Tuesday, July 29, 2008

A.J. Burnett is a three-wins-over-.500 pitcher

In his last four starts, A.J. Burnett is 3-1 with a 1.32 ERA, 31 Ks versus 8 BBs.

So, Steve Simmons: You know what's frustrating about A.J. Burnett? That the Blue Jays don't have him locked up for the next two years yet.

Speaking of which, the decision by the Blue Jays to hold on to Burnett (at least, that seems to be the message today) would lead any sentient being to assume that they're going to try to sweeten the pot to buy out his option. We don't know where the $4 million figure that has bounced around our comments section (as well as the Drunks') comes from, but we suspect that it wouldn't be enough. We're guessing that it's going to take more than $5 million over those last two years to wrap him up, especially since he'd probably attract offers of more than $15 million per annum in the off-season.

But what the fadoo do we know?

On Canadian pitchers, petulant GMs, and the Olympics
Anyone catch J.P. Ricciardi in the scrum yesterday, discussing the recall of Canadian pitcher Scott Richmond? We're not sure what the question was that set him off, but Ricciardi went into full-on smarmy, snarky, you-gotta-be-kidding-me mode when someone seemed to question him on whether if he considered the implications of Richmond missing the Olympics for Canada.

"When you grow up playing catch in your backyard, do you dream of playing in the Olympics or in the Big Leagues?" Ricciardi scoffed.

We'd have to side with J.P. on this one, and we'd draw a clear distinction between this and Colorado GM Dan O'Dowd's bullshit move to keep Jeff Francis out of the 2004 Olympics. Richmond is a career minor leaguer who's getting his first shot at the bigs at 28. Francis was a prospect who was ordered to stay in the minor leagues and not join the Olympic team just because.

Oh, and by the way...fuck Jeff Francis.

20 comments:

Timmy D said...

The $4 million ($2 million/year over two years) number comes from John Perrotto at Baseball Prospectus, likely via MLB Trade Rumo(u)rs; at least, that's where I saw it.

Tao of Stieb said...

Ah yes...We recall seeing that now that you mention it.

Darren Priest said...

They have baseball at the Olympics? Do the Japanese win it every time?

Darren Priest said...

No, just looked it up for my self (a rarity). It's the dang Cubans!

eyebleaf said...

JP is doing the right thing, he shouldn't give a damn about the Olympics. We've got a freakin' pennant race to worry about.

Tao of Stieb said...

And as such, we'd like to say that J.P. should just go ahead and sign Stubby Clapp.

This team isn't scrappy enough.

The Ack said...

Sweetening the remaining 2 years of the contract, sure (not that AJ would go for it). Handing him another extension.....not cool. I wouldn't want to be the team offering him another 5 year deal this offseason.

And, fuck Jeff Francis, even if I don't know why....

Jer said...

As a charter member of the AJ-a-holics I think 2 mill a year is enough... the rumours say that teams don't want AJ cause they're afraid he WON'T opt out and any team looking to trade him wants a guarantee he'll opt out (oddly manny wants the same sort of thing... a guarantee his new team WON'T pick up the 20 mill options) I think AJ will still be our number 2 started for the 09 and 10 season

gabriel said...

Scott Richmond is not a career minor-leaguer, at least not as we normally think of such. He bounced around a lot of semi-pro and independent leagues. It's not like he's been knocking around the minors, with different teams flipping him back and forth. This is his first year in affiliated baseball, Toronto started him in AA, where he had a 4.7ish ERA but a decent 1.33 WHIP, and moved him to AAA where he's put up a couple very nice starts.

In short, he's done very well for a guy who's never played anywhere near AA level before, and who the Jays obviously think has great promise. I'm really looking forward to seeing his stuff.

Stoeten said...

I love the idea of sweetening the contract, but AJ's agent would still have to be shot if he doesn't opt out. $28M now is nice, but not compared to another 4/60. If you're 15% slice of AJ's paycheque is on the line, do you trust that, come two years from now, he's going to be able to make up that extra $30M-- plus enough extra to have made the gamble worthwhile?

With AJ's history, there's just no way. He's opting out.

Stoeten said...

ugh. "Your"

Tao of Stieb said...

We actually hadn't heard the DJF podcast before writing this post, which explains why we were treading over the same territory.

Ultimately, the point is that if Burnett has the option to leave, there's no way that he's not going to explore it. And if he ends the year at 16-10 with a 3.80 ERA or something in that neighbourhood, then $14 million ain't gonna cut it. And there's no way that his agent would ever let him settle for a few million when there could be a shitload of money out there somewhere for him.

So, yeah...what Stoeten said.

Darren Priest said...

Desperately try to sign him in the middle of a hot streak. Pfeh! Take your collective heads out of your asses and look at what he's done over the entirety of his contract.

Tao of Stieb said...

We shall. And then we shall compare it against what the other free agent pitchers in the market have done over the same period, divide by their expected contract values in the next year, and multiply by your ass.

A.J. Burnett is awesome. Fuck you.

Darren Priest said...

OK. If you do all that and he's a bargain at 15 over 4, then who am I to question your wisdom. Now excuse me while I bookmark this so I can refer to it the next time you have your ample panties in a bunch over AJ being a clubhouse wanker.

Oh, and fuck you.

The Ack said...

I'm going to write up a big AJ love post this weekend for the sole purpose of riling up Priesty. You big fucken' baby.

Darren Priest said...

I don't hate AJ, I just think 12 is plenty for him. I did a little research and AJ is basically in the ranked in the same neighbourhood as Ted Lilly, Erik Bedard, Chien-Ming Wang, John Maine, and Derek Lowe. They've all had injury problems (maybe not Maine, but he is also the youngest and only makes 350 K right now).

I guess you have to ask yourself which of those pitchers you would take over AJ. For me, it would probably only be Wang and Bedard, so it's not like I don't think Burnett is valuable, I just think there are better things to do with the money. Pitching supposedly trumps hitting, but only every fifth day.

Look, I can simplify this: I want Manny!

Darren Priest said...

How about Burnett to Boston for Manny and Wakefield?

They don't want Manny, so that's just a salary dump for them. They renew Wakefield to one year contracts, so it's our younger, better pitcher for their wacky knuckleballer and Man-child.

Or we sign Bonds.

abigail breslin said...

why do we hate Jeff Francis???

Anonymous said...

AJ reminds me a bit of Todd Stottlemyre for some reason. He gets a lot of decisions, a few games above 500, similar temprament, blond hair (haha yeah that's drawing a long bow). No raspberry on his chin yet.