Toronto Blue Jays Wiretap
J.P. Ricciardi is looking for another high-ranking officer/free-agent, making a five-year, $55-million offer to outfielder Brian Giles.
The 34-year-old left-handed hitter batted .301 this season with 15 homers and 83 RBIs in 158 games for the San Diego Padres.
B.J. Ryan and the Toronto Blue Jays have reached a preliminary agreement on a $47 million, five-year contract, a high-ranking baseball official told The Associated Press Friday.
Ryan, a left-hander who turns 30 next month, is getting the largest deal given to a reliever, topping the $39.99 million, four-year contract Mariano Rivera had with the New York Yankees from 2001-04. Rivera just completed the first season of a $21 million, two-year deal with the Yankees.
The baseball official spoke on condition of anonymity because Toronto had not yet announced the agreement.
"We're still talking to him," Blue Jays general manager J.P. Ricciardi said. "To me, this whole thing is premature."
Ricciardi said he did not anticipate any announcements during the weekend. Pat Rooney, Ryan's agent, did not return a telephone call seeking comment.
Ryan's agreement with Toronto was first reported by the New York Daily News on its Web site.
The Blue Jays' are attempting to acquire first baseman Lyle Overbay from the Milwaukee Brewers.
Overbay, who turns 29 in January, hit .276 with 19 homers and 72 RBIs in 158 games this past season.
Initially, the Brewers asked the Jays for former No. 1 pick, right-handed starter Dustin McGowan.
The Jays declined, but talks could continue at the winter meetings in Dallas.
A.J. Burnett, the prize of this winter's free-agent starting pitching market, has received two five-year offers from clubs and expects to receive at least two more within the next week, his agent told ESPN.com.
While agent Darek Braunecker declined to identify specific teams in the bidding for Burnett, a baseball source confirmed that the Toronto Blue Jays have offered Burnett a five-year deal for about $50 million. Blue Jays general manager J.P. Ricciardi declined to confirm if the team had made an offer.
"We've talked about parameters, and that's where we left it," Ricciardi said.
Pitcher Josh Towers and the Toronto Blue Jays agreed to a $5.2 million, two-year contract.
Towers gets $2.3 million next year and $2.9 million in 2007 under the deal reached Monday. He made $358,000 last season, when the 28-year-old right-hander went 13-12 with a 3.71 ERA, and was eligible for salary arbitration for the first time.
In addition to his base salary, Towers would earn $50,000 bonuses for winning the Cy Young Award, a Gold Glove, the World Series MVP or the league championship series MVP.
Blue Jays Nov 2005 Archive