The latest update in the Yankees' winter long attempt to trade A.J. Burnett has the Bronx Bombers balking at the Pirates offer to pick up $10 million of the remaining $33 million on his contract. It was also reported that Pittsburgh rebuffed the Yankees request to have lefty first baseman/outfielder Garrett Jones included in the deal, but despite the obstacles, the two sides are said to be maintaining an open dialogue. In the meantime, Burnett has reportedly made peace with the likelihood he will soon be traded.
Keith Law released his annual organizational and top prospect rankings, which drew the typical chorus of cheers and dissents. Instead of critiquing his assessment, however, I broke down the composition of his selections and examined how the former Blue Jays executive and current ESPN analyst has ranked each organization in the past.
RAB capped off a retro-look at Yankees transactions from the 1980s, including some odd deals from the decade. If not for all the wheeling and dealing, the Yankees, who struggled to cobble together a viable rotation during the period, could have had a very formidable starting staff.
The Orioles signed former Yankees' reliever Luis Ayala. In 56 innings last season, the right hander posted an impressive ERA+ of 212 and bWAR of 1.4, which each ranked third in the Yankees' bullpen.
Joba Chamberlain keeps making progress on the comeback trail. On Friday, the right hander, who is recovering from Tommy John surgery, threw 15 pitches from a five-inch mound, his second such session over the past week.
Contrary to popular belief, Spring Training doesn't start when pitchers and catchers report. It begins when the equipment truck departs for Florida or Arizona.