According the Jeff Blair of the Globe and Mail, the Toronto Blue Jays have dispensed GM J.P. Riciiardi's top advisor to check out the Reading Phillies, the Double-A affiliate of the Philadelphia Phillies. Of particular interest is RHP Carlos Carasco, C Lou Marson and CF Greg Golson, who Mr. Blair says the Jays particularly covet. Additionally, the Double-Phils have a couple of middle infielders who the team likes in Jason Donald and Brad Harman.
Harman is doing very well, but the other four certainly are. I agree with Keith Law's take on Golson and Donald.
Corey (Philadelphia): Are the Phillies going to actually be a player in the trade deadline for once?
Keith Law: (1:49 PM ET ) I assume so - Gillick's in his last year, there's a clear win-now strategy. I'd cash in Golson pretty quickly, maybe Donald because 2b and ss are well filled in Philly, definitely keep Marson.
Blair also reports the Jays had people at the Single-A affiliate of the Los Angeles Dodgers, the Great Lake Loons. Whether this is just flack being sent out by the organization or not, I don't see too many propsects there that would satisfy the purported desires of the Jays to get value equal to two first round picks that team would get if A.J. Burnett opt out of his contract.
What I can see, though, is one of these Loons being a third piece in a three-player package that includes two better know Dodgers' players.
Additionally, Jayson Stark reports in his weekly "Rumblings & Grumblings" column that Pat Gillick has received the go-ahead from ownership to add a big contract. Whether Burnett's additional two-years on his all-but-opted-out contract counts, one can't tell. What it could mean is ownership is willing to talk extension of some nature that pre-empts that opting-out.
There appears to be a lot of chatter surrounding the Jays and Phillies about A.J. Burnett. I expect it to happen.