Monday, July 14, 2008

First they trade Burnett; then they lose the Doc

"I don't know if move on, but I want to play for a team that can win a World Series. That's the one thing I really want to accomplish in the rest of my time, is win a World Series…I've got two years to decide That's still a ways off for me, but I definitely want to keep moving in the right direction and I hope we do in these next two years. I'd like to get something accomplished and then after that, readjust and see where we're at."

Anyone want to lay money that he re-signs in two years? Halladay doesn't strike one as a guy that speaks out (however subtle it may be) without serious thought behind it. That he would refuse to issue a tired cliche when about his future with the Jays is telling. He's practically screaming from the hilltops -- get me a winning team or watch me come back in pinstripes ('cause, really ... who else will be able to afford him).

It's difficult to see how the Jays can restructure themselves into a winner in the two years that Halladay has left. J.P. Ricciardi has hitched the team's fortunes to a core that doesn't have a ton of trade value and doesn't seem quite good enough by half.

Unless you think the Jays are going to go 47-20 the rest of the way (what they would need to do to get to the 94-win total that the average AL wild-card team has had since its inception), or you think a No. 4 hitter suddenly going to fall from the sky, you might want to make sure you get down to the Dome every five days or so for the next couple months. You never realize how good you have things until you lose them after all.

I'm not about to look it up, but I'm pretty sure that last time the Jays went 47-20 they were winning World Series. Since that doesn't seem likely, it's vital that something be done with the assets they have to trade now. And, there is no bigger asset than A.J. Burnett. A lot of people like to suggest that the Jays would be better off keeping him and collecting the draft picks they will receive when he opts out of his contract at year's end. I'm sorry, but two compensation picks aren't going to cut it with Burnett. And since keeping him is next to useless (again -- 47-20. Show me evidence that the Jays could go 47-20 and I'll listen), it's pretty clear that he needs to be moved. If Ricciardi is as good as he thinks he is, he needs to find a position player that will contribute to the team in 2009 or sooner.

He better, because his job likely depends on it.

(Update: As for the story about the topless woman in one of the Rogers Centre hotel rooms, could everyone try to act like they've seen bare breasts before? Jeebus.)

BTW - the title is a bad Leonard Cohen reference in case you were confused...


Tyler King said...

"Anyone what [sic] to lay money that he resigns [sic] in two years?"

Sure. Halladay's made it clear on a zillion occasions that he wants to finish his career as a Jay, and no sign was better than his decision to give them a massive hometown discount on his most recent contract. By the end of this year, either the Jays will be a contender (more unlikely than likely) or J.P. will be gone - a win/win situation as any successor GM is going to keep the team on the path towards contention because it'd be impossible and inadvisable to move into a rebuilding phase.

As for your little 47-20 thing, the Jays went 45-27 after this day in 1989 and won the division after being 44-46 to that point. Granted, 89 wins isn't necessarily a playoff number, but it's also the win total of a team that contends and would probably be higher than any NL playoff team. At the very least, no, it was not only during the World Series years that the Jays put together those sorts of streaks.

As for "two compensation picks aren't going to cut it with Burnett" - they kinda are, especially if the value you'll get in a trade won't be the sorts of packages yielded by Sabathia, Harden, or soon, Bedard.

But then again, I have no clue why I'm assuming there's any sort of rhyme or reason to the silliness about Burnett in these posts. You expect a team that trades for Burnett, and is thus obviously making a playoff run, is going to give up "a position player that will contribute to the team in 2009 or sooner". If they had that, they'd be using them already for their playoff run. That's why people like Matt Laporta, or 16 years ago, Jeff Kent, are traded in deals like this, because their future is a few years off.

It's really simple baseball management stuff here...

eyebleaf said...

doc is the blue jays' mats sundin.

that is all.

sager said...

Paraphrasing Michael Keaton's character in The Paper: "The Jays don't play in the National League! They play in the f--king American League East!"

True, this team would make the playoffs on a regular basis if it was in the other league. I've often comforted myself with that thought. The media and most of the public aren't buying that.

Since Duane called it, I put a post about Halladay up at Epic Carnival -- and buried 16 quotes from Bill Murray movies in it. Go ahead, you'll never find them all.

Duane Rollins said...

Tyler -

Stick your (sic)s up (you know where). Seriously. Stuff like that is where the condescension comments from the other day come from.

You got me - I made a couple typos.

I tell ya what...moving forward I won't focus on your age and lack of life experience and you, since you have editing powers on this blog, can just fix my typos when you see them rather than throw them out there in an attempt to be superior.

I think you are wrong on the Burnett front. You think I am. We disagree. The difference, it seems, is you seem to think that any opinion other than your own lacks "rhyme or reason."

BTW - A player that contributes in 2009 or sooner could be an AAAA type. He could also be an undervalued major leaguer that blossoms in T.O. There are all sorts of ways to find value, which is what a good G.M. does and what Ricciardi advertised himself as capable of doing when he came on board.

Big V said...

I believe its gotten to the point where If Doc said "Its either me or Richardi(sp)" the team would side with the Doc.
He is the face of the bluejays franchise and would just look silly in any other uniform.

Greg said...

JPs biggest mistake in 2007: Not trading Matt Stairs when he had exceptional value at the deadline. He was hitting for average and hitting bombs. He can, if needed, play left, right, first and DH. JP held onto him.

JPs biggest mistake in 2008 will be: Not getting the absolute most for Burnett.

The Jays biggest mistake: Hiring JP.

Anonymous said...

Halladay's perfectly justified to indicate he may leave after his current contract is up. He's fulfilled his end of the bargain as the team's ace and leader for a long time now - he's received numerous assurances the team was moving in the right direction.

But guess what? The Jays can barely hit .500 ball and it's the All-Star Break. The team's offence is horrible. The team has no chance to compete for even a wild card. J.P.'s master plan has failed miserably.

I say if the team's not capable of competing for a wild card by 2010, Halladay is perfectly justified in leaving and going to a real contender. I don't want him to go, but considering he's a Hall of Fame candidate that has never seen post-season baseball, wouldn't you want to take that chance for World Series glory?

- Greg Hughes

sager said...

There was never a master plan. No one in baseball has a master plan. You just try to get a little bit better each day. Of course, Godcciardi hasn't done that.

Tyler King said...

For the record, I didn't edit the post.