It appears that three teams are in the midst of a bidding war for A.J. Burnett.
The Braves, Red Sox, and Yankees have all reportedly made offers to the fragile but gifted righthander, who is seeking a five-year deal in the neighborhood of $75M+.
One must wonder if the Yankees and Red Sox really want Burnett, or is this deja vu all over again — in other words, a repeat of the chase for Carl Pavano several years ago. Back then, it appeared that the Red Sox were bidding for Pavano to keep him away from the Yankees, and vice-versa. If the two deep-pocketed clubs are serious about Burnett, that’s bad news for the Braves, who will have a hard time out-bidding the big boys.
If the Bosox sign Burnett, they likely will not pursue Derek Lowe — who has expressed a preference to return to Beantown. Such a signing would also free Boston to trade one of their young starters for someone like Jarrod Saltalamacchia.
On the other hand, if Burnett signs with the Yankees, then there’s a better chance of Lowe returning to Boston, but still no guarantee.
In either case, the Braves would need to get creative about filling their rotation needs. My guess is they’d get back into talks with the Padres about Jake Peavy — if he isn’t already a Cub.
One thing is for sure — the Hot Stove is close to breaking, with one move likely to ignite another ten.