8 July 2008: Burnett on the Block

Tuesday, July 08 2008 @ 09:10 AM EDT

Contributed by: Pistol

With Sabathia traded AJ Burnett becomes one of the more attractive pitchers to trade for.

And Ricciardi apparently has no issues with publicly talking about it.  (Did we see Shapiro discussing trading Sabathia prior to that trade?)

Jeff Blair covers most of the bases in an article and blog post.

A few snippets:

The Blue Jays have a pretty clear game plan with Burnett: in order to trade him, they will need to receive what they believe will be the equivalent of two compensatory draft picks. Otherwise, they will keep him.
I hope this is just translated or worded poorly, because the Jays shouldn't consider trading Burnett unless they get something clearly in excess of the value of those two picks.  If a team is just giving up the equivalent of two draft picks they're essentially renting Burnett for nothing but cash.

"We're not sitting here thinking we're going to trade for a specific need we're going to trade for the best player available," Ricciardi said, dismissing the idea he has scouts scurrying to look at minor-league shortstops.
Good.  That should always be the mindset.  Too bad that wasn't the case in the 2005 draft.

"We think the fact that we have two players at Double A who have already moved quickly Brett Cecil and J.P. Arenicibia means we know how to identify a player who is capable of moving through the system quickly."
This is really amusing to me.  One, it sounds like the voice of an insecure man - "hey look, we actually have a couple prospects - the farm system is a-ok!".  Two, is that really an accomplishment?  Polished college players taken in the top 40 of the draft should be in AA at this point.  And there's plenty of examples of players reaching AA quickly and never working out.  Ricciardi continues to reiterate that the farm system is fine, but other than Travis Snider the Jays don't have a minor leaguer who would rank in a consensus top 50 prospect list.  And, at best, the Jays have 3 players in the top 100 - which is no more than average, particularly when 3 of the 4 teams in your division have more.

Said another way, if Burnett is traded a prospect coming back better at least be the team's second best prospect.

Blair's final sentence is about Burnett, but is pretty much how I feel about Ricciardi:  "Hope for the best, prepare for the worst."

The O's are in town tonight.  Dan Cabrera faces off against Dustin McGowan.

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