The Yankees have discussed internally how much of AJ Burnett's contract they would be willing to eat in order to deal him. They have yet to find a match, similar to the Mets desire to trade OF Jason Bay. If a team was really that interested, I'm sure the Yankees would work with them. The problem is, the Yankees are taking the new CBA and luxury tax rules seriously and may want the trading team to take on more of the contract than they may be willing to. Obviously, the more money a team pays Burnett, the less the Yankees would want back in terms of a return in the trade.
Hughes is interesting. The Yankees have very few needs. They could use a full time DH, but may be better suited adding a regular 3B/ SS who would be able to spell Alex Rodriguez and Derek Jeter when they either need a day off or DH. Danny Espinosa of Washington would be an example of a player who would be worth trading Hughes for. Espinosa is just 24, and played in 158 games last year for the Nationals hitting .236, 21, 66. But ideally, the Yankees would prefer to trade Burnett, even if they got little or nothing in return.
The Rays have more needs. They could use an extra outfielder, infielder or designated hitter. There is talk that they may be inquiring on catchers Geovanny Soto, Nick Hundley and Kurt Suzuki. I suggested a trade of either Davis or Niemann to the New York Mets for Daniel Murphy earlier, but the world would explode if the Mets started the season with any more than five starting pitchers. Sandy Alderson gives you the impression that he is 100% sure that Johan Santana will be healthy to start the season and with RA Dickey, Jonathon Niese, Mike Pelfrey and Dillon Gee, the team will not need another major league starting pitcher for the entire season.
As I digress, the Rays are more likely to trade a starter to fill an offensive need. Perhaps Pittsburgh Pirates outfielder Garrett Jones may be a fit. The team that signs OF Yoennis Cespedes may look to trade an extra outfielder. Perhaps the Marlins would be interested in moving Logan Morrison. If you are Tampa Bay, you have to consider being a stronger offensive team to compete with the Yankees and Red Sox. I know they have made the playoffs three of the last four years, but the improvements of the Tigers, Rangers and Angels will make it tougher if the Rays do not look to improve.
But, then again, having extra proven starting pitching may not be the worst thing in the world. The Giants moved Jonathan Sanchez, leaving them with Tim Lincecum, Matt Cain, Ryan Vogelsong, Madison Bumgarter and Barry Zito. What if one of them gets hurt? I can see Niemann or Hughes perhaps being a setup man if needed. Garcia can be a 6th starter or a long man. Rick Peterson once said a team needs about 8 to 10 starting pitchers to get through a 162 game season. if thats the case, then the Yankees and Rays will be just fine.