The A.J. Burnett sweepstakes have already begun. Teammates, reporters, coaches, even GMs are are all starting to say that Burnett will opt out of his contract and join another team. It makes sense from Burnett's perspective. He is putting up great numbers, going 16-9 with a 4.58 ERA, and will likely reach twenty wins assuming he stays healthy. He could easily land a four or five year deal worth fifty to sixty million dollars. While the Cardinals and Royals are the two teams that he says he would be interested in going to, word out of the Yankees clubhouse is that he may be interested in going there as well.
I assume that he is fall back if the Yankees miss out on CC Sabathia, but they Yankees would be smart to sign Burnett, and then go after a second tier pitcher like Ryan Dempster. Not only would that solidfy their pitching, but it would allow them to develop their younger pitchers some more in the minor leagues and in the bullpen in the MLB. Making Sabathia your ace makes sense, but his weight problem is only going to get bigger as he gets older.