Cito's Wishlist

BALTIMORE — Prior to tonight’s game here against the O’s at Camden Yards, Blue Jays manager Cito Gaston was asked what his wishlist would be for this offseason, if he had the luxury of an unlimited payroll.

Wish Numero Uno was for the Blue Jays to find a way to retain pitcher A.J. Burnett, who will likely opt out of his contract at the end of the year. Gaston then said Toronto would benefit from maybe adding some more power to the lineup. When pressed, Cito offered up some names.

“There’s a few of them out there,” Gaston said. “Giambi is out there. I think the kid down in Texas, Bradley is out there. The guys that have a little pop. I don’t know who else. There’s a few more out there, I’m pretty sure, but those names come to mind.”

Jason Giambi of the Yankees, who has ties to Jays general manager J.P. Ricciardi from their days in Oakland, will likely have his $22 million club option for 2009 declined by New York. Milton Bradley, who is having a great season for the Rangers, is due to become a free agent as well.

When told of Cito’s comments, Ricciardi shook his head and laughed.

“Our manager shoudn’t be talking about players that are playing for other teams,” he said with a chuckle. “We’ll see. We’ll see what the market bears. We’ll see what we can do. Our first priority will be to try to get A.J. to see if we can keep him here.

“I think things will build off that. If we get him, then we can do other things. If we can’t, then we’ll try other things.”

Today’s lineups:

TORONTO (84-75) at BALTIMORE (67-91)
at 7:05 p.m. ET at Camden Yards

Marco Scutaro, 2B
Jose Bautista, 1B
Alex Rios, CF
Vernon Wells, DH
Adam Lind, LF
Scott Rolen, 3B
Travis Snider, RF
Curtis Thigpen, C
John McDonald, SS

PITCHING: RHP Scott Richmond (0-3, 5.14)

Brian Roberts, 2B
Nick Markakis, RF
Melvin Mora, DH
Aubrey Huff, 3B
Oscar Salazar, 1B
Adam Jones, CF
Luke Scott, LF
Omir Santos, C
Brandon Fahey, SS

PITCHING: LHP Chris Waters (3-4, 5.06)



    Why do we want Burnett back???? Does one good year forgive 2 bad ones? Burnett has been on the DL 10 times in 10 years! The only years that he wasn’t on the DL were this year and the last time he became a free agent. The Jays should make him an offer of $5M / year for 5 years with a clause that if he makes fewer than 60 starts in the first 3 years they can cut him loose.


    Giambi and Bradley? What was Cito thinking on that one? What are we gonna do with Giambi and his .250 Avg? We don’t have room on our DL for Bradley either. When he ends up in jail, do the Jays still have to pay him?


    What the hell is the matter with Cito,One good year does not make a ballplayer,Bradley is garbage and so is Giambi.
    Also what Cito did is tampering.
    As far as JP goes it is a moot point now he is here for at least one more year,and it looks like Cito wants him back.
    I belive JP will give Cito what he wants.If he can.
    As for AJ Burnett I hope they find a way to keep him,after the way he pitched this year we need him back,he will win at least 22 games next year so it might as well be here.

  4. gsjays

    Congratulations to Scott Richmond. A fine outing and deserved win. If Arnsberg can teach him a way to be more effective against left handers, he could be a nice steady 5th guy. At the moment LF’s are hitting .426 against him, while RH’s are hitting a miniscule .128. If he can improve against lefties, he’ll make it as a starter and if he doesn’t he won’t, although he could be a rightie specialist in the pen. I do like his demeneur on the mound and how he carries himself. He looks like a MLB pitcher.

    I agree with everyone’s assessment on both Giambi and Bradley. Snider has proven he can handle the MLB level, so why spend tons of money on a DH. We have more needs
    in other areas.


    Also, congrats to Thigpen on his 1st MLB HR. I’m looking forward to seeing him on the opening day roster next year, even if it is as a back-up to Barajas.


    Cito’s wish list should include a couple of young starting pitchers. I’d like to see the Jays go after Josh Johnson FLA and Andy Sonnanstine TBR. It shouldn’t take much to get them. FLA wont be looking for anything but prospects. And TB needs to move a starter this off-season to make room for Price. I’d think that they wouldn’t want to move Kazmir, Shields or Garza. So that would leave either Sonnanstine or Jackson as the odd man out.
    Other options would include Baker MIN, Slowey MIN, Broadway CHW, S Lewis CLE, W Rodriguez HOU, Pelfrey NYM, Maholm PIT, Cain SFG, McCarthy TEX. All are fairly young and therefore inexpensive options with upside potential. And if they don’t work out, oh well, we have McGowan and Marcum coming back from the DL.
    I think that Halladay, Johnson, Sonnanstine, Purcey, Litsch is a pretty good rotation to start the year with.


    Cito is right that the Jays need a big bat for their line-up. It should be a veteran. Possibly a DH. I think that Cito likes Snider and will keep him in the Bigs next year. I think that if they make a move to grab a DH, it means that Lind will move to 1B. Maybe Cito brought up Lind to showcase him for a trade? I’ve seen a couple of interviews with Cito recently and when he is asked about the young players he only seems to talk about Snider and doesn’t even mention Lind.
    The Jays need a big bat, but the solution shouldn’t be Giambi or Bradley.

  8. gsjays

    I disagree on Thigpen. He’s not even close to Arrencibia’s talent. Think about it, that’s his first home run in 57 games he’s played here. He stunk in AAA this year and his bat has stunk for 2 years now.
    No way they trade Lind. He’s been the most productive hitter on this team since he came back up. Both Lind and Snider are capable of 20-25 hr’s and 80-100 rbi’s with the right playing time and batting position and they’re both low cost. This team would be crazy to give either one of them up, UNLESS it was for someone like Gamel from Milwaukee.

  9. inception

    The Jays need a new president, general manager, a healthy farm system with prospects that are not rated among the bottom one third compared with all other prospects in baseball, a way to escape from under a host of very bad contracts that pay over-rated players big money for average production, patience to keep the very few good prospects that they have and let them play at the major-league level, starting pitching, a short stop, catcher, first baseman, third baseman, just to name a few, and most importantly, a new attitude more akin to that of teams that hate to loose. In summary, the Jays’ problems are systemic. It is a complete waste of time to talk about getting “a muscular bat” or a “decent number 3 guy” in the rotation. This team is NOT – I repeat, NOT, going to compete next year, just like it did not compete THIS year. Boston, quite frankly was ripe for the picking. The Rays played well, and will only play better once some of their top-rated youth reach the majors next year. For as bad as NY was, they still finished ahead of us. Given that NY will do all that is necessary to place a contender on the field for the first year in their new building, the Jays are doomed. I really do not understand why some people cannot see, or accept the reality of the situation. This franchaise is in deep trouble on a number of fronts, including economic. We are starting to look an awful lot like the Montreal Expos — part of the league, but with no real chance of contending. Burnett will opt out, and when he does, that should be a sign to all that it is time to stop pretending that this ship is not sinking, move Halladay for young prospects, and start rebuilding. Why is it that a storied franchaise like Baltimore can do this, but the proud (but totally unrealistic) blue jays’ cannot? Because baltimore has already started, they will be ahead of us down the road. Even the leafs, after 42 years, finally realize what needs to be done to build a winner. Please, no more talk about a bat here or Cito likes this guy or that guy. The first step in the 12-step program is to ADMIT THAT YOU HAVE A PROBLEM. If the Jays’ can’t or won’t (this is why JP is back) acknowledge that there is a serious problem here this team is going nowhere but DOWN IN THE STANDINGS.

  10. gsjays

    Although I totally agree with your analysis, now that JP has been given a vote of confidence for 2009, I hope they don’t try to rebuild, but instead do some minor re-tooling and lie through their teeth to the fans again next spring that we might have a chance.

    The reason I say that, is the last thing I want is JP Riccardi making the deals to trade Halliday, Wells and others for prospects of HIS choosing. If that happens we could be done like dinner for another 5-10 years. I’d much prefer seeing some minor re-tooling, Godfrey not renewed, hiring of a quality baseball president to replace him and come in last place for next year with rapidly sliding attendance.

    That, hopefully would be the thing needed to finally dump Riccardi and bring in someone who truely knows how to re-buiuld a minor league system. And maybe the last place finish, if we stink enough, will get us a good draft choice in 2010 with someone capable of making the right pick.


    Most of us know where you are coming from,But the only thing we have is hope,we have no controll over what the team does,JP will be back next year like it or not,even Godfrey said a lot of people would not like it ,but all the same he will be back,
    Maybe with Citos help he will make the right moves this offseason.

    Gsjays.We do need a big bat like Tex or Manny,If the team doesn’t have at least one or two guys on the team that can hit at least 40 HRs they are going to be in trouble next year too.Snider and Lind are not the answer,They are two fine young players that the Jays must use every effort to keep,but they will not save this team at this time.
    The Jays have to keep developing their young players and not trade them away for a quick fix that most of the time never works.
    I was around when the Jays were a winning ballclub,They had a very large payroll at that time,I’t was larger than the Yankees,when you compair there payroll to the Yankees and Boston It’s plain to see they can not afford to buy the same quality players that they can.
    The Jays have Wells,Rios,Hill,Snider,Lind,Inglet,who are and will be great players in time,they also have two fine catching prospects and at least three other good players in the minors who will be up here in 2010,that is the year this team will roll.I just hope JP does not trade away any of the young players for a bandage.


    Wow, doomed? That’s a little bleak. Sure, the Jays aren’t the best team, however, they are far from doomed. People look at the standings and see that the Jays are 11 games back in the AL East. Look around the whole league… The Jays have 85 wins which puts them at 7th of 14 teams in the AL and tied for 11th of 29 in MLB. When was the last time the Pirates had a .500 season? If you are unhappy with our GM, talk to somebody from Detroit. They spent a pile of money and their team is still brutal. Sure, the Yanks have vowed to come back with vegence next year. What are the Angels going to do without Teixeira and K-Rod next year?
    And you are correct that the issue is systematic. Poor drafting and even worse player development. However, before you can explode a team (I.e. trade superstars for prospects) you need to put in place the right management in order to make the right picks and develop the players. Until those changes are made, we can only band-aid the problems – I.e. pick up a couple of starters and a big bat). The Jays need to look into what the Twins (and other budget consious winners) doing differently.
    Why so down on Godfrey? Godfrey’s job is not to build a winner. His job is to make money. He is not a baseball guy. He was brought in because the Jays were loosing loads of money every year. Now, they have increased their expenses (salaries) and are around the break even point. A big improvement.


    Don’t get me wrong. I am all for trading Wells and Halladay. However, I prefer to talk in terms of reality. JP wont deal either, so why even talk about it? Realistically, the Jays have said that they are looking for a big bat and to fill the holes of Burnett, Marcum and McGowan. So, why not only discuss what we would do?


    I see next years rotation as,


    Free agent????



    Richardson/McGowan later in the season.

    The bullpen is good to go.










    And a new DH,let’s hope it is a good one.

    Lind,Cecil,and another player will be traded in the offseason.

  15. gsjays

    I’d suggest you read my post again. I said NO WAY they trade Lind or Snider.

    The deal of the year-releasing Reed Johnson. His stats for the year are:
    .307BA/.360OBP/.426slg AND .362 hitting with risp.

  16. gsjays

    There is a rumor that Florida will have another fire sale this winter. If that’s the case their highest paid player is Hanley Ramirez who is due to make 5.5 million in 2009. I expect Florida to be looking for prospects, and as good as Raimirez is the market might be somewhat limited because of his hefty back end contract which increases to 7,11,15,15.5 and 16 by 2014 . Imagine though, how good Ramirez would look at ss in a Jays uniform.


    Hanley is going nowhere man, they signed him to be the face of that franchise and while his deal is costly (by Marlins standards) it is still a well below market value deal. If he were to get traded it would be for a ton of elite prospects anyways, I guarantee that Snider’s name would be just a starting point for any deal for Hanley. Based on their past deals I would say something like Snider and Cecil would be a possible starting point, with probably a couple lower level prospects thrown in there as well, maybe a few of our youngsters from Lansing like Kevin Ahrens or Justin Jackson.

    One thing Florida always does well is get quality young players when they trade their arbitration-eligible players. They would absolutely hose JP in any trade.

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