THE NEW YORK Yankees and Pittsburgh Pirates have made progress toward a trade that would send much-maligned righthander A.J. Burnett to Pittsburgh.


Pittsburgh would pay at least $10 million of the $33 million Burnett is owed in the final two seasons of his $82.5 million, 5-year contract, a person familiar with the discussions said yesterday.


The exact amount of money involved in the trade depends on the quality of the prospects the Yankees would receive, the person said.
Burnett, a 35-year-old righthander, has struggled to a 34-35 record and 4.79 ERA during three seasons with New York and went 11-11 with a 5.15 ERA last year. His average of 3.98 walks per nine innings is second in the AL and fifth in the majors during that span among pitchers with 400 or more innings, according to STATS LLC.


Burnett would join a rotation that includes newly signed Erik Bedard and returnees James McDonald, Kevin Correia and Jeff Karstens.