Burnett and the Blue Jays

Anyone notice that Blue Jays starter A.J. Burnett still hasn’t filed for free agency? That’s not a mistake, but all it means s Burnett’s contract situation is a tad different than that of other free agents. When Burnett informed Toronto that he was opting out last week, he put in motion a process that will terminate his current contract on Thursday.

“It’s a little different situation,” explained Darek Braunecker, Burnett’s agent. “It’s an actual termination of contract, is what it is. He becomes eligible for free agency via termination of contract, so it’s a little different filing process. We had to notify the club, both verbally and in writing, and then it’s passed on to the Commissioner’s Office.”

So, on Friday, Burnett can begin listening to new contract offers from other clubs. The Blue Jays are still interesting in retaining Burnett, as unlikely a scenario as that is beginning to seem, but the club will likely have competition for the pitcher in the Yankees, Orioles and possibly the Braves, among others.

As the free-agent period opens, the Jays are also in the mix for a power bat, a shortstop and possibly a backup catcher — the latter an issue Toronto may be content with solving internally. As for the bat, Toronto has some interest in Manny Ramirez, though the club probably can’t afford him, while Jason Giambi, Milton Bradley and Raul Ibanez might also be targets. At short, the Jays have been rumored to have interest in Rafael Furcal and also talked to the Padres about a possible trade for Khalil Greene.

In the pitching department, if the Blue Jays insist that they can’t get into a bidding war to keep Burnett, it seems unlikely that the club will be able to make a push for the top available arms. Even so, it’s been reported that Toronto is believed to have already approached the representatives for Ryan Dempster, Derek Lowe and maybe even Ben Sheets. The Jays are rumored to have interest in Brad Penny as well.



  1. welikeroywelikeroy

    Here it comes! I almost get more excited this time of the year than I do all season, even though I don’t expect THAT much from the Jays, given their financial situation. Yankees just got Swisher, wonder if this means Abreu will not be there next year?

  2. andrewkidware@hotmail.com

    Can someone please explain to me why Burnett is eligable for a raise? He played well last year, but the previous 2 he was mediocre AT BEST. If I went into my boss’s office and said: ” I know that I goofed around and missed a lot of work for the first 2 years, but I was pretty good this year and my sales totals were among the best, how about a raise?”… I’d get laughed at. And most people would. But not Burnett. He’s going to get a raise for 2 half-assed, injury filled years and only 1 good season. Good luck to whomever signs him, but I see things turning out a lot like they did in the Carl Pavano Situation.

  3. andrewkidware@hotmail.com

    Abreu is a free agent… And the Yanks have made it clear that he is not a priority to sign (He is way down the list behind Sabathia, Ramirez, Texeira, Burnett, Sheets, etc). The Jays should be all over him. Yes, I am aware of their OF depth, but he would be a much better addition than any of Giambi, Bradley or Ibanez (all of whom the Jays are rumoured to be interested in).

  4. andrewkidware@hotmail.com

    Speaking of last minute free agents, the BIG UNIT filed just under the wire. He’d look great in a Jays uniform! He’d be a great fit. Sign him to a 1 year $8M deal. He only needs to keep the seat warm until Marcum comes back in 2010. Plus he’d be great trade bait at the deadline if the Jays aren’t in contention.

  5. Enigma_D17@hotmail.com

    I’d like to see Bobby here too but i’d want them to try and trade Rios for an arm first (Matt Cain maybe ?).

    Assuming the Jays don’t make any deals i’m predicting they end up with Milton Bradley, Orlando Cabrera, and one of Dempster, Johnson, Pedro Martiniz, Freddy Garcia or Brad Penny.
    I’m not going by anything, they’re just guesses.

    What i’d like them to do is see if they can find any takers on Ryan or Overybay and use that money to help land the bigger fish (Ramirez) though i’d still be reluctant to give him 6 years.

  6. Enigma_D17@hotmail.com

    I’d like to see Bobby here too but i’d want them to try and trade Rios for an arm first (Matt Cain maybe ?).

    Assuming the Jays don’t make any deals i’m predicting they end up with Milton Bradley, Orlando Cabrera, and one of Dempster, Johnson, Pedro Martiniz, Freddy Garcia or Brad Penny.
    I’m not going by anything, they’re just guesses.

    What i’d like them to do is see if they can find any takers on Ryan or Overybay and use that money to help land the bigger fish (Ramirez) though i’d still be reluctant to give him 6 years.

  7. brebber

    The Jays won’t be able to trade for Matt Cain, the sanfrancisco GM said that he isn’t going anywhere, and it is possible Rios just had a bad year so there is no way we can trade him and get equal value if he plays up to his potential. Aren’t we all regretting that the Linecum for Rios deal didn’t go through. I would like to see the jays get a DH to hold a spot until Snider is ready to go full time, but they’ve got to be cheap about it and all of the big name options i can think about are to expensive if they are just gonna be holding a spot for Snider. If we could possible trade Overbay and move Snider or Lind to first i could see spending some money on a big name DH, but thats really the only way i would see that happening. The Jays should just let Burnett go and look at cheaper options- Johnson and Martinez are too expensive and likely to break down, Garcia and Penny might look alright if they are cheap enough and Dempster would be nice to have but i am not sure if he is worth the price and he is likely to not repeat what he did last year. Ultimately I think if the Jays want a chance to contend they need to get rid of Overbay…. maybe for a shortstop, move Lind or Snider to first, let Burnett go and shore up their pitching with some less expensive options sign a good DH for a reasonable price and hope everybody is healthy and playing to their full potential.

  8. garryguy@sasktel.net

    If you look at the contract they gave Wells it is loaded on the back end,So why can’t they give Manny or someone like him a contract something like that,Most of the Jays contracts run out after the 2010 season,So if they give Manny and a good starter a similar contract as Wells I’m sure they can make a deal with at least two good free agents.

  9. Enigma_D17@hotmail.com

    Garry it’s an interesting idea but I don’t think it would be fair to the next G.M. of this team. If he comes here with a bunch of backloaded contracts it would be a very difficult job to get rid of them should he choose to do so.

  10. oboyle22@yahoo.com

    Forget about Burnett. Lets go after Adam Dunn. It’s the AL East. We have no power hitters on the entire team. Dunn averages 40 home runs and 100 RBI consistently and he is 29 years old. Sign him up. He is worth much more than A.J. and would cost less. Secondly, lets get Ryan Dempster. Take a look at his starting numbers this year. He was awesome. The Jays could steal him immediately by giving him a 5 year tender. Lets stop wasting money on bums with big names and get some lesser named stars on this squad. (No more Frank Tomas).

  11. gsjays

    NEW YORK — The Yankees made a record-breaking six-year, $140 million offer to free-agent starter CC Sabathia on Friday as the first part of their plan to overhaul their starting rotation, Hal Steinbrenner, one of the team’s co-chairmen, confirmed.

    And offers to pitchers A.J. Burnett and Derek Lowe won’t be far behind.

    **That’s an average of over 23 mill per year for Sabathia. I’d expect the offer they give Burnett will be in the 20 million range, but likely not as long.

    If the Yanks sign all 3, which I’d expect they will, they will be damn difficult to beat next year.

  12. Enigma_D17@hotmail.com

    According to the hotstove on MLB.com they’re now interested in Jake Peavy as well. I can’t see them signing all 3 but 2 is a definite possibility.
    They certainly will be damn difficult to beat next year.

  13. gsjays

    I think it could be worse than you think. I believe the Yank’s salary drops $90 million from last year and because of their new stadium, it’s likely they no longer will contribute to revenue sharing or at least not as much as they have in the past which probably saves them another $30 mill.

    They could sign Sabathia, Burnett, Tiexeira, Manny, Lowe, trade for Peavy and still have money left over. I think Steinbrenner Jr. wants to win the first year in the stadium.

    TB will be stronger simply because they’ll have David Price all Year. Boston continually re-tool so I expect they’ll improve and New York could end up being the team to beat.

    That’s why I think, given our injuries to McGowan and Marcum while losing Burnett, we should be sellers this year instead of buyers and re-build to contend in 2-3 years. Frankly, I don’t think we have a chance in 2009.

  14. lndigo

    The two bad things about free agency , Boras and the Yankees . Both make it impossible for there to be any type of equality. They drive the price of players up so other teams can’t possibly afford them . I guess the state of the economy and the ceiling on payroll ( i know there is a luxury tax ) doesn’t apply to either of them

  15. gsjays

    The Yanks have the highest gate revenue and own their own tv network which is now valued at over $2 billion dollars. They might not face the luxury tax any more Indigo, because they now own their own stadium and can charge all stadium costs against the formula, or at least that’s my understanding of how it works. So the poor equality that has existed is only going to get worse unless MLB change the equalization rules. I expect they’re going to have to; BUT other teams are going to have to bitch and complain to make it happen and 5 years from now the rules might change.

    But, you do have to give the devil it’s due; they planned to have all these free agent contracts expire this year and now they re-tool and win again. But this year, we have the two boys trying to impress father, moving into a new stadium, wanting to win and have a bank account up to 120 million which they’re antsy to spend. It’s not nice to have to compete against that.

  16. garryguy@sasktel.net

    The Jays will never be in the playoffs again as long as we are in against the Yankees and Boston,Lett’s face the facts.
    I guess we at least get to watch A Canadian team play the game.Also I don’t think Rogers cares about winning the World Series,The only reason he bought the team was for a write off,and if anyone thinks not you are only fooling yourselfs.

  17. gsjays

    Oh we can be in the playoffs and win, BUT we have to do it the way Oakland and Tampa Bay do it, through a good minor league system and trading expensive stars for good prospects and develop them into stars.

    But, if we do not re-build this year, we could be out of the playoffs for 7-10 years, because Halliday, Downs and Ryans (hopefully by mid spring) value is not going to get better than it is right now. If we trade them smartly now through to mid spring with Ryan, we should get maximum value and could be back in the hunt within a couple of years.

  18. gsjays

    The Tigers are looking for shortstop help, and may have the Red Sox’s Julio Lugo on their radar screen. The Boston Globe reported on Sunday that Detroit is contemplating a deal with Boston to send either left-hander Nate Robertson or left-hander Dontrelle Willis to Boston for Lugo, but that some money issues would have to be resolved.

    If Willis gets back to his form of 2005-6, he will be a major help to Boston. Regardless of whether it’s Willis or Robertson, Boston would be getting the best of this deal. Baseball hasn’t invented a glove big enough yest for Lugo to become a quality SS.

  19. inception

    If you read this blog at all, and I hope you do, please listen to “gsjays” and put into motion a process that will allow us to build a contender like you did in the 80’s – through the draft. It is our only hope to compete down the road. Move our assets now, for tomorrow.

  20. dmburkey@hotmail.com

    I noticed that John Garland is a free agent but yet I haven’t heard anything about the jays showing interest. I think it could be worth while because he’s still in his prime and not suspect with a lot of past injuries. He has always been a 200 plus inning guy, with playoff experience. I bet he wouldn’t cost as much as what Lowe and Burrnett are demanding. I think he would make a good fit.

  21. gsjays

    NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) — Billionaire entrepreneur Mark Cuban, owner of the National Basketball Association’s Dallas Mavericks, was charged Monday by the Securities and Exchange Commission with insider trading.

    According to the SEC, Cuban sold 600,000 shares of Internet search company Mamma.com in June 2004 using non-public information.

    Cuban is accused of calling his broker and instructing him to sell all of his stock from Mamma.com after receiving the confidential information from the company.

    The SEC said Cuban learned that the company would raise money through a public offering, and he knew the stock price was about to fall.

    When the offering was made public, the stock fell 9.3%, and Cuban avoided losses in excess of $750,000 by selling stock the day before, the SEC report said.

    **I guess this means his offer to buy the Cubbies or a portion of the Cubbies is down the river.

  22. gsjays

    Indigo-Looks like there’s hope for you. lol

    TOKYO — A 16-year-old schoolgirl is making a unique pitch to become the first woman to play professional baseball in Japan.

    High school student Eri Yoshida was drafted by the Kobe 9 Cruise, a professional team in a new independent Japanese league that will start its first season in April.

    “I always dreamed of becoming a professional,” Yoshida, who is 5-feet tall and weighs 114 pounds, told a news conference Monday. “I have only just been picked by the team and haven’t achieved anything yet.”

    Yoshida throws a side-arm knuckleball and says she wants to follow in the footsteps of Boston Red Sox pitcher Tim Wakefield, who has built a successful major league career throwing a knuckleball.

    Yoshida took part in a tryout held earlier this month and passed with flying colors. The right-hander held male batters hitless for one inning in the tryout and her successful outing helped her become one of the 33 players picked in the draft.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s