Wednesday, November 5, 2008

The end of the never-ending AJ Burnett opt-out discussion

Anyone surprised?

The agent for AJ Burnett, Darek Braunecker, has informed the club that his meal ticket will indeed exercise the opt-out clause in his contract. So the new question becomes.... what now?

The whole thing has become a mess of contradictory statements, which is to be expected, I guess. Money isn't everything, but there will be no hometown discount. AJ likes it in Toronto, but AJ wants to be closer to home. Team AJ wants to give the Jays every shot to work out a deal, but Team AJ wants to gauge market interest.

To tell the truth, other than the "no hometown discount" comment (fuck you, Braunecker), none of it really bothers me, since I contradict myself daily on this one. I really don't know which way to go here. Part of me says the Jays are better off taking the draft picks, spending the cash elsewhere, and letting Burnett hit the DL while tying up a big chunk of someone else's payroll.

Then I realize, yeah.....but they'll have to spend (basically) the same cash on either (a) an older pitcher with lesser stuff, but maybe more reliable (Lowe), (b) a pitcher with the same issues (Sheets), or (c) a mid to back of the rotation filler arm (Paul Byrd?). Regardless of the choice, there are question marks galore.

So the new question becomes, go with the devil you know, or the shitballer you don't? The sad reality is, the decision is really out of the Jays hands now.


eyebleaf said...

I'm with you on this one, I'm pretty fucking torn.

The only thing I know is that.......I don't want to see that mother fucker Paul Byrd in a Jays uniform.

AJ, holla when you've made your decision. Until then, I don't really want to hear about it.

Anonymous said...

Agreed - a "Byrd to the Birds" headline would absolutely kill me.
The expected price was always going to be way higher than what JP was saying he'd do to sweeten the original deal, basically forcing him to start from scratch.
I don't hold it against AJ - I wish him well, and fully expect that if he signs a long contract in the AL East, that he'll be injured most of the time the Jays meet his new team for the next year or two anyways.

woodpeck said...

omg! seems silly to ask 15 mill when you are leaving 12 on the table. what's 3 mill between friends? i thought we were friends AJ! and dear me, no Byrd this way either. i'd rather have Greg Zaun pitch for us!

Darren Priest said...

To me, this bit captures all we need to know about AJ Burnett:

"Although his 4.07 earned-run average was his highest since 2003, Burnett enjoyed his first injury-free season since 2005 and only the second of his nine-year career. After avoiding the disabled list for the first time in 2005, he left the Florida Marlins to sign a windfall free-agent deal with the Jays."

Good night and good luck, AJ. I'll take whatever is behind door number 2.

Anonymous said...

Remember back in June 2008 when it was established that the AJ contract was a bust

Anonymous said...

I say "fuck you, A.J." Take your soon-to-be-toast-again arm to the highest bidder. A million per win? Eat shit!

Instead, gimme an unknown shit-baller - any day.

Ian H. said...

Paul Byrd? Ugggh ... I have a feeling that might be J.P.'s "big deal" this off season. I don't mind Carl Pavano though.

Anonymous said...

Paul Byrd, who the hell else wants to come to Toronto? You might have to pay Garland 40 mill for 3 years just to think about that and Byrd about 8 mill. Ian, you want Pavano, you have to pay him too and give him more than 1 year....are you willing to do that? What is the alternative? Last fucking place with no Manny, young pitching and a still terrible offense. Then Doc walks into JP's office and finally demands a trade? Some of you would like that ,right?

If the Jays were smart they should trade Overbay AND Ryan ,sign someone like Garland and a Pavano type AND most importantly bring Manny to Toronto! He will not work in LA, If the Jays make it to the playoffs the MANNY SIGNING WILL BE WORTH IT.

Anonymous said...

trade them all: halladay, ryan, overbay, rolen, rios, and wells. And no more multiyear or optout contracts. Fire Ricciardi while you're at it. start fresh like the leafs!

Darren Priest said...

Roll like the Marlins! Trade everyone making more than 2 million a year and hire the Marlins scouting staff.

Joanna said...

and then say bye to MLB baseball in Canada.

Anonymous said...

I don't blame AJ Burnett or his agent for exercising the opt-out clause. What I don't understand, though, is why Ricciardi gave him that clause in the first place. With that clause in place, you're pretty much asking for the situation that happened, the player's value goes way up (and based on only one season's performance at that), and of course he opts out. Kudos to his agent for getting the clause in, and a bad move on Ricciardi's part to not say no. When the contract was signed I think Ricciardi's offer was the best, so he should have stood firm.