LAS VEGAS -- The expectation is, with CC Sabathia now off the board, the path is cleared for other pitchers to begin signing. And right-hander A.J. Burnett is in prime position to move quickly.
"It's hard to say," Darek Braunecker, Burnett's agent, said here Wednesday afternoon. "Obviously, that's kind of an important piece to determine what the market will bear and who remains in the mix and where the money could be headed. It's probably beneficial."
With the average annual value (AAV) of the Sabathia contract just under $23 million a year, Burnett and Derek Lowe, among others would slot in accordingly.
Meantime, even though the Yankees bumped the deal up to seven years and just over $160 million from six years and $140 million, the AAV is less. In the six-year offer, it was $23.3 million.
What does that mean? Well, for one thing, the Yankees, according to sources, remain interested in signing two more starting pitchers even after bagging Sabathia. And their resources still seem strong. The Yankees told Braunecker that Sabathia was completely separate from Burnett, and that one was not related to the other in negotiatons.
"We've known all along that they intended to sign CC and another pitcher," Braunecker said. "The deals were always independent of each other."
Meantime, Atlanta is far down the path in talks with the right-hander.
Could there be a resolution with Burnett by, say, the end of the day today?
"Anything is possible if the right deal presents itself," Braunecker said.
Still, as of midafternoon local time Wednesday, nothing was imminent. Braunecker had meeting scheduled for much of the remainder of the day.