Talks with Blue Jays pitcher A.J. Burnett are ongoing, but it is believed that the Blue Jays are preparing a "take it or leave it" worth 14-16 million dollars annually. However, industry sources believe that if Burnett holds out until Sabathia is signed, he could earn up to 18, maybe 19 million dollars. The Jays would like to add about fifteen million dollars in payroll, but would also like to add a power hitter to help at DH.
If the Blue Jays up their offer to 16-17 million dollars annually, they could take on a short term contract (2-3 years) in Raul Ibanez. While Ibanez is a question mark, he would give them a solid DH/outfielder who can rotated around if Snider appears ready early on in 2009. Signing both Burnett and Ibanez would probably push their payroll to about 110-112 million dollars, it will be the only way Ricciardi will be around come 2010.
One reporter I spoke with thinks the Blue Jays could trade Alex Rios for a starter like Matt Cain, which would clear up some cash, and then sign a starter (preferably Burnett), as well as an outfielder. While the reporter was just speculating, the Jays would be smart to listen to offers.