Too Far To Fail?

As we enter day 46 of the AJ Burnett trade talks, I wonder about two things. First, have we reached the point of no return? Specifically, could AJ show up at Yankees camp and be productive? Second, how did these talks become so public in the first place?

The first question is the key one to me because I do worry that the Yankees have backed themselves into a corner here. AJ has never been what you would call a mentally tough player. Through the years, the most popular comparison for him among commentators to this website has been Nuke LaLoosh. In many ways it is the perfect comparison (million dollar arm/five cent head) because the frustrating thing about watching AJ is how little he gets out of so much talent. So, what exactly happens if the trade falls through and he returns to the Bronx? Clearly he knows he wasn’t wanted, how would that affect him?

And that brings me to my second question, how did all of this become so public? One of the characteristics of the Yankees in recent years has been silence surrounding their intentions. Look at the last trade they pulled off, did anyone and I mean anyone attach the Yankees to Pineda before that trade? Yet this potential trade has been all over the internet. My only conclusion is that the Pirates are the ones leaking it.

Think about it from a Pittsburgh standpoint and it makes all the sense in the world. They know AJ will be hurt by this and they know that the public nature of these discussions will ramp up the pressure on the Yankees to do a deal. Pittsburgh seems pretty content to offer $10 million in compensation and nothing in the way of prospects because they know the Yankees are stuck between a rock and a hard place on this deal.

I imagine this will all be resolved soon. The Yankees will pull the trigger on some deal, most likely Pittsburgh’s, before camp opens on Sunday. They don’t want to have AJ show up to camp and face a million questions about how he feels about almost being traded. What will be interesting to watch is the next time they make a deal with Pittsburgh. If my suspicions about the leak on this trade are true, we may be waiting awhile.