I guess J.P. Ricciardi still is, but he has apparently farmed out the communications function to Cito Gaston:
When asked earlier this week about his plans for next season, Jays catcher and soon-to-be free agent Rod Barajas said he didn’t have any yet, but that he would love to return to Toronto . . . He said he hadn’t talked to anyone from the team about returning in 2010 but expected those discussions to begin next month.
That’s why it jarred him yesterday morning to learn that manager Cito Gaston didn’t think the team had plans to bring him back. “I don’t think anybody (in the organization) has tried to sign him,” Gaston said. “He’s going to be out there (on the free-agent market).”
Not suprisingly, Barajas isn’t very pleased to hear of the Jays’ plans for him this way.
I wouldn’t be shocked to see both Ricciardi and Gaston fired after the season. Wouldn’t it be cool if they were informed of this by Rod Barajas?
Earlier this week at the Winter Meetings, Scott Boras said that he and the Washington Nationals had had preliminary discussions about a contract extension for Bryce Harper. Harper, of course, can become a free agent following the 2018 season and is widely expected to command the largest contract in baseball history.
While that may have given some Nationals fans hope that no other team would get the chance to bid on him, the Nationals are of the view that they have no shot to sign Harper before he at least tests the free agent market. From USA Today’s Bob Nightengale:
A lot of this seems like mutual posturing, doesn’t it? Boras trying to make it appear as though the he and Harper are giving the Nats a fair hearing and the Nats trying to make it appear as though, no matter what they do, Harper is going to hit the market. I tend to believe, personally, that Boras and Harper are hellbent on testing the market, but it’s possible that there is some number that the Nats can offer to head that off, right? Maybe?
Either way: big year ahead for Harper.