Speaking to reporters in Toronto on Thursday afternoon, Blue Jays interim president and CEO Paul Beeston reiterated that the club isn’t likely to go on any type of spending spree this winter. Beeston said the Jays remained focused on re-signing A.J. Burnett, but there’s not much happening beyond that at the moment.
If the Jays can’t retain Burnett, the club might be more inclined to keep the money planned for his contract, rather than use it to reel in any other free agents. Growing concerns about the economy and the decline of the Canadian dollar have Toronto re-evaluating the direction it wants to go. Beeston said the team’s ticket sales are consistent with previous year, but sponsorship is down.
“The biggest decision we have to make is what direction we’re going to go with the team,” Beeston said. “We can spend $100 million, but if it doesn’t make sense, why do it?”
Beeston added that the Blue Jays have a list of about 35-40 candidates — roughly half being “household names” — for the permanent president and CEO position. Beeston said he believes Toronto will have a replacement for outgoing president Paul Godfrey prior to the beginning of Spring Training.