Originally written on Raise the Jolly Roger!  |  Last updated 2/8/12

There’s been some speculation today about the Pirates and Yankees pitcher A.J. Burnett, and Ken Rosenthal confirmed that the Bucs have been in talks about the struggling flamethrower. He also notes, however, that “those conversations failed to progress and perhaps qualified only as due diligence, major-league sources said.”

Trading Burnett would be a great way for the Pirates to possibly improve their rotation while adding salary. The Yankees are just trying to get rid of him at this point, but he’s owed a whopping $16.5 million this year and next year – and he hasn’t pitched well at all in New York. However, Burnett has potentially dominant stuff and a move out of the AL East and into a much less pressure-filled environment in Pittsburgh could be enough to make him a useful piece of a rotation.

It’s tough to figure how such a deal could happen, though. Rosenthal said the talks don’t seem to have made much progress, and while the Yankees will be willing to pay some of the giant salary, the Bucs will have to take on some as well and send the Yanks something worthwhile. Garrett Jones‘ name has come up – that seems to me like a relatively fair swap if the Yanks pay the majority of Burnett’s salary, but it would leave the Bucs with an even bigger hole at first base.

Stay tuned.

©2012 Raise the Jolly Roger. All Rights Reserved.

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