Burnett nixes swap for Angels' Abreu
Yankees right-hander uses no-trade clause to reject deal
ANAHEIM -- The Angels and Yankees had the parameters in place for a deal that would've swapped designated hitter Bobby Abreu for starter A.J. Burnett, but talks broke down once Burnett utilized his limited no-trade clause, industry sources confirmed to MLB.com.
The proposed trade essentially involved both teams dealing expensive players who no longer had a fit -- the Yanks have two other pitchers vying for the fifth spot in their rotation, and the Halos have multiple options at DH now that Albert Pujols is on board.
Abreu is owed $9 million in the final year of his contract and Burnett has a total of $33 million left in the final two seasons of his deal. It's unclear how much of Burnett's salary the Yankees were willing to absorb, but a source said it was a "significant portion," and that the Angels wouldn't have been responsible for paying Burnett anything until 2013.
The deal made sense for the Yanks because they could swap Burnett for Abreu, who would return to the Bronx as a lefty-hitting option at DH, and save some money on the back end of Burnett's deal. It made sense for the Halos because they would've kept the same payroll for 2012, while trading a DH they don't need for someone who would've taken over the fifth spot of their rotation.
But the Angels were one of the teams on Burnett's no-trade list, and reports out of New York said the enigmatic right-hander declined to move west because his wife is afraid of flying. The Yankees, according to various publications, are still trying to work out a deal with the Pirates.
A durable pitcher with still an electric arm, Burnett has struggled to translate his talents into Major League success over the last two years, posting a 5.20 ERA in 377 regular-season innings over that span. Abreu, who turns 38 in March, is coming off the worst season of his career in 2011, one that saw him bat .253 with eight home runs.
Alden Gonzalez is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his columns and his blog, Gonzo and "The Show", and follow him on Twitter @Alden_Gonzalez. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.