Jays won't go wild this winter

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.

–JB

14 Comments

Jim Balsillie needs to buy this team from “Run this like a business” uncle Teddy and treat it like a toy and start being one of the high payroll teams. Either that or Uncle Ted needs to buy this from himself to take it away from his publicly traded company. As long as we are owned by a public company we will always be responsible to make money for the share holder and not winning for the fans!!!

rmatty
In the analysis Forbes Magazine did of the 2007 season, the Jays had revenue of $160 million and an operating loss of $1.8 million before depreciation, interest and taxes. I expect 2008 was about the same.

Looking at 2009, The Jays have significant revenue and expense problems which are:
1) The collapse of the Canadian dollar increases their costs by between $30 and $40 million dollars versus 2008, if the dollar stays at the same levels it is today.
2) Their major corporate sponsors are GM, HSBC, Mastercard and Labatt’s. I have no idea what the revenue was from this group, but I’d expect it to be significant. In case you haven’t noticed GM are technically bankrupt, HSBC is losing money like every other international bank and Mastercard is probably hemoraging along with them. There could be a hit in revenue between this group of $10-$15 million.
3)With the Yanks owning their own building, they will not be providing anywhere near the funds for gate equallization as they have in the past. There will be a hit here for The Jays-how much-who knows, but it wll impact them.
4) I expect Rogers ad revenue on Jays broadcasts for 2009 will drop just like all ad revenue is dropping as a result of the recession we’re in or going into. I have no idea how that deal is structured between Rogers and the Jays, but you can bet it has impact. In addition, the Jas revenu in other advertising at games will definately drop from 2008.

When you combine all 4 items, the Jays could be looking at a $45 to $60 million shortfall when compared to 2008. In order to “make this team competitve”, the Jays need to re-sign Burnett and two huge bats which would probably cost
$45 to $60 million and that just gets us competitive-it doesn’t guarantee a win. Will that increase fan revenue-maybe, but maybe it just holds gate revenue where it is because of the recession-so there is no gain.

So what you are suggesting is to have the owner lose $90 to $120 million in order to “win for the fans” and you would expect Jim Balsillie to do just that. Although, I do not know Balsillie personally, one thing I do know is he’s not a dumb man. No owner is going to sign up to take that kind of hit to win for the fans-ain’t happening and you’re dreaming in technicolor if you think he would.

This team is very fornunate to have Mr. Ted Rogers as the owner; I’m sure you’ll understand better as we move through 2009 because there could be teams that fold.

I’ve been thinking with all this talk about Toronto need for a leadoff hitter, and the fact that they don’t have a lot of cash to spend maybe the angels could be a help. The Angels need a closer so it’s possible to maybe swap BJ Ryan for Macier Izturis and one of their prospects preferably a infielder. I think the angels might bit because K-rod would have cost them a whole lot more to retain him. 10 m a year for Ryan off the books would enable Toronto in the long run to help them fill their line up and sign a front line starter and help bring in a big bat. Besides the angels are a team that by adding around 10 million is not a big deal, or we could maybe pay out a percentage on his salary. I am just not convinced signing a guy like furcal is smart with all the injuries he’s had, and Isturis is low risk and just what the jays need.

Macier Izturis? True, BJ had a sub par year last year, some of which can be attributed to coming back from major surgery. But has has value fallen so far that all we expect the Jays to get back for him is Macier Izturis? SS that hit .260 with 5 HR 40 RBI and 10 SB are a DIME A DOZEN. How would he be an upgrade over Scutero? There has to be a better deal out there than this! Izturis has never been more than a platoon guy ( max 104 games a season). If the Jays want to deal Ryan, they need to wait and see how he performs in spring training.

A great Canadian has left us. All my sympathies go to the Rogers family and friends on the passing of Mr. Ted Rogers.

so do you guys think that Roger’s passing is a good thing or bad thing as far as the Jays are concerned?

Ted Rogers was a great man,It’s a sad day for the Jays.
As for what it will mean for the Jays i dont think it will change anything,they will not be able to compete in 09 with the same team they had last year.
It looks like some of the young guns will get a chance to show their stuff which is all right with me.

Do you guys know what happens to the Jays now? I mean are they going to be inherited or sold or something?

Freedom.
I don’t think the Jays will be sold,Rogers company is the owner and it will stay together,The only question is will they think the same way Rogers did or will they go the other way and cut the payroll,only time will tell.
One thing for sure is no big bats via free agency this year.

G.
What do you think will happen to the Jays.
How about you Kate.

Garry
There will be no huge free agent signings-that’s for sure. and that is a good thing. I heard a rumor The Jays let some people go at head office, but haven’t been able to confirm it. Clearly, they are looking at a daunting financial situation for 2009 as I pointed out in a post above.
I am hoping that once Beeston picks the new President we will see some wholesale changes-including Riccardi, and dump some of the large contracts we have and rebuild.
I hope by trading deadline in 2009, we have traded Wells, Rolen, Overbay, Ryan, Barajas, Halliday and Downs for high quality prospects.

In the piece JB wrote as posted on the website, it states Lind and Rios are two of the players who could be traded and no where are the names Halliday or Downs.

In my view, trading Lind or any of our young prospects is a dumb move, Lind’s probably two to three years away from really showing his real potential. Trading him now, is stupidity, which is probably why JP will.
Rios only gets $5.9 million in 2009 and is the guy to take over CF. The outfielder to dump is Vernon Wells. Keep the other 4 and forget about a dedicated dh at 3-5 mill. per year.

Let’s trade Wells, Rolen, Overbay, Downs, Halliday, Barajas, and Ryan for prospects. Guys like Rios and Hill have got to be the new leaders of this team going forward.

Just a simple observation, if we are non-tendering Tallet and Frasor, why didn’t we trade them pre the trading deadline last year?

I doubt anyone, including Beeston, knows what to do. Consequently, Beeston may take a page from “Stand Pat” and do just that. In my opinion, this is a good idea. Wait until the new president is hired, then let him clean house on and off the field. Notice that both the Raptors and Leafs are trying to re-invent/re-tool themselves by first hiring a supposed “star” president and director of operations. Perhaps the Jays will take a page from the same playbook and try to hire someone with star-potential to put confidence back into the fan base while the team is inevitably torn down and re-tooled to face the new economic realities. Any ideas on who this person might be?

I keep hearing that Stan Kaston from the Washington Nationals is the number 1 candidate right now. I heard too that he was in Toronto about a week and a half ago.

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