Before you read this post take a minute or two to review this article over at foxsports.com.
Finished yet? Good.
As this is a Blue Jays blog, I’d like to make some comments concerning what Dayn Perry sees in store for the Jays. Dayn Perry calls the Jays the most underrated team from 2008. Noted. He then goes on to call the team a potential stealth contender. Stealth contender? With a 100 million dollar budget? Is that the best we can hope for? Oh, the pain of competing in the AL East.
Enough lamentation, now on to the players.
A.J. Burnett: Is he worth it? It’s a toss up. A contract tendered to AJ would likely need to be in the range of 4 years at 15-18 million dollars at this point. IF he enjoys the kind of success that he enjoyed in 2008, then it would be a good deal. If, however, he follows his career trend then the Jays figure to only get one to two good years of the next four. That would make Burnett grossly overpriced. I tend to think he’ll find his way back to the DL one to two too many times to make him worth that kind of money. Trading for a pitcher would cost us too much in the ways of prospects, as premium pitching is very hard to come by, so we may have to settle for a lesser talent at a reduced price.
Raphael Furcal: The Blue Jays need an upgrade at short. I do not think it is prudent to move Hill over to short in anything less than the most convenient situations (for example, getting Brian Roberts). So we will need to lure a shortstop to Toronto. Growing up watching a lot of TBS I have a soft spot for Furcal. That being said, his last good season was 2006, he is coming off of an injury plagued campaign in which he hit very well in a small sample size of ABs and he is now over 30 years old, making him a liability as a speedster and as a shortstop.
Mixed messages, Dave?
Absolutely. I would support Furcal in a Jays uniform, but only under a few conditions. We cannot offer him more than a 3-4 year contract (perhaps 3 with a team option?) and we’ll need to keep Johnny Mac to back Furcal up when his defense becomes suspect.
Orlando Cabrera: The best move the 2004 Red Sox made was to add Cabrera for their playoff run. Could he work for the Jays in 2009? Sure! Not only are his stats just a shade worse than Furcals in his last couple of seasons (as compared to Furcals last full season or two) but he would be substantially cheaper. The issue with Cabrera is that he is quite old for a shortstop/leadoff man and I would advocated a contract length of no more than 2 years with a club/mutual option for a third.
Snider/Big Splashes (Manny): The Jays need to make the playoffs now. If not, rebuild. Snider could fit into both. A big splash such as Manny, however, fits into just one plan. There are three ways the Jays could spend their money this year. Bring back AJ and a cheap upgrade at short, bring in Manny and find a way to get a pitcher, or purchase a number of mediocre talent to fill positions.
We’ve tried the latter a number of times and my thoughts are known about Burnett. Get sassy Toronto – let’s bring us a pennant in 2009.