Valyekrin Posted July 13, 2005 Share Posted July 13, 2005 Plenty of suitors covet Burnett Jays' Chacin enticing trade possibility By Mike Berardino Staff writer Posted July 13 2005 DETROIT ? By no means are the Marlins resigned to dealing A.J. Burnett before month's end, but that hasn't stopped suitors from lining up for the prospective free agent. The Padres, White Sox and Blue Jays are the latest trio of contending clubs to express serious interest in the hard-throwing right-hander. Marlins scout Gene Watson was in Chicago over the weekend for the A's-White Sox series, and the Padres scouted Burnett's 14-strikeout outing last week in South Florida Of the three, it's the Blue Jays, reeling from the recent loss of ace Roy Halladay to a leg injury, who could wind up providing the best match. The Marlins are known to covet Toronto's rookie left-hander Gustavo Chacin, and a major league source said Tuesday the Blue Jays would be willing to part with him in a deal for Burnett. The key would be getting Burnett signed to a contract extension during a 72-hour negotiating window. "If [Toronto] could sign Burnett, the deal would get done now," the source said. While the Orioles have been portrayed as having the best chance to sign Burnett during the season, due mainly to his wife's Maryland roots, the Blue Jays should not be discounted. Jays pitching coach Brad Arnsberg is one of Burnett's closest friends, dating to their partnership with the Marlins in 2002-03. What's more, Blue Jays ownership has authorized General Manager J.P. Ricciardi to increase the club's payroll from $50 million to an average of $80 million the next two seasons. Ricciardi recently called Marlins GM Admin Beinfest and told him to check back with him before dealing Burnett. Those in Burnett's camp are intrigued and watching closely to see if a deal can be struck. The Jays, searching for another right-handed hitter, would have some interest in third baseman Mike Lowell should the Marlins insist on linking him to Burnett. Toronto also might be willing to take outfielder Juan Encarnacion in exchange for Frank Catalanotto, a left-handed hitter who could platoon with Jeff Conine. The Marlins have liked Catalanotto for years and tried to acquire him in August 2003 after Lowell suffered a broken hand. Several clubs have expressed trade interest in Catalanotto, who was batting .286 with four home runs in a part-time role. But it's Chacin, 24, who would be the key to any deal with the Jays. The stockily built Venezuelan is 7-5 with a 3.57 ERA that ranks 10th in the American League. He is making the major league minimum and wouldn't be eligible for salary arbitration for several more seasons. Lefty Ted Lilly and young right-hander David Bush are other starters the Jays would discuss, but the Marlins don't like either as much as Chacin. Before the Marlins trade Burnett, they must be certain they can find a suitable replacement in the rotation. That's why they have spent time discussing not only deals involving Burnett but side deals that could net his ultimate replacement. According to major league sources, the Marlins have expressed interest in right-handers Javier Vazquez (Diamondbacks), Bronson Arroyo (Red Sox), Aaron Harang (Reds), Josh Fogg (Pirates), Gil Meche (Mariners) and Jason Jennings (Rockies). Lefties Mike Maroth (Tigers) and ex-Marlin Mark Redman (Pirates) are other possibilities, although Redman can opt for free agency at season's end. Vazquez, a Marlins target last winter, would prefer to pitch closer to his Puerto Rico home and can demand a trade at season's end. He is signed through 2007 and due about $8 million a season after the Yankees' contribution is factored in. Meanwhile, former Yankees reliever Mike Stanton, released Monday, is expected to sign with a new team by Thursday. The Marlins continue to monitor the situation, but Houston, one of Stanton's top choices, has no interest. http://www.sun-sentinel.com/sports/sfl-bur...ports-headlines Alot of interesting new options that the Marlins are looking into, personally I would love to aquire Javier Vazquez or Mark Redman. But Chacin is a great option as well and will be cheap for a long time... Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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