Slugging right fielder Gary Sheffield would return to the Marlins in a proposed deal that would send right-hander A.J. Burnett and right fielder Juan Encarnacion to the New York Yankees, according to a National League source.
An American League source confirmed that the Yankees are interested in Burnett and Encarnacion and have talked to the Marlins about them. But that source also said connecting Sheffield to the discussions “might be premature.”
Burnett, who was sought by the Yankees in December, also has attracted interest this week from the Baltimore Orioles.
Burnett is a free agent after the season and is not expected to re-sign. But if the Marlins remain in contention, they might be content to keep Burnett all year and then lose him to free agency, as the team did with Carl Pavano last season, in exchange for a first-round draft pick.
The Marlin probably will have a surplus of starters soon. Right-hander Josh Beckett is expected to be activated from the disabled list today, injured right-hander Ismael Valdez is due back after the All-Star break and rookie left-hander Scott Olsen has been impressive.
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