What does moving Burnitz' contract have to do with making the Pirates better? Absolutely nothing, except insofar as Burnitz won't be on the team anymore. Littlefield should probably just take the mid-level prospect and be happy, but instead, he is apparently worrying about money again. It's certainly possible that the Yankees have planted these opinions in the press to play a psychological game with Littlefield. In fact, that's probably likely. But even so, Littlefield has something like six or seven players he probably should consider moving, and he hasn't moved a single one yet. Littlefield needs to start making trades and stop asking for the moon for his players. It hasn't worked yet for Littlefield, and it's not going to.
The Yankee high command has always kind of liked Pirates outfielder Craig Wilson (another free agent-to-be) for both his bat and versatility. But it has never had any success in dealing with Pirates GM Dave Littlefield, and apparently it's been no different recently. They would be willing to give up a middle tier prospect for the 29-year-old Wilson, even though he, too, is a rental player, but have no interest in taking on Jeromy Burnitz's big contract, which Littlefield is attempting to package with Wilson. Even though the Yankees might also have interest in Pirates setup man Roberto Hernandez, it doesn't appear as if the Yankees are ever going to be able to do business with Littlefield.