Burnitz to take Payton's place

Jay Payton's decision to decline Colorado's contract offer has provided Jeromy Burnitz with a new home.

Updated: December 29, 2003, 8:42 AM ET
By Jim Baker | MLB Insider
One man's window is another man's door -- or something like that. In baseball -- as in many aspects of life -- one person's decision can greatly impact the career of another. In the case of two players featured in articles in today's papers, the focal point of just such an occurrence is the leftfielder's job in Denver, Colorado:

Payton to Royals?
Now that he has declined an opportunity to sign with the Rockies for one year, Jay Payton has emerged on the Royals most wanted list. With the departure of Raul Ibanez to Seattle for a most generous offer, the Royals have been casting about for another outfielder to join the talented but short-timed Carlos Beltran and newly-acquired Matt Stairs. Payton could be that man according to a report by Dick Kaegel in today's Kansas City Star.

"He's an everyday guy because of the numbers he put up outside of Coors Field last year, but if you put him together with Stairs, it's a pretty good combination," said general manager Allard Baird. Payton was one of the few Rockies to excel outside of the rarified air of the high plains and he would hardly miss a trick moving into the very hitting-friendly environment of Kauffman Stadium.

Jim Baker is an author at Baseball Prospectus and a frequent contributor to Page 2. You can e-mail Jim at