In Ken Rosenthal's latest article, he comments on some Jays-related news.
It seems like A.J. Burnett's very, very happy with his new contract:
After signing his five-year, $55 million contract with the Blue Jays, right-hander A.J. Burnett thanked his agent, Darek Braunecker, in a big way. Burnett asked Braunecker and his wife, Shelley, to fly from their home in Little Rock, Ark., and meet him in Melbourne, Fla. Braunecker's gift was waiting: A 2006 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon, fully loaded and lifted. Sticker price: Nearly $40,000.
Once again, J.P. Ricciardi's having trouble persuading other GM's to acquire Miguel Batista. Since trading Batista on his own doesn't seem like enough to acquire a valuable hitter, perhaps the inclusion of a so-so prospect or two should be considered (if it hasn't been already, of course).
The Blue Jays have been frustrated in their attempts to land one more bat in a trade. The Reds don't want to trade outfielder Austin Kearns for Jays right-hander Miguel Batista, who is a free agent after next season. The Rangers don't want to trade outfielder Kevin Mench for Batista, fearing that Batista would make too many mistakes in the strike zone to succeed at hitter-friendly Ameriquest Field.
Finally, Rosenthal also sheds some light on how Toronto might react should an infield dilemma arise in 2006:
The Jays could move second baseman Orlando Hudson if they acquired another hitter, but general manager J.P. Ricciardi says he would need to be "overwhelmed" to make such a deal. Aaron Hill would play second if Hudson were traded; otherwise, Hill likely would start the season at Triple-A. (my highlighting, not Rosenthal's)
It seems like Aaron Hill is major-league ready, so I would hate to see his progression stall in the minors for a year. Although, he wouldn't benefit at all from rotting on the bench all season, either. What would you do if you were J.P.? Poll question included in the comments section.