http://network.nationalpost.com/np/blog ... right.aspx
Bruce Arthur wrote:Right now, Paul Beeston needs to make two decisions.
One, he needs to decide if he is remaining as the president of the Toronto Blue Jays, or if the oft-mentioned idea of a replacement is actually going to happen. After that decision is reached, he needs to decide whether J.P. Ricciardi is going to serve out his contract, or, as some who know Ricciardi speculate, is going to walk away after this year.
(These decisions may have to be made with the input of owner Rogers Communications, assuming they are aware they still own a baseball team.)
And once all that is sorted out, then Ricciardi's remarks regarding ace Roy Halladay can be addressed.
As the Jays surprising early start has given way to a slow-motion fall dictated by injuries and talent level, the party line has often been — stop us if you've heard this before — wait 'til next season.
Wait until the Jays can field a rotation of Halladay, Shawn Marcum, Jesse Litsch, Ricky Romero, and some combination of Brian Tallett, Brett Cecil, Brad Mills, Scott Richmond, etc., etc.
Wait until Travis Snider comes back without the holes in his swing to help Adam Lind and Aaron Hill, and the bullpen coalesces, and then maybe this team will finally make the extended and realistic run at contention that it has yet to make, nearly eight full seasons into the J.P. Ricciardi era.
Well, maybe not. Maybe the Jays can't afford to take a shot in 2010 without assurances that Halladay isn't going to walk away at the end of it. Maybe Ricciardi is opening the doors because the Jays are again falling out of contention; maybe he is doing it as a money-saving move, since the colossal contracts given to Vernon Wells, Alex Rios and B.J. Ryan have become hideous millstones around the neck of this franchise. (Though given the fact that Beeston has said this team could spend as much as anybody but the Yankees if the team were in real contention, this seems a little less likely, even if there is a terrible revenue crunch coming.)
But if it happens, a Halladay trade would be the end of an era. It would be momentous. Trading Roy Halladay would be the most significant move this franchise could make, capable of either restoring or destroying any hope going forward.
And that's why the Blue Jays, from the very top on down, need to decide if J.P. Ricciardi is the man to make that decision. And if he is, he'd sure as hell better get this one right.
Personally, I'd have no problem with re-signing JP Ricciardi. I think he's a very good talent evaluator, and he really hasn't made one bad trade over his time in Toronto. But before making a franchise-altering move like trading Halladay, they really need to decide if JP is going to be here long-term. Also, it would nice if Rogers could actually tell somebody what the payroll will be for next year.