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Report:No Formal Offer to Burnett by Jays Yet
Reports that the Toronto Blue Jays have made a five-year offer to free-agent pitcher A.J. Burnett worth fifty million dollars are premature. One source told InsideTheDome late last night that no offer has been made by J.P. Ricciardi, while another source said that Ricciardi and Braunecker, the agent for A.J. Burnett, have discussed an informal deal which includes the length of the deal and a hypothetical price range.
There were other developments in the Burnett sweepstakes that also occurred yesterday. The Texas Rangers appear to be dropping out of the race since they seem hesitant to give another pitcher a five-year deal. The last pitcher to receive such a deal was Chan Ho Park.
Also the Seattle Mariners, previously believed to be on the hot track for Burnett, have also taken a step back. One source told ITD that they are not out of the race, but have just moved to the outside of the circle. The Mariners are expected to gaze the market for the pitcher one final time during the Winter Meetings next month.
The St. Louis Cardinals and Washington Nationals are just beginning their full court press in acquiring Burnett. The Nationals had dinner with Burnett this week and both sides left with a positive mind and agreed to take the next step. However, it remains to be seen if he Nationals would be willing to offer Burnett a five-year contract. The Cardinals also are expected to be amongst the finalists for the right-handers services.
Burnett was expected to have dinner with his third team in three nights on Thursday, however, his agent would not reveal which team that was. It is possible the team could be the Chicago Cubs, Detroit Tigers or Baltimore Orioles.
A Look at the Burnett Market
Blue Jays: Appear the favorites to land Burnett and the place Burnett has his heart set on going, money aside.
Rangers: Not willing to offer a five-year contract; appear out of the running.
Mariners: Not showing the interest they had shown during the General Managers meetings.
Cardinals: The front office had dinner with the right-hander Tuesday evening and all sides left agreeing to talk again.
Nationals: Had dinner with the right-hander Wednesday evening, but it is unclear if they are able to offer a five-year contract. Burnett's wife is from the Washington area.
Mets: Originally drafted the right-hander and would move Steve Trachsel and Kris Benson to add Burnett, although he is not a top priority to the team at this stage.
Red Sox: Baseball insiders tell us the Red Sox will not offer Burnett a five-year deal. Camp Burnett has told teams they would only listen to five year deals.
Cubs, Orioles, Tigers: Have all expressed interest in the right-hander
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