Tagged: Blue Jays

Will Burnett get the 5 Years he Wants?

AJ Burnett is drawing a ton of interest on the open market. After opting out of his contract with the Blue Jays, he has 6 teams seriously interested in his services. The Yankees, Red Sox, Braves, Mets, Oriols, and Blue Jays all want him. Because of all the interested teams, Burnett will look for a 5 year deal while considering nothing else. The Yankees don’t want to go to 5 years, but I’m sure they’d change their mind if the Red Sox offer that term. I don’t think the Sox will either, though. They really don’t need Burnett, they just want to keep him out of New York. It would probably be smarter to pursue a reunion with Derek Lowe. He wants to come back to Boston, and would be cheaper than Burnett even though he is probably a better pitcher. The Braves would rather have Lowe, also. They will pursue Burnett, but it’s no secret that they’d rather have the veteran durability of Lowe. The Mets will probably not be able to afford Burnett if they give Francisco Rodriguez a big contract. Maybe they’ll be the team to give him 5 years for less money than the 16 million per year he will command. The Oriols would like to add him because he would make a really nice 1-2 punch when combined with Jeremy Guthrie. When some of their great pitching prospects come up, the Oriols will be in great position to compete. I guess I could see them going to 5 years, but I really have to squint. JP Riccardi, the GM of the Blue Jays, has said that he would consider going to 5 years for AJ. If they are the only team offering this term, they’ll probably be able to resign him.  I really think in the end that some team will offer Burnett 5 years, and I’m predicting it will be the Yankees. How many times have they changed their minds? A lot, and I think they will this time, too.

Should the Rangers Pursue Milton Bradley?

Last offseason, Milton Bradley signed a 1 year deal with the Rangers. He was just supposed to be a stopgap DH for them, but Milton ended up having a career year, and even started at DH for the AL All Star team. He has always had the talent, it’s just that Bradley has never managed to stay healthy. Does one good year get him the four he’s asking for? Does it even get him three? And will the Rangers resign him? Well, the Rangers did have the best lineup in the MLB last year, so they can afford to let him leave, but he could definatly have a major impact by protecting Josh Hamilton in the lineup. I know that people will think it’s smarter to sign a starting pitcher instead, but hitters will take discounts to go to Arlington, while you’d have to overpay a pitcher. So just stack up your team on hitters. It doesn’t matter if you win games with offense like a 12 to 10 win, or with pitching like a 3 to 2 win. You just want to win. They do have tons of offensive talent in the minors, but thoses players could be used as trade bait to fetch some pitching. Just like the Rangers will probably deal a catcher for a starter. If the Rangers do decide that they don’t want Bradley back, then possible suitors would be the Blue Jays, Rays, and Angels. But the Jays might opt for Giambi instead since he’ll come with less years and less injury risk. The Rays don’t have much to spend, and if the Angels sign Mark Teixera or CC Sabathia, then they’ll only have 10 million left. It would be smart for them to use the 10 million to add depth to the bullpen, outfield, and rotation rather than bringing in one bat. So none of these teams are perfect fits. I still think in the end he will remain in Texas with the Rangers.

Team’s Payroll

I will put the amount of money teams will have to spend this offseason along with their payroll from the previous year, arbitration eligible players, and the salary they have committed. This will make things easier when trying to guess who could afford the top-notch free agents. I was informed greatly from MLB Trade Rumors. This will be a side-bar link.



 Last year’s payroll

 Salary Committed

 Arbitration Eligible

 Estimated money to spend


102 million 

48 million 

Casey Kothman, Omar Infante, Kelly Johnson, Matt Diaz, Jeff Francoeur, Mike Gonzalez 

 45 million


 138 million

104 million 

 Ryan Church, John Maine, Aaron Heilman, Pedro Feliciano, Duaner Sanchez

28 million 


103 million

100 million 

Cole Hamels, Jayson Werth, Shane Victorino, Joe Blanton, Greg Dobbs, Ryan Howard  

15 million 


 21 million

 20 million

Scott Olsen, Jorge Cantu, Ricky Nolasco, Mike Jacobs, Jeremy Hermida, Josh Willingham, Dan Uggla, Cody Ross, Matt Treanor, Alfredo Amezaga, Joe Nelson, Kevin Gregg, Logan Kensing, Eulogio de la Cruz, Doug, Waechter 

0 million


55 million 

40 million 

Ryan Zimmerman, Tim Redding, Jesus Colome, Ryan Wagner, Willy Harris

10 million 


118 million

122 million 

Reed Johnson, Ronny Cedeno, Michael Wuertz, Neal Cotts, Chad Gaudin 

20 million 


80 million 

60 million 

Prince Fielder, Rickie Weeks, JJ Hardy, Corey Hart, Dave Bush, Seth McClung, Todd Coffey, Chris Capuano 

20 million 


100 million 

78 million 

Aaron Miles, Rick Ankiel, Ryan Ludwick, Todd Wellemyer, Brad Thompson 

20 million 


74 million 

54.5 million 

Bill Bray, Edwin Encarnacion, Mike Lincoln 

15 million


 86 million

88 million 

Humberto Quintero, Ty Wigginton, David Newhan, Brian Backe, Wandy Rodriguez, Jose Valverde, Geoff Geary, Tim Byrdak 

15 million 


 49 million

31 million 

Ryan Doumit, Adam LaRoche, Nate McLouth, Paul Maholm, Zack Duke, John Grabow, Tyler Yates, Denny Bautista 

8 million 


59 million 

118  million 

Russell Martin, Andre Eithier, Takashi Saito, Jonathan Broxton, Scott Proctor, Yhency Brazoban

50 million 

Diamond Backs 

 66 million

55 million 

Chris Snyder, Augie Ojeda, Conor Jackson, Chris Burke, Edgar Gonzalez, Chad Qualls

10 million 


68 million 

77.5 million 

Garret Atkins, Willy Tavaras, Jorge de la Rosa, Jason Grilli 

3 million 


73 million 

44 million 

Jody Gerut, Scott Hairston, Heath Bell, Clay Hensley 

4 million 


76 million 

64 million 

Fred Lewis 

10 million 


124 million 

87 million 

Macier Izturis, Rob Quinlan, Chone Figgins, Ervin Santana 

30 million 


48 million 

29 million 

Huston Street, Justin Duchscherer Rob Bowen 

10 million + 


67 million 

63 million 

Gerald Laird, Marlon Byrd, Brandon McCarthy, Frank Francisco, CJ Wilson, Kameron Loe 

10 million 


117 million 

88 million 

Felix Hernandez, Erik Bedard, Jeremy Reed 

20 million – 

White Sox 

121 million 

108 million 

Bobby Jenks, DJ Carasco, DeWayne Wise

10 million 


57 million 

54 million 

Jason Kubel, Matt Guerrier 

15 million 


79 million 

64 million 

Kelly Shoppach 

15 million 


137 million 

115 million 

Marcus Thames, Ramon Santiago, Fernando Rodney, Justin Verlander, Gary Glover, Joel Zumaya, Bobby Seay 

5 million 

14 million

14 millionRoyals 

58 million 

52 million 

John Buck, Esteban German, Mark Teahen, Joey Gathright, Zack Greinke, Brian Bannister, Kyle Davies, Jimmy Gobble, Joel Peralta 

7 million 

Red Sox 

133 million 

92 million 

Kevin Youkilis, Kevin Cash, Javier Lopez, Jonathan Papelban 

33 million 


43 million 

49 million 

Edwin Jackson, Dioner Navarro, Jason Bartlett, Gabe Gross, Jonny Gomes, Grant Balfour

5 million 


209 million 

140 million 

Xavier Nady, Wilson Betemit, Chien-Ming Wang, Brian Bruney 

50 million 

Blue Jays 

98 million 

80 million 

Jose Bautista, Jason Frasor, Brian Tallet, Brandon League

15 million 


67 million 

63 million 

Freddie Bynum, Luke Scott, Nick Markakis, Jeremy Guthrie, Daniel Cabrera, George Sherrill, Chris Ray, Fernando Cabrera 

15 million 


Player Market: Manny Ramirez

Will Manny Ramirez get his crazy demands? I don’t think so, but lets look at some teams that might give in.

Dodgers (frontrunners)  There is no great fit for Manny, but the Dodgers make the most sense because of the familarity. They have a boatload of outfielders, but because of what he did for their team and how popular he is, they have to at least try to keep him. I think he’ll get  4 years, 80 million. I explained why he shouldn’t get the 6 years he wants here.

Angels (possible)  Could Manny be going to the team on the other side of LA? If they miss out on Mark Teixera, they might even become the frontrunner. Manny could DH most of the time and he knows LA. This team seems to be the best fit, if Tex doesn’t return to the Angels.

Mets (possible)  There have been conflicting reports on whether they’re interested or not. So I will label them as “possible.” They do have an open left field spot. Ya, I know they have Daniel Murphy, but I think of him more as depth in case of a Luis Castillo or Ryan Church injury. Manny would make a lot of sense here, but they probably view starting pitching as their #1 need.

Braves (not likely)  I just put them because they have the money. Not many other teams can afford a 20+ million dollar contract and still have money to spend. Bobby Cox might be able to keep Manny in line, but they, like many other teams, view starting pitching as a more pressing need.

Yankees (not likely)  They might do it solely to antagonize the Red Sox. However, with the pitching problems and such a bad defense it might not be a great idea to add Manny. If I were them, I’d use the money on pitching. If they have the urge to add a bat, bring in Teixera.

Blue Jays (dark horse)  He has always destroyed the Yankees, as well as the rest of the AL East. He would probably be extremely motivated to play so many games against the Red Sox. If the Jays want to compete, they have to get a big bat. Ramirez would be a perfect fit, the only problem is the salary. With about 15 million to spend, they’d have to either backload his contract or make a trade. This team makes a lot of sense, but are a long shot because of the money.

Could Blue Jays Shop BJ Ryan

I have said before that the Blue Jays had a lot of money to spend. Now that I look closer, they only have about 15 million. So they can buy one big free agent, but that’s it. If they move BJ Ryan and clear 10 million from the payroll, then they would have 25 million. That could add two goo players. Maybe AJ Burnett and Orlando Cabrera. That would help a lot. I know you probably think that no team would want Ryan for that salary, but I think some team will get desperate. Brian Fuentes will probably get more years in exchange for less money. If teams value Ryan and Fuentes evenly, then they might consider Ryan an affordable option to Francisco Rodriguez or Brian Fuentes. For example: the Mets could decide that K-Rod is not worth 4 years, 60 million. Instead, they like the idea of Ryan for 2 years 20 million. This way they can use their money on starters, and the Jays free up salary. Everyone wins. I think it is very likely the Jays trade BJ Ryan this offseason.

Blue Jays Offer AJ Burnett 4 Years, 54 Million

According to the Toronto Star, the Blue Jays are set to offer AJ Burnett 2 extra years and 30 million for him not to opt out of his current deal. So, basicly they are offering him 4 years, 54 million. I think this one might get done, and maybe even before the season ends. The offer does seem a little under-value. Only 13.5 million a year. Maybe if they tore up the old contract and offered 4 years, 60 million then something could get done. If I were Burnett, I would wait untill after the season because it is possible some desperate team like the Yankees offers him something like 4 years, 72 million. Even if he does hit the open market,  look for the Jays to aggressivley pursue him. They need a pitcher after losing Shaun Marcum for the year. If they miss out on Burnett, they could still go after other pitchers. Or, they could just go for a bat like Manny Ramirez instead. They have options.

Player Market: Derek Lowe

Next up in our Player Market series is Derek Lowe. Lets look at some interested parties.

Red Sox (frontrunner)  The Red Sox are a frontrunner to sign former Red Sox player Derek Lowe. He has said he would like to move back to the east coast, and with the Red Sox trying to add a starter, they could look to sign him. I’m sure he’d like to return, as well.

Mets (frontrunner)  They’ll be focusing on starting pithing this offseason, and you would have to think that they would love to slot Derek Lowe in there right behind Johan Santana. They are an east coast team, and Lowe would probably go there if offered the right amount of money. This team makes a lot of sense.

Dodgers (possible)  Even though it looks like they aren’t terribly interested, they still have to at least consider bringing him back. He has been so good for them during his contract, and it only makes sense for them to go after him.

Blue Jays (possible)  After losing Shaun Marcum for 2009, they’ll be looking at the starting pitching market. Derek Lowe would like to return to the east coast and the Blue Jays make a lot of sense. They also have a lot of money to spend so they can afford him. This one makes a lot of sense. 

Braves (possible)  It is very likely that the Braves go hard after starting pitching this offseason. Derek Lowe would be at the top of their list. A durable, consistent, ground ball pitcher. I’m sure they would love to add Lowe, but not sure if they would pony up enough cash for Derek.

Astros (possible)  Since they play in Minute Maid Park, they probably would prefer a ground-ball-pitcher. They also work well with his agent, Scott Boras. This team makes a lot of sense if they miss out on other targets.

Rangers (possible)  Derek Lowe would be very effective as a ground-ball pitcher in the hitter-friendly ballpark in Arlington. The Rangers would be very interested because he’s keeps the ball in the park, and they could use as much pitching as they can get.

Cardinals (possible)  They will be looking for starting pitching for sure this offseason. At least one, probably two. Derek Lowe would be a huge addition to this team. If they are willing to spend the dough, I could definatly see Lowe signing here.

Rockies (dark horse)  Many teams that play in hitters ballparks would like to add Lowe because he is a sinker-baller. The Rox can use as many of those as they can get because they play at Coors Field. If they decide to go for it in ’09, I could see them signing Lowe. 

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Player Market: Rafael Furcal

There’s bound to be a lot of teams looking in to signing Rafael Furcal this winter. With several teams interested in shortstops and lead-off men, Furcal should have a huge market. Lets look at some interested parties.

Dodgers (frontrunners)  They want and need Furcal to return. Look at their record at the begining of the year with Furcal compared to without. He is their spark-plug, and I think he will be their number 1 offseason priority. Rafeal was stated that he would like to stay, as well.

Royals (frontrunners)  The Royals would love to add a Rafael Furcal type of player. They could move Matt Aviles to second base, something they want to do. Furcal would probably only require a 3 year deal, so Mike Moustakes will be coming up just when Rafael’s deal is ending. They add a speedy lead-off man to pair with David DeJesus at the top of that lineup. This team makes a lot of sense and the Royals will most likely be big players for Furcal.

Blue Jays (frontrunners)  The Blue Jays make a lot of sense for Furcal as well. They have been without a leadoff man for a long time, and their two shortstops, Marco Scutaro and John McDonald aren’t great options. They could be possible trade chips, however. This team is a great fit for Rafeal Furcal.

A’s (possible)  It is possible the Oakland A’s decide to go after a free agent or two for possible contention in 2010. They badly need a leadoff man, and even though they don’t need a shortstop they could still sign Furcal and then trade current shortstop Bobby Crosby. They haven’t had a good lead-off man in forever, and they now have the chance to get one if they shell out big bucks.

Cardinals (possible)  It seems as though the Cardinals are going to be spending a lot this offseason. They need pitching and middle infield help. The Cards have no speed in their lineup, and Furcal would add a ton. The Cardinals might want to devote their money towards starting pitching, however. 

Reds (possible)  The Reds need a shortstop and a lead-off man. So they are a natural fit for Furcal. They have many holes, however, and may decide to spread out their money like the Cardinals could possibly do. This might be smarter than using almost half of it in one place.

Twins (slim chance)  The Twins are sure to be interested, but don’t have that much money to spend. It may be smarter for them to target a shortstop via trade instead of free agency. Everyone wants pitching, and the Twins are one of the few teams with a surplus.

Braves (Dark Horse)  Wouldn’t it be crazy if Furcal signed back with his former team, the Braves. Yes, they have Yunel Escobar, but they could move him to second base. Yes, they have Kelly Johnson there, but he could be a trade candidate. The Braves haven’t had a good leadoff man since Rafeal was there, so why not just bring him back. They could then trade Johnson for a starting pitcher or a left fielder. This could work.

Magglio Ordonez Could be Shopped

It seems as if it is getting more and more likely that the Tigers will place Magglio Ordonez on the trade block this offseason. They want to open up payroll so they can go out and fill a need or two via free agency. Their projected payroll if they keep everyone is about 125 million. They want to lower it to the 110 range. Magglio would have to go in that situation. He is set to make 15 million next year. They could probably stomach a 115 or 120 million payroll. So if they trade Magglio they still have 5 to 10 million to spend. One possible destination is to the Blue Jays for Scott Downs and a pitching prospect. Downs is the reliever they need. Marcus Thames could handle right field, but a platoon would be more helpful. They can sign David Eckstein for shortstop. A bargain-basement starter and a righty-mashing right fielder could also help. Maybe they sign  Eric Hinske or Cliff Floyd. The starter they add could be a guy like Randy Wolf or Paul Byrd. Another possibility is to trade Ordonez to the Braves for Rafeal Soriano or Mike Gonzalez. One of them could be available if the Braves resign John Smoltz for the bullpen. Both are signed on one year deals. They could then do the same I stated above to fill their other holes. It would be tough for the Tigers to improve by trading away one of their best hitters, but it is possible if they can fill multiple holes with the money opened up.