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B.J. Ryan Signs With Blue Jays

B.J. Ryan has signed a five-year, $47MM deal to close for the Toronto Blue Jays.  GM J.P. Ricciardi simply made Ryan an offer he couldn't refuse. 

Ryan entered the 2004 season as a lefty with a powerful fastball but little control.  He was possible trade bait for the Orioles entering that season.  But then Ryan reduced his walk rate signficantly, and the end result is more lucrative then he possibly could've imagined. 

Ryan's deal will certainly have a ripple effect in coming years for free agent closers on the right side of 30.  Eric Gagne, who is a few weeks younger than Ryan, could stand to cash in following the '06 season.  Gagne has a $12MM option that he may void after 2006.  While he likely wouldn't average more than $12MM annually, he may void the option for the chance to lock into a similar five-year pact on the open market.

Gagne has a somewhat better track record than Ryan, although his health comes with a few question marks.  He expressed some displeasure with his organization this season, so a departure is feasible.

Thanks to John


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The Marlins are broke but the Blue Jays can blow money like this!?!
What's Billy Wagner going to get now? 50% ownership of the Mets?
What a curious offseason!

Looks like a sign of things to come...maybe Burnett ultimately gets six years from somebody?

Holy cow. That's all I have to say. hard to imagine Wagner getting more years than 4 at his age. But this just seems like an insane deal. The jays have money from ownership, but still . . .

For sure no one goes beyond 4 for Wagner. I don't know how much effect Ryan can have on the Jays, making $125,000 an inning and throwing 75 frames. It's not like he is the final piece to the puzzle. Perhaps the move was made with '07 or '08 in mind.

Nice move by Ricciardi

http://www.sportsnet.ca/mlb/article.jsp?content=20051125_194301_4524 has this deal too, then a statement by Ricciardi denying that the deal is done.

Nice catch. Bill Madden is a pretty reliable guy, so we'll see how it shakes out. I'll try to get in touch with him...

5/47 to BJ Ryan sure puts the contracts given to Howry and Eyre in a different light. And now Kyle Farnsworth is going to get 5MM a year? That certifiable gas can??

I think Jim Hendry did pretty dang good for the Cubs with his bullpen signings. Here's one guy hoping he doesn't screw up and overpay for Furcal next. Just. Say. No.

Farnsworth could (along with Molina) be one of the worst offseason signings. He's pretty volatile to lock up for $15MM over three seasons.

I'd overpay to get Furcal - he's a surefire top flight SS. One of the very best in the game, and still young.

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