A.J. Burnett has reportedly signed with the Blue Jays for the incredible sum of $55M over 5 years. I bring this up not because he's a division foe, or even a great pitcher, but because of what it means to the Jon Garland contract negotiations.
Take a look at Burnett's resume. Losing record. Never won more than 12 games in a season. ERA+ of just 110. History of injuries. About to be 29. Then look at Garland. Next year (Garland's FA year), Jon will be younger than Burnett at free agency, should be considered a "proven winner", will have a very similar ERA+, and wil probably have averaged 200 IP for the last 5 years.
Garland can see that pay day on the horizon as much as we can, so don't expect him to sign a little 3-year deal with the Sox this year. He'll go to arbitration, then test the free agent waters next year, where I figure with another year of inflation the starting price could be 6 years/$70M.
- I hope Ken Rosenthal gets paid by the article. If he is, he could probably retire on his december articles alone. Check it out; 25 articles in 6 days. I sure hope ESPN doesn't see his production, snatch him up on the free agent market, then bury him behind the Insider wall.
- Peter Gammons is reporting that the A's are close to signing Frank Thomas, and acquiring David Wells from the Red Sox. -- Hmmm. Wells on a team with an injured Big Hurt. Yeah, that should work out well. -- More Frank quotes in a little bit.