A.J. to be a Pirate? Arrggggh!

Our national baseball guru, Jayson Stark, has written a piece entitled "Five Guys Who Could Get Traded in Spring Training,'' and whaddaya know, one of them is everyone's favorite morsel of trade bait, Allan James Burnett. The full story is up on ESPN.com -- can read it here-- but here is a peek at the key passage for Yankees fans:

"All of a sudden, the Yankees have too many starting pitchers. What a concept. So if there’s any prayer of moving Burnett, who has $33 million coming over the next two years, this team will jump at it.

The good news is, Burnett still has a live enough arm – and four consecutive seasons of 32-plus starts – to be intriguing. The bad news is, he’ll make $16.5 million in each of the next two seasons. And he’s the only qualifying starter in baseball who has racked up ERAs over 5.00 in each of the last two seasons.

But where is he going? The Yankees would never do business with the Red Sox or Mets. And while Burnett would seem like a fit in Baltimore, where he has family ties, the Orioles and Yankees have hooked up for precisely one trade of major-league players in the last two decades.

So that appears to leave the Pirates, a team that seems to have legitimate interest in him. And the Yankees are said by sources to have targeted Garrett Jones as an answer to their quest for a lefthanded-hitting outfielder/DH-type.

But the Pirates have told several teams that inquired about Jones that they’re not inclined to move him. And the Yankees have been telling other clubs they won’t chew on a huge percentage of Burnett’s salary if they don’t get a useful player back. So this could easily drag on into spring training – and beyond.''