The Red Sox and Yankees find themselves apparently locked in battle for the services of … A.J. Burnett?
The Yankees still are preparing a formal offer for righthanded pitcher A.J. Burnett, a club official said yesterday, but the Red Sox have become serious competitors to land him.
The Red Sox's pursuit of Burnett complicates the Yankees' plans. A source close to Burnett said that a half-dozen teams are in contention for his services: the Yankees, Blue Jays, Red Sox, Braves, Phillies and Orioles. The Red Sox, the source said, have significantly increased their involvement in the pitcher in the past 36 hours and are now "fully engaged."
Update: Confirmation from the Daily News:
According to an industry source, Boston plans to be a major player for A.J. Burnett, one of the pitchers the Yankees are targeting along with CC Sabathia to bolster their starting rotation. Derek Lowe, another arm coveted by the Bombers, is also on Boston's radar.
The Red Sox are not planning to make an offer to Sabathia, who already has a six-year, $140 million offer on the table from the Yankees. But Burnett, who turns 32 in January, will certainly receive serious attention from Boston, which has already engaged in discussions with the pitcher's agent, Darek Braunecker, according to the source.