Baseball for the Thinking Fan

Login | Register | Feedback

btf_logo
You are here > Home > Transaction Oracle > Discussion
Transaction Oracle
— A Timely Look at Transactions as They Happen

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Blue Jays - Signed Burnett

Toronto Blue Jays - Reportedly have agreed to a 5-year, $55 million contract with P A.J. Burnett.

The Jays wanted to use their increased budget to become players in the free agent market and that they’ve done.  With Ryan and now Burnett in the bag and serious offers to Brian Giles, the Jays are on the radar again for big moves.  It certainly wasn’t cheap, however, as $11 million a year for 5 years is a lot of money.

Burnett probably has more upside than any other pitcher available this winter, so the signing recommends itself in that respect.  Kevin Millwood’s probably a “safer” choice, but I think a possible Burnett failure would more likely be due to an insurance-friendly arm injury rather than just ineffectiveness.  Assuming that this contract is well insured, of course; it’s been harder to insure pitchers with big deals in recent years.  If the Jays can get a healthy Halladay-Burnett 1-2 punch most of the time, they’ll be in the divisional race.  The Jays now can comfortably put Chacin in the 3rd slot and sort out the Lilly/Batista/Towers/Bush group for the last two.

It would still be nice if they got a bat; Koskie should have a better year, but they really could use a little more offense to compete with the Yanks and Red Sox.  There aren’t a whole lot of appealing options on the market, but landing Abreu could very well make the Jays the favorites in the AL East, pending what moves New York and Boston make in the next month.

Now, people may say that the B.J. Ryan signing wouldn’t create any positive buzz and increase the team’s perceived quality.  Signing the top pitcher available in the market should, though.  There’s no doubt a sizable risk involved, but nothing ventured, nothing gained.

2006 ZiPS Projection - A.J. Burnett
———————————————————————-
W   L   G GS   IP   H   ER HR BB SO   ERA
———————————————————————-
13   7 28 28 183 163   73 14 61 154 3.59

Dan Szymborski Posted: December 06, 2005 at 02:50 AM | 38 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Related News:

Reader Comments and Retorts

Go to end of page

Statements posted here are those of our readers and do not represent the BaseballThinkFactory. Names are provided by the poster and are not verified. We ask that posters follow our submission policy. Please report any inappropriate comments.

   1. Optimus_Primate Posted: December 06, 2005 at 06:27 PM (#1763896)
The Jays now can comfortably put Chacin in the 3rd slot and sort out the Lilly/Batista/Towers/Bush group for the last two.

I don't think I would feel comfortable with Chacin as my #3 starter. If I was Ricciardi, I'd offer Chacin to any team that would be willing to take either Koskie or Hinske's contract off my hands.
   2. Matthew E Posted: December 06, 2005 at 06:27 PM (#1763898)
Coming into this offseason, I had thought that Ricciardi had put the Jays in a reasonable position. In his first couple of years, he had assembled a plausible supporting cast on his own economic terms, and now all he had to do was add stars to put the team over the top.

Well, now he's started doing that.

I also would like another bat or two. But the pitching looks like it's going to be so good that the offense doesn't need to be great, just better than it was last year.
   3. Andrew Edwards Posted: December 06, 2005 at 06:28 PM (#1763901)
Cross posting....

The Jays are still a third place team in the AL East. But they now have surplus pitching to acquire a bat (which could make them a wildcard team) and plainly the best pitching staff in their division.

Been a long time since us Jays fans have been able to say anything like that.

I'd appreciate this contract more if it was for fewer years, but both for the per year value and for the impact on the team, thumbs up on this signing.
   4. Andrew Edwards Posted: December 06, 2005 at 06:29 PM (#1763904)
Dan, those projections are in Skydome, right?
   5. Matthew E Posted: December 06, 2005 at 06:29 PM (#1763905)
Oh, and for the rotation: don't forget about Downs and McGowan. Downs was terrific last year filling in for Halladay and Lilly, and McGowan may turn out to be second-best of them all.
   6. danielj Posted: December 06, 2005 at 06:29 PM (#1763908)
Chacin is now an Oakland A.
   7. danielj Posted: December 06, 2005 at 06:30 PM (#1763909)
Ooops, My bad in post #6. It's Gaudin.
   8. Dan Szymborski Posted: December 06, 2005 at 06:39 PM (#1763933)
Daniel, good catch - you might have given some Jays fans a heart attack!
   9. Matthew E Posted: December 06, 2005 at 06:45 PM (#1763945)
Nah--I just thought he was making a prediction. Wouldn't have been a dumb prediction, either.
   10. Dan Szymborski Posted: December 06, 2005 at 06:47 PM (#1763949)
I'm not really sure you want Downs in the rotation at the start of a season and I was under the impression they'd like McGowan to be in Syracuse initially.
   11. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: December 06, 2005 at 06:49 PM (#1763955)
Dan, those projections are in Skydome, right?

No, the Rogers Centre!
   12. peter21 Posted: December 06, 2005 at 06:52 PM (#1763962)
Umm, isn't Chacin, you know...bad?

He struck out 5.37 per nine; his K/BB was 1.73. He doesn't get a ton of ground balls (or a ton of fly balls, even). He's right-handed. There's nothing special about him, it wouldn't surprise me at all if he was terrible next year.

Definitely not a #3 starter. Jays should trade him while they can.

Chacin, Hinske, and Brandon League for Abreu?
   13. Mister High Standards Posted: December 06, 2005 at 06:52 PM (#1763963)
It will be intresting to see how this year works out for the Jays. Kudos for Rogers and JP for investing in the team. Now if they fail, lets not cry bad luck lets figure out what the fumbled up.

I give a strong thumbs up to the move.
   14. Dr. Vaux Posted: December 06, 2005 at 06:58 PM (#1763979)
It's better to get fly balls than ground balls; they're more certain to turn into outs if they don't leave the park. Chacin also doesn't walk many. There's no way he posts a 3.71 ERA again, but average isn't out of the question, which belongs in a rotation. Hell, on the open market, it gets $7m/yr.
   15. Matthew E Posted: December 06, 2005 at 06:59 PM (#1763980)
I'm not really sure you want Downs in the rotation at the start of a season and I was under the impression they'd like McGowan to be in Syracuse initially.

Correct on both points. But let's not forget about them either.
   16. Dr. Vaux Posted: December 06, 2005 at 06:59 PM (#1763981)
I'd rather have Chacin than Jason Marquis, that's for d-double-damn sure/.
   17. Optimus_Primate Posted: December 06, 2005 at 06:59 PM (#1763982)
He's right-handed.

Chacin is left-handed.
   18. Optimus_Primate Posted: December 06, 2005 at 07:02 PM (#1763985)
Chacin also doesn't walk many.

Wha? For a soft-tossing left he does.
   19. Optimus_Primate Posted: December 06, 2005 at 07:02 PM (#1763987)
Lefty. Soft-tossing lefty.
   20. peter21 Posted: December 06, 2005 at 07:16 PM (#1764002)
Chacin is left-handed.

That's curious, ESPN is wrong I guess: http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/players/profile?statsId=7463

t's better to get fly balls than ground balls; they're more certain to turn into outs if they don't leave the park.

Right, fly ball pitchers with (relatively) low HR totals are usually good bets (or fly ball pitchers in big ballparks). Just as ground ball pitchers might give up more hits, but will likely give us less homers. Thing is, Chacin is NEITHER---he's merely completely average.

Chacin also doesn't walk many.

The guy walked 70 in 200 innings. That's a lot. Brad Radke, Carlos Silva, Paul Byrd, David Wells, Josh Towers (and I'm sure there are more) can get buy being pretty good with low K rates because they REALLY don't walk many. But 70 in 200 innings is only acceptable if you can strike 'em out, too. Which he can't.

but average isn't out of the question

Of course it's not---baseball consists of a lot more luck than most people understand or are willing to admit. But what are the CHANCES of him repeating? Tiny. The chances of him even being league average, given his other statistics, I would aruge are also very small. The chances of his ERA rising AT LEAST one run, probably more, are the greatest.

I love the Jays, just not Chacin. Give me a rotation of Halladay, Burnett, Towers, Lilly, and Bush/Batista/McGowan/Downs and I'll be happy.
   21. peter21 Posted: December 06, 2005 at 07:17 PM (#1764004)
Haha, get by, not buy. Sorry about that.
   22. J. Cross Posted: December 06, 2005 at 07:28 PM (#1764025)
Halladay and Burnett, the best 1/2 punch in the AL?
   23. esseff Posted: December 06, 2005 at 07:41 PM (#1764050)
but I think a possible Burnett failure would more likely be due to an insurance-friendly arm injury rather than just ineffectiveness. Assuming that this contract is well insured, of course; it's been harder to insure pitchers with big deals in recent years.

Don't know if this is accurate are not, but the word in St. Louis was that you can't get insurance on these guys any more beyond three years, and therefore DeWitt wouldn't go for an uninsured eight-figure salary five years out on a guy with an injury history.
   24. Fred Garvin is dead to Mug Posted: December 06, 2005 at 07:52 PM (#1764067)
Wow, that's a lot of years for a good -- not great or even very good -- pitcher.
   25. Paul D(uda) Posted: December 06, 2005 at 08:05 PM (#1764099)
Chacin does a better job of limiting the running game than pretty much any other pitcher in baseball, which has some value.

And I don't think that Santanna over Halladay is a slam dunk either.
   26. Replacement-Level Primate Posted: December 06, 2005 at 08:05 PM (#1764100)
Halladay and Burnett, the best 1/2 punch in the AL?


I guess that kinda depends on what you think of Carlos Silva's 188 IP of 3.44 ERA.
   27. meet the mets Posted: December 06, 2005 at 08:36 PM (#1764203)
While you would have to be crazy not to take Santana over Halladay(not becuase of better stuff but because he stays on the field more and should have won back to back Cy Young's) Burnett is a huge question mark at this point in his career. He has great stuff but lacks control, see 8 walks in his "impressive" no hitter (i put an asterisk by it). If he could learn to throw his fastball at 95 instead of 98-99 and with some control, he might be a very good starter that won't end up on the DL while improving his K/BB ratio.

Basically, someone has to get the point through his bleached soaked head that he needs to become more of a pitcher and less of a thrower.
   28. Johnny Tuttle Posted: December 06, 2005 at 09:02 PM (#1764262)
The White Sox's bevy of solid starters would merit consideration as well, as would the folks in Oakland. However, the Jays are now in the discussion. They weren't yesterday.

They're going for a playoff run instead of just treading water. That's what I've been waiting for since the 94 disaster of a season. Since Ward imploded & Henke skipped town, things have been bleak for the Jays. Sheehan and his talk of the Rays passing the Jays can go away for now--this is a day when Jays fans can hope again.

Now, just don't trade too much (i.e., Hudson, Wells, McGowan, Rios) for better RF, DH, 3B, and 1B options.
   29. Sean McNally Posted: December 06, 2005 at 09:10 PM (#1764279)
If I was Ricciardi, I'd offer Chacin to any team that would be willing to take either Koskie or Hinske's contract off my hands.


If that's really what the Jays want to do (which I doubt), I would explore a possiblity with Washington.

Word is they, for reasons passing understanding, want to trade Brad Wilkerson. Wilkerson for Hinske, Chacin and some cash might make sense for both teams.

The Yanks would probably pay the freight on Wright if they sent those two to the Bronx. Hinske would make a nice platoon partner with Andy Phillips at the non-Giambi 1B/DH slot.
   30. Matthew E Posted: December 06, 2005 at 11:49 PM (#1764577)
you would have to be crazy not to take Santana over Halladay(not becuase of better stuff but because he stays on the field more and should have won back to back Cy Young's)

That's not really fair to Halladay. Halladay's the best at going deep into games with a low pitch count, and while he did have the one dead-arm year, Kevin Mench's line drive could have flamingocized Santana as easily as it did Halladay. I don't see enough of Santana to have a strong opinion of who's better between the two, but I refuse to believe that anybody can be so much better than Halladay that you'd 'have to be crazy not to take' him.
   31. Ephus Posted: December 07, 2005 at 12:06 AM (#1764616)
5 years for $55 million. Smells like Chan Ho Park and Darren Dreifort. I think it is much more likely that Burnett seriously underperforms this contract than that he over performs. I strongly doubt that Burnett will be one of the top five aggregate Cy Young vote recipients over the next five years.

Blue Jays should have let someone else overpay.
   32. the guy Posted: December 07, 2005 at 12:18 AM (#1764645)
No, the Jays had to overpay for these guys, even with the massive risk involved. There was no sense in continuing to tread water and not making a serious run at getting out of 3 place in this division. They didn't have to blow apart their system to do it, so ya, maybe it's money down the drain, but that's about it. Worst case scenario is they end up with 5 more 3rd place finishes. Were they going to sit on this money and maybe overpay for different guys next year, provided they could land them? And whether they work out on the field or not, this team needed to show their fans and the baseball community that they're serious. They got burned by Clement last year, they let the face of their franchise walk, the time for excuses was over-- they could step up and act like a real player or keep on acting like the Pirates. And, of course, that's ignoring the huge upsides that these guys have, and the flexibility it gives them in the trade market. Great moves.
   33. Johnny Tuttle Posted: December 07, 2005 at 12:26 AM (#1764660)
Ephus, I know this isn't Maddux to the Braves, but couldn't there be something in the middle before we get all the way to Dreiffort & Park? You're saying this will be not only bad, but also historically bad.
   34. Snowboy Posted: December 07, 2005 at 03:51 AM (#1764925)
Since the "newsblog" thread on this has become more Sox Therapy, I'm gonna repost my reaction to this signing here. I understand the thinking that the Jays needed to "make a statement" with some signings, but I'm very ambivalent about this signing.

I know JP has a lot of money, but I'm not sure he's spending it wisely: two big fat five year contracts to guys who wouldn't have been given anything like this in 2004. They had good seasons in 2005, but I'm not sure I would sign up to pay them $22M in 2010 based on that.

Burnett's health and pitching motion makes me very queasy. I'd lay a bet that he won't pitch 700 innings over the life of this contract. Oh, and having Arnsberg may have gotten the Jays in the door, but it obviously didn't get them any discount.

Burnett isn't a lump of coal, but let's be serious about his home park factor. He gave up 3 HRs there this year, and 9 on the road, so he's probably headed for 20 surrendered per year: fairly average, not stellar. ZiPS thinks he will move from the NL to the AL, and from ProPlayer to SkyDome, and only give up 2 more HRs this year?

Burnett also had a big difference in K/9: 10.4=home 7.4=road. 7.4k/9 is still pretty good, but we'll be knocking 10% off for switching to AL. His K/BB might be around 2.3, is that elite?

18% of his runs allowed were unearned, which is above the league norms and a red flag. His ERA was a run higher on the road. And 21.5% of his runs allowed on the road were unearned, so his true road ERA was probably 1.5 runs higher than at home. If they had all been earned runs (a dangerous game, I know), he would have had a road ERA of 4.85 this year.

He is a good pitcher. He has a good K rate and that G/F rate is yummy. But the Joe Robbie factor and the high UnERA factor helped dress up his numbers. And there are health concerns. I'm crossing my fingers, and I really shouldn't be doing that for $11M/yr.
   35. peter21 Posted: December 07, 2005 at 04:33 AM (#1764971)
Are BJ Ryan and AJ Burnett worth $102 million? Probably not (although, technically, if that's what they fetch in the open market, that's what they're "worth"). But the Blue Jays are in the position to contend, they have a window of opportunity. JP built the team to compete in 2006 and 2007 (and, if he's lucky, 2008 and beyond). He had the money now, and at the very least he acquired the two best pitchers on the free agent market.

I have to believe that JP is a smart fellow. He probably understands most of the discussions that have been going on here: Burnett's injury risk, his home/road splits, his attitude, etc. The Blue Jays are taking a huge risk---but at least they are doing on it on guys with pretty good upsoides. Plus, they are a better team than they were before signing these two, and in order to compete with the Red Sox and Yankees you have to take some risks. It's not like they're going to miss the playoffs more often now...
   36. Michael Posted: December 07, 2005 at 10:33 AM (#1765215)
I'd be very happy if Burnett's line at the end of 2006 is the ZiPs forcast. 28 starts and a 3.59 ERA in the AL East? Sign me up!
   37. Snowboy Posted: December 07, 2005 at 11:58 AM (#1765232)
I'd be very happy if Burnett's line at the end of 2006 is the ZiPs forcast. 28 starts and a 3.59 ERA in the AL East?

Yeah, sounds good. In theory.
But in reality, Burnett pitched 209 innings 2005, yielding 97 runs.
What are the chances he pitches 182 innings 2006, yielding 73 runs? That's the ZiPS line. With the league change, and home park change, I'm going to have to bet the OVER on that.
   38. Dan Szymborski Posted: December 07, 2005 at 12:11 PM (#1765236)
But in reality, Burnett pitched 209 innings 2005, yielding 97 runs.
What are the chances he pitches 182 innings 2006, yielding 73 runs?


Well, you can't mix earned and unearned runs like that.

You must be Registered and Logged In to post comments.

 

 

<< Back to main

BBTF Partner

Support BBTF

donate

Thanks to
Jim Wisinski
for his generous support.

Bookmarks

You must be logged in to view your Bookmarks.

Syndicate

Page rendered in 0.5497 seconds
66 querie(s) executed