For now, that appears to be the Blue Jays’ take on the free-agent market. Sure, they plan on making a run at re-signing A.J. Burnett. But beyond that? Toronto might not be much of a player on the open market.
If the Jays don’t retain Burnett, Jays general manager J.P. Ricciardi told MLB.com that he doesn’t think “there’s anybody else out there that, for what you’d probably have to get involved with from a money standpoint, that we would feel comfortable getting involved with. I think we’d probably stay in-house.”
As for Toronto’s search for more offense, Ricciardi denied that the Jays are targeting free-agent slugger Jason Giambi, or that free-agent Milton Bradley is a top priority. If anything, Ricciardi said that the Blue Jays hope to find what they’re seeking through the trade market and not through free agency.
“We’re still going to keep listening and seeing what’s available to us,” Ricciardi said. “But right now, I don’t see us getting involved with anybody. Something is going to have to really make sense for us and the best way would be via trade.”
That includes a possible search for a shortstop, too. Ricciardi said the Jays don’t plan on getting involved with any shortstops through free agency, nixing the rumors that have pegged Toronto as a suitor for Rafael Furcal.
The Jays don’t have an excess of spending money this winter, though Ricciardi didn’t rule out using trades to possibly free up some more payroll.
“We’ll be open to anything,” Ricciardi said. “We’re not in a slash payroll mode, but we’re in a situation where if we can make ourselves better via trade we’ll look that way. But, if we can’t, this is the team we have and we’ll just be creative with what we’ve got here and try to plug in our holes internally.”