yankees are willing to pay a substantial portion of the $33MM remaining on the right-hander’s contract through 2013, but the teams are still a few million apart. The Yankees first asked the Pirates to pay well over $11MM, Heyman writes.
The Yankees want to create payroll room for a designated hitter and appear to be leaning toward Raul Ibanez, perhaps because they prefer his ability to play the outfield. Johnny Damon and Eric Chavez also intrigue the Yankees as possible free agent additions, according to Heyman. The Pirates rejected the Yankees’ request for Garrett Jones, Heyman writes.
Joel Sherman of the New York Post reports that Burnett’s no-trade list includes all of the teams on the West Coast (Twitter links). Sherman expects the Yankees to trade Burnett before Spring Training and suggests the team is waiting to see if the Pirates or another club offers to absorb more money.