Sunday, 6 July 2008

Could AJ stay a Jay the next two years?

I know it sounds crazy, but hear me out. AJ has had a terrible season to date, and despite having terrific stuff teams aren't going to pay him a ton of money coming off a 5.00 ERA season with a poor win/loss record (8-8). I know that's not the best way to judge a pitcher, but for the most part that's what a GM is going to pay for. His walk rate has gone up and his K rate has gone down compared to his past couple of years, which is a very bad combination.

We all assumed AJ would just opt-out at the end of the year - but nobody expected him to be this bad in his potential walk year. If he keeps this up, at best he'd get a 6-7 million $ deal with a slightly higher option year for 2010. Financially, it wouldn't make sense for him to take that kind of a deal if he's got a shot at making at least 12 per in the next 2 years in Toronto.

It's possible AJ could have a stellar second half. But AJ's going to have to lower his ERA by a good 1 and a half points just to have a shot at a 3-4 year deal where he's making more money than he can earn with the Jays.

So barring an epic second half, is it possible that the Jays may have AJ Burnett for the next two seasons?



eyebleaf said...

look at the money that fatty carlos silva got last year...he was under .500 on the season with an ERA of 4.19 and a WHIP of 1.31

and he got $12 million.

based on that contract alone, i have to believe that AJ is going to walk.

The Southpaw said...

I don't think you need a gypsy to read the tea leaves based on some recent comments from AJ, there's no way he's staying.

In any event, I definitely do NOT want him to stay b/c he's a ticking time bomb. His type of pitcher usually blows up for good around age 31-32 and I wouldn't want $20 million committed to him over the next two years. In a sense I think we're lucky he's going to opt out and take JP off the hook.

But that's really the pessimist in me. At this point, I'm not really seeing too much reason for optimism for next year. Better plan for 2010.


The Southpaw said...

eyebleaf - I know how poorly Silva was doing at the time, but AJ's doing even worse. And I have to think that GM's have learned from that and aren't going to give as much to AJ simply because of that contract. Look at what happened later in the same offseason with Lohse - he wanted what, 3 years 30 mil and ended up with 1 year 5 million. And most GM's/scouts/executives knew Lohse was the better pitcher, with the better stuff, and was essentially AJ-lite - an underachiever with terrific stuff. So I'm thinking, if anything, the Silva deal is the reason AJ won't get a super deal like Silva, even if he intends to aim for that or higher.

JW - I know what AJ's said, and realistically I don't see why he'd stay because it's obvious he hates the team from his comments. But if he has a losing record, a 5.00+ ERA, how much better is he off opting out? From a financial point of view, can he realistically get more money? And from who? I know he's from Baltimore, but he wouldn't leave a losing team like TO for another losing team in the O's. They won't be ready till he's in the last year of his deal if he does that...

He's going to have to compete with the recently traded CC, Sheets, and several other top tier pitchers in FA. He's not going to be the first SP signed with those guys available, and by the time it comes around to him, teams won't want to spend as much money.

There's still a good chance he gets traded, but I just wanted to bring up there's a scary possibility he could stay a Jay. I don't want to see the Jays paying him 24 million either.

I wonder where he'd sign for 12+ million for 3-4 years to make opt-ing out worth while....


The Southpaw said...

I don't think all GM's ever learn. sure you can use Loshe as the counter example but all that means is that the dense GM's had already made their moves and everyone else was tapped out. Plus, AJ doesn't have Boras for an agent.

The one thing working against AJ this off-season is that there are a LOT of good top of the rotation pitchers on the market.

On the other hand, for a team that can't afford a CC or a Sheets, they might congratulate themselves on "settling" for AJ.

Plus, there's also this: AJ knows he's fragile - if he could get someone to commit to 4-5 years, even at a lower annual rate, it's a good deal for him.

I think he's outa here. Of course, I think he gets traded anyway. If he were to get dealt to Baltimore or St. Louis he might not opt out just because they are places he really wants to be. But that doesn't concern us.


fantasybaseballmacbookpro said...

shit his ass out and get some prospects!