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MLB Hot Stove- Further Burnett Rumors and Over-the-Hill Players Edition

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The proposed A.J. to the Pirates deal has been well-chronicled by Pinstripe Alley, and we will continue to bring you any breaking news we hear (and encourage you to Fanshot it if you see something first!). Four teams are supposedly interested in acquiring A.J. with the Yankees paying most of his salary, and Buster Olney has confirmed that Pittsburgh "is the clear frontrunner." As one person tweeted to him, Olney is "the first person to use Pittsburgh and front runner in the same sentence in over twenty years." Justin Bopp at MLB Daily Dish attempted to analyze how much A.J. Burnett is worth over the next two years. Also don't worry, amateur sports psychiatrists of the world, Burnett does not seem to be perturbed about the rumors.

There is a rumor going around that a player (not Garrett Jones) the Yankees could be getting back in return is RHP Nick Kingham, a 20-year old who was their 4th round pick in the 2010 draft and was ranked by as Pittsburgh's #12 prospect. Kingham had an impressive 2.15 ERA, 3.51 FIP, and 1.9 BB/9 in 15 starts last year with the low-A State College Spikes. We'll see what happens as the day goes on, although it doesn't seem like a deal is getting done today. It certainly seems like something will happen in the next few days.

The New York Times published a good off-season summary for those of you who have avoided baseball since the Yankees lost to Detroit in the ALDS. Most people know about the Albert Pujols & Prince Fielder signings as well as the Montero/Pineda trade, but did you realize that seven teams have switched general managers? Changing GMs is a big organizational move, and it's remarkable that so many teams have done so.

The Texas Rangers have had a quiet offseason other than the posting and subsequent signing of Yu Darvish (~$111.7 million), but that deal was quite costly and after re-signing Mike Napoli to a $9.4 million deal to avoid arbitration, GM Jon Daniels says that the team is "more than likely" done. If so, that would put the team out of the bidding for Roy Oswalt, who will then probably have to choose between signing with Boston (where he doesn't want to play despite their need) or St. Louis (where they will only sign him on their terms). My guess is St. Louis since Oswalt seems like a guy who hasn't blown the $91 million he's made in the big leagues and would take the slight financial hit to pitch in a place that he likes.

The Marlins and already-Hall of Famer Yoenis Cespedes (whose name MLB immediately spelled wrong [I think] in its report) are getting closer toward a deal; I would be stunned if he ended up anywhere other than Miami since there doesn't seem to be as much interest in him as initially thought. His less-than-impressive 5 for 35 performance with 10 strikeouts in the Dominican Winter League might have had something to do with that, but it is a small sample size and it was his first competitive action since last March.

Meanwhile, in Australia... the Perth Heat, whose pitching coach is former Yankee Graeme Lloyd, won their second consecutive ABL championship with a 13-inning win over the Jet Couriers Melbourne Aces (yes, they are sponsored by a transportation service that doesn't even have a Wikipedia page... Lolstralia). There are apparently 79 Australians in major & minor league baseball, so it's great to see that the country's interest is growing.

South Korean baseballs trained in Arizona for the fist time, a move that will hopefully lead to more South Koreans joining the big leagues and surrendering dramatic homers in the World Series to the Yankees. But seriously, it's good to see MLB going global.

In "Where Are They Now" news, Scott Kazmir has announced that he will throw for scouts in Houston on Wednesday. It's really a shame that his arm was torn to pieces, but I am still positive that the Mets would've rather had his good years than Victor Zambrano, who hasn't even pitched in the big leagues since Kazmir was good.

Finally, a question from me to the community- are you a little surprised that the Yankees haven't held a press conference to announce the Pineda trade & Kuroda signing? Does anyone have any guesses as to why that is? They usually do these after they make a big move.