Ricciardi: "It looks like we're going to lose Burnett"

The Blue Jays are preparing for life without A.J. Burnett. In the wake of news that the Braves have extended a formal offer to the free-agent pitcher, Jays general manager J.P. Ricciardi noted that his club isn’t expecting Burnett to head back to Toronto.

“It looks like we’re going to lose Burnett,” Blue Jays general manager J.P. Ricciardi told the Canadian Press. “We don’t know where Burnett is going to go, but we’ve got to assume Burnett’s going to be gone.”

Given Toronto’s current financial situation — sponsorship is down, the Canadian dollar has weakened, and the team experienced layoffs within the organization this week — the Jays aren’t likely to be big players with any other free agents. Ricciardi noted that the club will continue to explore trades for pitching help.

“I don’t really see us being that active unless it’s via the trade route right now,” Ricciardi was quoted as saying. “I think we’ll listen and we’ll try to create some things. But really, at the end of the day, I don’t see us being that active.”



  1. gsjays

    Thanks for confirming the layoff rumor; can you tell us how many people were let go and in what areas of the operation they were in? i’m hoping none of the scouting group was affected, can you at least confirm that point?

    As I pointed out in previous posts, the Blue Jays are in miserable straits going into 2009. The only logical plan is to dump the huge contracts and reload with prospects for 2010 and or 2011. Any other plan will make them look like fools to their fans.

    That being said, I expect that will be the number one job of the incoming President, I doubt if Beeston wants to do it nor should he unless he’s committed to long term. The guy making the decisions should have responsibility for them over the coming years.

    If recent events has taught anyone anything, its quite clear we cannot compete in the AL east without a significant investment in the farm system and player development. Riccardi has not done his job in that area in the 7 years he’s been here and he should be the first one out the door.

  2. rmatty39@hotmail.com

    Ok so Burnett is probably gone… Haven’t we known this for months now??? Packaging Lind with some minor leaguers for a pitcher is by far the easiest way to get a quality starter to take Burnett’s place. That would however require the Jays to go get a DH (Bradley IMO) via FA and we all know by now that the Jays don’t have the bankroll to play in the FA market this year. They do if they can move Ryan or Rolen. I would prefer to move Ryan (although I think he will be back big time this year) because our pen is good enough to withstand the loss of the closer but we don’t have a 3B to replace Rolen. If Ryan goes we free up 10mil ish i think, that combined with Burentt’s savings 12mil ish we could then go get a hitter and still reduce salary.

  3. welikeroywelikeroy

    With all the injuries/inconsistancies because of injuries, it feels like Burnett was hardly even here to begin with. Thanks for one good year A.J.! I’ll just be glad that he doesn’t go to the Yankees, or Red Sox, and remain injury-free while there. That would really upset me.

  4. gsjays

    From Yahoo Sports

    The Blue Jays organization suffered a heavy blow with the death of its owner, Ted Rogers. Rogers, 75, who purchased the Jays in 2000, died of heart complications.

    His death leaves the Blue Jays in a state of flux as to whether his family or his company, Rogers Communications Inc., is willing to continue running the franchise. And if they do, for how long?

    “I guess the major issue will be whether the next CEO (of Rogers Communications Inc.) shares the same long-term vision that Ted Rogers had for the team,” said outgoing president and CEO Paul Godfrey, who leaves his position Dec. 31. “Over the short term, I would say the next two years or so, I’d bet the team will stay in Rogers hands.

    “What happens beyond that depends, I’m sure, on the company’s direction, the economy, foreign exchange and the attitude of the fans in Toronto. I know one thing: Ted would want the Jays to remain in Toronto, but now that will be someone else’s call.”

    The Jays, who are in negotiations to retain free agent right-hander A.J. Burnett, said they would likely save the money they would have to pay Burnett if he signed elsewhere rather than spend it on other free agents. In that way, their payroll would drop from about $97 million to around $83-85 million.

    The uncertainty regarding ownership will also be problematic for interim president Paul Beeston in his search for a new president and CEO.

    In a sign of the troubled economic times, the Jays cut 24 front-office jobs, the bulk of them coming in the ticket department. None of the cuts affected the baseball operations. “It’s regrettable,” said Paul Beeston, the Jays’ interim president. “Every sports team is challenged (by the economy) and the Toronto Blue Jays are as well.”

  5. rene_morais_@hotmail.com

    Everyone seems to be writing of this 09 team. You know sometimes when you think things will go right, they go wrong. And sometimes when you think things will go wrong, they finally go right.

    There’s no reason the Jays pitching staff can’t have another good year – even without Burnett and Marcum. They survived tough injuries during the last two years, and their pen should be even stronger this year, if that’s even possible. As for the hitting – if Wells, Rolen, Hill and Overbay can finally have a full healthy season, and now with the addition of a more experienced Lind and Snider in the lineup for the full season (not to mention Cito Gaston for a full season), the Jays could go back to 06 hitting form.

    You just never know with this game. It could be the year the Jays finally combine offense with pitching. Look at the 08 Twins and Sox, they weren’t supposed to be any good…

    In either case, I think it’s best to have an optimistic attitude. Makes it more fun to look forward to the season, no?

  6. lndigo

    2009 is going to be a rough year for the Jays , too many unknowns , player and money wise . I would not be unhappy if we didn’t sign Burnett , 1) is the high risk factor of yet another injury laden season or 5 of them and 2) why spend the money on him when there is little chance of the Jays doing much next year . Burnett’s pitching will not save this team .

    Wells being traded keeps being brought up but its not going to happen . He has a back end loaded contract with a full no trade clause

  7. lndigo

    Win or lose I still love the Jays and will support them . I do think they will go through some rough times . There are a lot of unanswered questions with the passing of Ted Rogers . Who will take over the team , his company or his family and will they have the passion for the Jays that he had. It will be an interesting year to say the least

  8. nick.10@hotmail.com

    hey all,
    I am just wondering why Scutaro is being tabbed as the opening day starter as SS. I know McDonald won’t be the the starter (as much as I think he should be), but Inglett posted better numbers in almost every offensive category, plus he is a potential leadoff hitter. Maybe I’m missing something, but I can;t believe how Inglett doesn’t have the starting job at SS/2B after having a very impressive year, where he hit .297 with 7 triples.

  9. gsjays

    Well, there’s good news and bad news in this MLB rumor, if it’s true.

    “The Blue Jays would deal B.J. Ryan if overwhelmed by an offer. They’re looking for a catcher to split time with Rod Barajas. Forget the rumors that Roy Halladay is available. “We will not trade Roy Halladay,” said GM J.P. Ricciardi. The Jays will shop for bargains in free agency.”

    -The good news is, JP is prepared to dump Ryan. The bad news, is it sort of sounds like he’s looking to trade Ryan for a back up catcher to Barajas when we should be trading Barajas right along with Ryan bring up two of our kids and let them play. As dumb as this move sounds, it does sound a lot like one of Jp’s moves and probably is true.
    The other dual bad news is we’re supposedly looking for “bargains in free agents” and we won’t trade Halliday. Beeston should check Jp’s record on bargain based free agents or for that matter free agents since they’ve mostly been disasters. Eckstein, Mench, Stewart, Benetiz, Wilkerson, Okha, Clayton, Phillips, Olmedo, Zambrano, etc, etc, etc, are good examples of Jp’s free agent bargain signings.
    If we don’t trade for prospects, we can write off one hell of a lot more than 2009. 2009 is starting to sound like another groundhog year when we end up in 4th or 5th place have multiple excuses and promise next year will be better.

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