Source: Burnett, Yankees agree on deal
By Jerry Crasnick
Updated: December 12, 2008, 4:57 PM ET
Free agent right-hander A.J. Burnett has reached preliminary agreement on a five-year, $82.5 million contract with the New York Yankees, a baseball source told ESPN.com.
While Yankees general manager Brian Cashman and Burnett's agent, Darek Braunecker are still negotiating final contract terms, the deal is expected to be complete once Burnett passes a physical exam, the source said.
Burnett, who turns 32 in January, will join CC Sabathia at the top of a revamped starting rotation in New York. The Yankees agreed to terms on a seven-year, $161 million contract with Sabathia earlier this week.
The Yankees made a late charge to beat out the Atlanta Braves for Burnett, who went 18-10 with a 4.07 ERA in 35 starts with Toronto this season. New York is still looking for one more starter, and Cashman left the winter meetings in Las Vegas this week to meet with long-time Yankee Andy Pettitte.
In December 2005, Braunecker and his agency, Frontline Sports Management, negotiated a five-year, $55 million deal that included an opt out clause after three seasons. It was the first opt-out provision ever in a pitcher's contract.
Between the money that Burnett earned in Toronto and the guaranteed $82.5 million that he's scheduled to receive from the Yankees, his overall payout from the 2005 Toronto contract will amount to $115.5 million over eight seasons.