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.