Jays Going After Giles

The Globe and Mail of Toronto is reporting this morning that the Blue Jays are expected to increase their pursuit of pitcher A.J. Burnett and outfielder Brian Giles, after they finalize their deal with B.J. Ryan today. InsideTheDome first reported on November 24 that the Blue Jays are hot on the trail of Giles.

InsideTheDome first reported on November 24 that the first club to make an offer to Giles were the St. Louis Cardinals. That offer was for three years, worth $27-28 million. That offer was extended to Giles around the middle of November.

Since then the Cleveland Indians and Toronto Blue Jays each made an offer to Giles. Both clubs extended three-year deals and the value of both offers were in the area of $30 million.

One source believed it was possible for the Blue Jays to sign all three players; Ryan, Burnett and Giles.

"I'd think J.P. would feel more comfortable clearing some payroll beforehand, but that certainly is a possibility, if the contracts are put together in a creative manner."

According to the Globe and Mail, Ryan will be making $2 million during the 2006 season, not including his signing bonus, which does not factor into a teams actual payroll numbers for the 2006 season.

Today, The Globe and Mail cited a person familiar with the negotiations as saying the Blue Jays made "significant inroads" this weekend in their pursuit of Giles. The newspaper went on to say that Ricciardi is telling people he would like to have Giles or Burnett signed this week, so he can focus more on the trading front when he attends the winter meetings a week from today.

"We've had a number of conversations with the Blue Jays and all of them have been positive," Giles's agent, Joe Bick, said last night. "But the truth is we just found out last Wednesday that there was no chance of getting anything done with the San Diego Padres [Giles's former team] and now we're moving forward and looking at our other options. Toronto's one of them."

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