Palestinian-Israeli hostage swaps have gone more smoothly and been resolved faster than the Yankees-Pirates negotiations for A.J. Burnett.
Are the Yankees stunned that the Pirates haven’t surrendered to their will as they have in the past? Or are they waiting them out and hoping that the Pirates front office—not known for their strategic brilliance—panics and maximizes the offer.
The Pirates should turn the tables and wait the Yankees out this time; let them sift through the other calls they’re getting, see how much money each suitor is willing to absorb and what prospects they’ll give. Eventually, the Pirates will probably be the last team standing. And if not, so what? They’ll have lost out on A.J. Burnett, not Tim Lincecum.
A truly smart (and prospectively funny) tactic for the Pirates would be to acquire Burnett and a chunk of Yankee Money (it’s like real money, only entitled, arrogant and bullying with a picture of George Steinbrenner in various poses on each bill), then hope Burnett is pitching well by mid-season and dangle him to the Red Sox, Blue Jays, Tigers, Rays or Indians, get a couple of better prospects and watch the Bronx burn as the Yankees are paying Burnett to pitch against them.
Knowing Burnett, he’ll probably pitch well against the Yankees and hurt them as much as an opponent as he did while a member of the team.
Now that’s smart business and it’s entertaining too!