Is a Deal with Burnett Near?

Reports surfacing earlier this afternoon that the Blue Jays have agreed to a deal with A.J. Burnett have been proved premature. immediately reported on its Live Winter Meetings Update Log, that the report was premature citing baseball officials with knowledge of the negotiations.

The Jays could have had Burnett signed last week, however, the right-hander wanted to wait until the winter meetings, hoping the Nationals would have the financial powers to enter the bidding.

Burnett's representatives met with Tony Tavares, the Nationals Team President, Monday afternoon, it became clear to the right-hander that Washington was out of the running. General Manager Jim Bowden told Burnett's representatives they would get their final answer late Monday evening.

Burnett has some reservations about signing with Toronto. His wife Karen would prefer to be within driving distance of the Baltimore area, and friends of Burnett are advising him against a move to the American League.

"A.J. has the talent to pitch in Toronto or with any other American League team" a baseball official told "He is just trying to put his family in the most comfortable environment possible."

As stated in our Live Winter Meetings Update Log, Cardinals officials have a meeting scheduled with Burnett's representatives. That meeting was scheduled to take place at 7:00PM. One source told ITD, "it could last a while."

"St. Louis does not feel comfortable guaranteeing the fifth year, but will be making a proposal that includes a fifth option year, and could structure it in a way that the option would be easily reached."

As InsideTheDome has been reported all week, the Blue Jays remain in contention to sign the right-hander.

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