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News » Toronto Blue Jays Inside Pitch 2008-11-29

Toronto Blue Jays Inside Pitch 2008-11-29

Toronto Blue Jays Inside Pitch 2008-11-29
The Blue Jays say they are actively pursuing right-hander A.J. Burnett.

At the same time, Paul Beeston, the Jays' interim president and CEO, added that if the team fails to re-sign the right-hander, it probably would save the $12 million it would pay him in 2009 and 2010 and not use those funds to sign other free agents.

In doing so, the Jays' payroll would fall from a projected $97 million to $85 million -- at least for 2009.

"It's a possibility," Beeston said. "We can spend $100 million, but if it doesn't make sense, why do it? It may make sense for our future (to not spend the $12 million)."

Beeston said that he, along with general manager J.P. Ricciardi, visited Burnett at his home near Baltimore and that the discussions were positive.

The Jays will wait until Burnett fields offers from all interested parties before launching one of their own.

Ricciardi has stressed that if it comes down to dollars, the Jays would not top the list. They hope their offer is competitive and that other factors such as familiarity and relationships would help swing Burnett back into their fold.

Author:Fox Sports
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Added: November 29, 2008

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