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2007 Toronto Blue Jays

According to Ken Rosenthal, the Blue Jays plan to increase player payroll "perhaps to $100 million or beyond."  How should they spend their money to best position themselves for 2007?

Here are J.P. Ricciardi's contract obligations:

C -
C - Jason Phillips - $0.55MM
1B - Lyle Overbay - $3MM
2B - Aaron Hill - $0.4MM
SS - John McDonald - $0.5MM
3B - Troy Glaus - $10.75MM
IF - John McDonald - $0.5MM
LF - Reed Johnson - $2MM
CF - Vernon Wells - $5.6MM
RF - Alex Rios - $0.4MM
OF - Adam Lind - $0.38MM

SP - Roy Halladay - $12.8MM
SP - A.J. Burnett - $12MM
SP - Gustavo Chacin - 0.4MM
SP -
SP - Shaun Marcum/Casey Janssen - $0.38MM

RP - B.J. Ryan - $5MM
RP - Jeremy Accardo - $0.4MM
RP - Jason Frasor - $0.4MM
RP - Scott Downs - $0.705MM
RP - Josh Towers - $2.9MM
RP - Brandon League - $0.38MM 
RP - Francisco Rosario - $0.38MM

Toronto has roughly $67MM locked up after raises.  At the least, the Blue Jays need a catcher, shortstop, DH, and starting pitcher.  They might have $30-35MM to play with for '07.  The Jays entered 2006 with a $71.9MM payroll.

For a team with money, Julio Lugo seems like the obvious choice at short.  Might require $10MM annually.  There's not much else in the free agent market, unless you fancy Craig Counsell, Rich Aurilia, or Alex Gonzalez.  The Jays could try to trade for Miguel Tejada, if they want to part with Lind and others.

As far as backstops go, it would probably be best to just re-sign Gregg ZaunThe alternatives are not much better.

Of course, there are plenty of starters available.  The Blue Jays have the cash, so they might as well sign a third ace to complement Halladay and Burnett.  I hear some guys named Zito and Schmidt could command big bucks.  If Ted Lilly will come back at a halfway decent price, Toronto should take it.  However, retaining Lilly shouldn't be an excuse not to add a top-notch starter.  Problem is, Zito and Schmidt really are the only two aces out there, and there are more than two teams in contention.  The Blue Jays may end up with a Gil Meche even after making one of them a huge offer.

At least one player should be added at LF/DH.  It makes sense to go for one big name and then give to other spot to Lind.  Some options include Frank Thomas, Barry Bonds, Moises Alou, Carlos Lee, and Alfonso Soriano.

With that amount of money to play with, the Blue Jays can become a serious force in 2007.  Spending this cash is a smart move if it can propel them into the playoffs.  Should be an exciting AL East in 2007.

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MLB Trade Rumours has a good breakdown and analysis of what the Jays payroll might look like in 2007 and what they will need to address some of the holes in their lineup.  Another starting pitching, a DH and an infielder.  Ive already mentione... [Read More]

Comments

I highly doubt Lilly is comming back since the situation with him and Gibbons. Most people assume lilly punch him in the head so hard to say.

There is still the situation if Wells wants to resign in toronto. People have been mentioning some sort of Wells for Tejada kinda deal.

Hmm, I remember similar feelings of hope for the Jays this past off-season--they were my #1 pick this year! Sigh. I can be patient though. 2007 is looking good indeed. Sign Lugo. Sign Zaun. Retain Wells. Acquire a starter. That's not too much to ask for, right Mr. Rogers?

I agree about signing Zuan.. the other alternatives aren't particularly good (or at least fitting the Jay's needs)

For DH, another possible option is Gary Sheffield, who may be let go by the Yanks, Bonds and Thomas will probably stay put, while Lee and Soriano will require big long-term contracts (something i would avoid as the Jays) that leaves Alou vs Sheffield... if Sheffield is out there, he clearly has the better long term track record.

As for starters, Zito might be the best choice for them, they also need a legit setup guy, despite the fact that BJ Ryan is doing great, the Jays pen have managed to blow 20 saves this year. that's simply not good enough to contend. and even if they do miraculasly squeeze into the playoff that sort of pen is a sure recipie to fail.

There isn't a lot of good setup guys out there, but they don't exactly need a killer good one, just one with enough experience to get the job done and help lead the rest of the young pen. Mike Timlin type maybe.

Also keep in mind I'm pretty sure they wanna resign Cat.

I'll believe the Blue Jays spend $100 million when it actually happens.

A lot of teams have a lot of money to spend this offseason. Having money to spend is one thing... finding someone to take it is another, as the Angels found out in the offseason.

Personally, I think the Jays should go for Alex Gonzalez at SS, go after Zito and/or Schmidt, and re-sign Molina. This should boost the projected payroll up another $35M with $5M to "wiggle" with.

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