If the trade deadline comes and goes with AJ Burnett still on our roster, JP should be summarily dismissed for negligence. Again.
This may be the best opportunity we've had in years to improve the team's future in one quick strike, and it must be taken.
This season is going nowhere - the last two days were probably a blessing in that they pushed aside any lingering belief that these guys could get the job done. The reasons to trade AJ now are so obvious that it's scarcely necessary to set them out, but here we go:
- AJ's value should be sky high at the moment. There are a number of teams that will see themselves as one starter from a playoff push, and AJ is likely the best available. Plus his last month has been so good that he'll have seduced many GMs into believing he's a true star (full disclosure: he's not).
- AJ is gone at the end of the year. 0% doubt. If we don't trade him and he ends up exercising his option to stay with us for two more seasons, I will walk through downtown Toronto on a selected winter day wearing nothing but an Eckstein jersey. Get something for him now.
- we are NOT making the playoffs this year. We got all excited about being 6.5 back, ignoring two fundamental facts: (1) 6.5 behind 4 teams is very different from 6.5 behind one team, and
(2) our team is not good enough to make the kind of sustained run required to get over the hump. We've been average all year, mostly because we're average. That's not gonna change because the fans really, really wish it would (sorry for turning into Canate here).
- the cupboard is still relatively bare. Notwithstanding some encouraging signs on the farm, we are largely devoid of future stars. It's probably too much to expect a Bartolo Colon sort of deal, but a semi-competent GM should be able to flip AJ for at least one or two serious prospects. It remains to be seen what an utterly incompetent GM can do.
I have serious concerns about whether JP will pull the trigger today - he wants to keep his job, and would love nothing more than a strong second half push that gets us to the usual 87 wins, so that he can convince his brain-dead boss that we're almost there. Don't do it, JP - we all think you've messed up your lines for years now, and you'll be ridden out of town on a rail at season's end, no matter what. Do yourself a favour and set your legacy up now, so that six years from now we can say "man, that JP sure did suck, but at least he made that one great deal back on July 31, 2008 that was the catalyst for this great run of four consecutive World Series. Thanks JP!"