12/09/08 6:26 PM EST
Agent: Burnett unlikely to sign in Vegas
Pitcher's rep confirms client remains interested in joining Braves
By Mark Bowman / MLB.com
There has long been speculation that Burnett won't sign until after CC Sabathia chooses his next employer. But Braunecker said that isn't necessarily true. In addition, he added that it's "unlikely" that Burnett will sign before the Winter Meetings conclude on Thursday.
"None of this is contingent on what CC or anybody else does," Braunecker said. "If the right deal presents itself from the right club, we'll be prepared to act."
Braunecker provided this information while addressing a small group of reporters after meeting with Braves general manager Frank Wren. Last week, the Braves offered Braunecker a four-year contract with a vesting option for a fifth season.
The Yankees met with Braunecker late Monday night, and there have been reports that they are willing to trump the four-year, $60 million offer the Braves reportedly made.
Braunecker didn't confirm this belief and he provided no indication that the Braves have improved their offer. But he did reiterate that his client is still interested about the prospect of pitching in Atlanta.
"There is mutual interest," Braunecker said. "We are maintaining the dialogue that we've had over the past week."
Braunecker said that he still considers at least six clubs to be viable suitors for Burnett. But he once again said that group hasn't necessarily stayed the same over the course of the past few days and weeks.
"One club was eliminated [Monday] and another club has presented itself that we anticipated at some point would kind of jump into this," Braunecker said. "I'm really not going to comment on who that club is. There's speculation out there on who it might be. We're anticipating something additionally may happen today with another club that's at least kind of kept a toe in the water.
"Their interest is contingent on something else that they've got working. If that falls apart, we anticipate them coming in and probably making this a really interesting situation over the next 24 hours. It might not happen. It might not materialize."
When asked about whether the Cardinals have shown interest, Braunecker chose not to comment.
"I'm not going to comment on the Cardinals at this point," Braunecker said. "I'll be prepared to do that maybe [Wednesday]. There has been mutual interest in the past. I would say that that remains the case, but in terms of at what level it's at right now, I can't really characterize it fairly to you guys. I'll probably be able to do that in the next day."
Mark Bowman is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.