Burnett decision coming
TORONTO — All right, so I haven’t been blogging as much as you all would probably like. Imagine, I’ve actually just been enjoying some time off for much of the past month. But, today there was actually some Blue Jays news that convinced me to head back to the ol’ keyboard here.
A few things, some of the lesser stuff out of the way first: Brad Wilkerson has filed for free agency and a report out of Puerto Rico confirmed that Alex Rios will indeed be suiting up for P.R. in the upcoming World Baseball Classic. The “big” news of the day involved A.J. Burnett.
A report on ESPN.com indicated that Burnett’s agent, Darek Braunecker, said the pitcher would make a decision about his opt out clause by Monday — prior to the start of the GM Meetings in California. I spoke with Jays GM J.P. Ricciardi, who was watching his boys play hockey back home in Mass., and he hadn’t heard about this new “deadline.”
As it turns out, Braunecker told me tonight that he was misunderstood. What he meant was that, in order for him to talk to other clubs about Burnett, the pitcher would need to make a decision before Monday. That didn’t mean that a decision was going to necessarily come this weekend.
We haven’t put a timetable on anything,” Braunecker said. “Obviously, his decision would need to be made in the next few days if indeed we wanted to have the opportunity to talk to people at the general managers’ meetings about him.
“I’m going to the GM meetings and we’ve got multiple free agents this winter. For us to discuss A.J. with anybody, then he would have to exercise the out at that time.”
Braunecker and Ricciardi both indicated that they’ve had general discussions, but neither side would going into specifics, or say that specifics — contract length or money — had been part of the talks. Toronto still has exclusive negotiating rights with Burnett until he decides whether or not to opt out.
So, a decision could be coming soon, maybe even this weekend. But Burnett could just as easily wait until Nov. 13 to make up his mind. Stay tuned…