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Yankees-Indians are talking about an A.J. Burnett for Travis Hafner deal

Feb 14, 2012, 1:31 PM EDT

Travis Hafner AP

UPDATE:  The talks are dead.

1:31 PM: This is interesting. Jon Heyman is reporting that while there is still optimism that the Yankees will trade A.J. Burnett to Pittsburgh, the Angels and Indians have “checked in.”

The Angels are probably a non-starter because they are one of the teams named in Burnett’s limited no-trade clause — he wants to stay in the eastern part of the continent — but the Indians are intriguing. Mostly because of what Heyman says the clubs are talking about in a potential deal: the Indians shipping Travis Hafner to New York.

Now, Heyman says that the Indians are unsure they’d do such a deal — more on that below — but it certainly would be interesting from the Yankees perspective. Hafner is a much better option for the DH slot than some of the other names being floated (Raul Ibanez, Johnny Damon). If they could snag Hafner, it would be a pretty big coup.

I can see why the Indians would balk, though. Apart from Hafner being better at he does than Burnett is at what he does, Hafner is only owned $15.75 million total by Cleveland, what with this year’s salary and the buyout of next year’s option.  Burnett is owed $33 million.  So, unless the Yankees were pitching in more money — which they’ve said they don’t want to do — Cleveland’s financial obligations would increase by a couple of million bucks, and they’d get the worse player in the deal.

So, yeah, don’t hold your breath, Yankees fans.

  1. yankeesgameday - Feb 14, 2012 at 1:33 PM

    Craig gives and then Craig takes away.

  2. phukyouk - Feb 14, 2012 at 1:37 PM


  3. SmackSaw - Feb 14, 2012 at 1:49 PM

    One part project. One part donkey. It would be a good trade for both teams.

  4. largebill - Feb 14, 2012 at 1:52 PM

    Makes no sense for Tribe. If Yankees picked up majority of Burnett’s salary it might not be too bad, but still they’d be left with Burnett.

  5. deathmonkey41 - Feb 14, 2012 at 1:52 PM

    I like turtles.

  6. cur68 - Feb 14, 2012 at 1:54 PM

    From: The AL East, Non-Yankees contingent.
    To: The Cleavland Indians

    Subject: AJB for Travis Hafner

    Dear Sirs &/or Madams,
    Are you out of your gourds? Things were approaching competitive in the AL East. You need Travis Hafner more than you need AJ Burnett. The AL East needs AJ Burnett more than it needs Travis Hafner. In no way, shape or form should Travis Hafner (who’s always reminded me of a very irritated Bruce Banner) be allowed to swing a bat in tiny little NYS for half his ABs. Under no circumstances should this trade take place, even if the Universe plans to pay ALL of Burnett’s salary. If this trade goes ahead, I shall become violently unstable and declare a blood feud on Yankeesfanlen and uyf1950. You’ve been warned,
    The Management of cur68’s id.

    • Francisco (FC) - Feb 14, 2012 at 1:59 PM

      violently unstable

      You keep using this phrase, I do not think it means what you think it means.

      • cur68 - Feb 14, 2012 at 2:10 PM

        Am I going MAD, or did the word “think” escape your keyboard? If Hafner joins us here in the AL East and is a Yankee I shall give a graphic demonstration of violently unstable. It is conceivable that I may even redefine the term such that it will be synonymous with my name. As in, “The crazy man went totally cur…”

      • paperlions - Feb 14, 2012 at 2:15 PM

        Actually, I don’t think it is conceivable….making it…inconceivable.

    • Jason @ IIATMS - Feb 14, 2012 at 3:26 PM

      as a Yanks fan, I loved this.

      +1 for an excellent rantification

  7. yettyskills - Feb 14, 2012 at 1:56 PM

    Why print Jon Heyman garbage?
    He has one source, the Yankees, and they use his to spread disinformation like a putz.
    You just wrote an article that by the end basically says, “nothing to read here”

  8. yettyskills - Feb 14, 2012 at 1:56 PM

    Why print Jon Heyman garbage?
    He has one source, the Yankees, and they use him to spread disinformation like a putz.
    You just wrote an article that by the end basically says, “nothing to read here”

  9. nekotman - Feb 14, 2012 at 1:57 PM

    Gotta go along with largebill. But just think! A tandem of AJ and Lowe would be

    mind blowing.! They could feed off one another’s losses!

  10. sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - Feb 14, 2012 at 2:07 PM

    Oakland has an outfield surplus and could use some pitching help. Perhaps AJ would waive his no-trade clause in exchange for the opportunity to rebuild his value in the place where home runs go to die.

  11. fordman84 - Feb 14, 2012 at 2:09 PM

    Sounds like CLE has been added to the mix to get a bigger package from PIT. Nothing new.

  12. cmb79 - Feb 14, 2012 at 2:12 PM

    I have more faith in Pronk remaining consistent then I do Burnett remaining consistent. There’s the whole inability of either guy. Finally, it doesn’t make a whole lot of financial sense from the Indians’ perspective.

  13. cmb79 - Feb 14, 2012 at 2:13 PM

    Take two: “Inability to stay healthy.” Whoops.

    • Jason @ IIATMS - Feb 14, 2012 at 3:25 PM

      That’d be a funny mistake but the mistake is on you. Burnett has been nothing (nearly literally, nothing) but an innings horse for the last four seasons, starting no less than 32 games in every season. Over those 4 years, he’s averaged (regular season only) 201 IP. Where does that say “unable to stay healthy”?

      Now, if you want to rewind further, sure. But recent track record indicates that he’s been immensely durable, smashing lockerroom doors and slicing hands as a result excluded.

      Pronk, OTOH, is the personification of “if healthy…”

  14. randygnyc - Feb 14, 2012 at 2:14 PM

    Dear Indians management,
    Please disregard the disgruntled, violent and jealous fans who don’t understand the specific minutiae required to run your particular organization. AJ is as good as gold outside of NY. Hafner promises to suffer staggering setbacks this year (I know someone, who had a friend, that had heard through our local mechanic that haffner looked terrible at the batting cages during Christmas vacation while babysitting his nieces and nephews). Make the trade, NOW. If you show some good faith, I’ll talk to some people I know and see if the Yankees will kick in 6 million towards the 33 million AJ is owed.


  15. sandpiperair - Feb 14, 2012 at 2:22 PM

    Why is everybody reacting as if Hafner is still a legitimate slugger? The guy’s only played in over 100 games once since 2007 (118 in 2010). In order to hit one over the short porch in right field, he’d actually have to be healthy and in the lineup. If the money weren’t an issue, the Indians would be getting the better of this deal.

    • phukyouk - Feb 14, 2012 at 2:54 PM

      “The guy’s only played in over 100 games once since 2007”

      good thing that as a platooning player he wouldnt have to play much more than that.

      • sandpiperair - Feb 14, 2012 at 4:11 PM

        Right. You’d be giving up a 200 IP starter for a platoon DH. Not a good deal for the Yankees.

    • phukyouk - Feb 14, 2012 at 4:39 PM

      so that we are clear… a used condom would be more useful than AJ.

  16. uyf1950 - Feb 14, 2012 at 2:24 PM

    …but would it make sense if the Yankees added say a player to the package to offset the additional cost for the Indians? There maybe more then one way to make this work. If there truly is some interest by both teams.

  17. pisano - Feb 14, 2012 at 2:37 PM

    Someone please just make some kind of offer to make this a trade to some team.( any team ) I can’t take another year of AJ Burnout in pinstripes.

  18. bigtrav425 - Feb 14, 2012 at 5:27 PM

    This trade makes ZERO sense for my Tribe.we already have a surplus of starters and lack hitting……unless he and other starters we going to be flipped to someone else for a bat or 2..outside of that deal doesnt happen

    • bigtrav425 - Feb 14, 2012 at 8:02 PM

      are going to be*

  19. buffalomafia - Feb 14, 2012 at 7:04 PM


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