It looks like match ups against the New York Yankees just got a lot more interesting.
With yesterday's announcement, the Yankees have reached preliminary agreement with A.J. Burnett for a 5 year/$82.5 million dollar deal. This deal is a win/win for A.J. - he gets a boatload of cash, and by playing in New York his family stays relatively close to their home in Baltimore.
In Burnett's short history with the Blue Jays, he ruffled a lot of feathers. From two injury-plagued seasons, to his claim wanting to play in a city that "breathes and eats baseball", to his hat tip of sarcasm.
I wish no ill-will towards A.J. Burnett, in fact I hope he is successful in New York. But if he thought fans in Toronto were critical, wait until he feels the wrath of Yankees fans. These are the same fans that boo a 12-time All-Star and a 3-time AL MVP.
In retrospect, Burnett came to Toronto and did what he was paid to do: win. This past season he set career highs in wins, innings pitched, and strikeouts. J.P. Ricciardi was smart not to go over the top and offer Burnett ridiculous kinds of money, even though he did have a career year. With the departure of A.J., there is now an extra $24 million off the books for the Blue Jays, which opens up salary to other players or free agents.
So long A.J. - remember, you're just a phone call away in New York. Stop by and visit sometime, won't you? Say hi to your mother for me ... okay?