Wednesday, November 07, 2007

SHOP, SHOP AROUND

The speculation about the Jays entertaining trade offers for A.J. Burnett was nicely anticipated by faithful commenter Pete Toms way back in late August.

Phil Rogers at ESPN.com figures the Cardinals might make a play for the prodigal right-hander. The question is what St. Louis has that the Jays want.

They have a lefty-hitting 21-year-old catcher in Bryan Anderson, who projects to be a very good on-base guy at the major-league level. The Jays need a new left side of the infield too, but St. Louis doesn't have much available.

Standing firm with the crew which went 83-79 and finished third in the AL East isn't going to play well in Casual Fan City for Jays GM J.P. Ricciardi. Making moves designed to win press conferences -- which is so MLSE -- is hardly something to aspire to and besides, can Burnett bring that much with his track record of being hurt?

It says here that teams are getting too smart to trade the farm for A.J. Burnett... although if Cam Bonifay ever gets to run a team again, all bets are off. This might be one of those trades that is best left unmade.

1 comment:

Pete Toms said...

It's very notable that Ricciardi made these comments at the GM's meetings. He is sending a direct message to his colleagues that Burnett is available. That doesn't necessarily mean that he'll get a deal to his liking.

There's no doubt that Burnett is marketable. He's relatively cheap @ $12 million for 08 ( if you don't think so wait until we see what Carlos Silva gets on the open market ) and practically everybody needs pitching.

I think JP has to keep him. If Burnett is the self centred ass that he has been made out to be perhaps the opt out after 08 will motivate him to pitch 200 innings this coming season so he can cash in even bigger. The Jays in turn would take their 2 1st round compensatory picks and move on.

Or Ricciardi can move him now, let somebody else worry about AJ's fragile state ( mentally & physically ) and get some major league ready bodies in return.

As I said in August, if JP thinks he needs to be perceived as "doing something" this offseason, trading Burnett might be the most plausible scenario. He's not going to trade any of his young inexpensive pitching and he can't get rid of his vets - Thomas, Glaus, Overbay, - because they underperformed / were hurt last season.

If Burnett is dealt I will take it as a sign that Ricciardi is feeling some heat. I think JP knows his team is built to win now and a key part of that equation is Burnett, or more precisely a 200 inning in 08 Burnett.

Watch the reaction tomorrow, Jays fans will be clamoring for the deal. Burnett has been labelled the spoiled, pampered, heartless mercenary - perhaps even fairly - by the Jays faithful.

What the hell, it's Hot Stove season, Burnett has pitched his last game as a Jay.