Agonizing over A.J.

The end is near. Or, is it?

If you don't believe the Cardinals have really made an offer to A.J. Burnett, feel free to stop reading now. For the rest of you, let's get right into it.

 

The Bid

In case you missed the update to my previous Burnett story, my sources suggest what may be the version of the offer on the table is four years for $36 million plus a fifth year team option at $10.5 million.

 

I don't think that is going to be enough. The Cards say that is their best offer, but it may or may not be their final offer. $50 million may be the magic number to finally set off all the bells.

 

Political correctness?

The yearly amounts may be structured in an escalating manner such that Burnett's yearly salary at least appears to be less than what Chris Carpenter and Mark Mulder are making.

 

Sounds good, but this isn't going to fool anyone. The Cards are going to create a new team order in terms of size and duration of contracts to pitchers. I hope they don't end up regretting establishing that new precedent.

 

Squeezing more

Burnett's agent has reportedly come back to the Cardinals asking for some "minor" revisions to the proposed contract.

 

My guess is that it may take the form of additional kickers such as a signing bonus.

 

Gotta' check with the Boss on that…

Whatever changes and revisions that are being requested are being submitted to Bill DeWitt for his personal approval. 

 

No surprise. After all, we're talking millions of OPM here (other people's money).

 

Other contenders

My source says there are at two teams still in it along with the Cardinals, those being the Blue Jays and Tigers.  If anyone else is continuing to play in this game, they are well below the radar.

 

The Jays have the money and seem serious about it. My gut tells me that the Tigers won't be impressive enough to win.

 

Limited time offer

The Cardinals offer to Burnett expires Friday night at midnight (no, I don't know which time zone).

 

That is all well and good. However, I suspect if the offer expires and Burnett needs a bit more time, he'll probably get it. It's not as if the Cards have a clear Plan B, at least that I can figure out.

 

Other offers short-term, too

Like the Cardinals', I am told the other teams' offers time out this weekend.

 

All the organization men will be boarding planes Saturday and Sunday as they head to the Winter Meetings. Of course, they all want to land their man first and perform their victory dance in the other teams' faces. No 15-yard taunting penalties in MLB.

 

Brian Walton can be reached via email at brwalton@earthlink.net.


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