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Friday, January 04, 2013

Oliver seeking raise or trade to Rangers

The Blue Jays picked up Oliver’s $3 million option for 2013 after he went 3-4 with a 2.06 ERA in 62 games this past season. The 2.06 ERA was the lowest in Oliver’s career, but his $3 million salary is far less than the three-year, $18 million contract that the Giants gave left-handed reliever Jeremy Affeldt this offseason.

Oliver, 42, pitched for the Rangers in 2010-11 and his family still lives in Tarrant County. He would prefer to pitch for the Rangers or retire if the Blue Jays aren’t willing to address his contract situation.

“The facts are the facts,” Oliver’s agent Jeff Frye said on Thursday. “It’s going to take a lot more money for Darren to play in Toronto than play in Texas. We’re waiting on the Blue Jays to pay him what he deserves. If not, we have asked them to trade him to Texas if the Rangers are interested.

“If not he’ll ride off into the sunset after a great 19-year career and enjoy his family.”

At this point there have been little in the way of trade discussions between the Rangers and the Blue Jays. But the Rangers are still looking to upgrade their bullpen after signing right-handed reliever Jason Frasor on Thursday.

Good cripple hitter Posted: January 04, 2013 at 11:38 PM | 25 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: blue jays, contracts, rangers, trade demands

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   1. smileyy Posted: January 05, 2013 at 12:27 AM (#4339454)
Color me interested to see if he actually retires. I guess that _is_ some leverage.
   2. John Northey Posted: January 05, 2013 at 12:40 AM (#4339458)
Geez that agent is sure going on a scorched earth policy. If I was a player I'd hesitate to use him as Oliver now is persona non grata in Toronto and I suspect that the Jays will avoid this player agent's clients in the future if at all possible as he obviously doesn't believe in living up to contracts. He signed here last year as a free agent, and to say 'pay him what he deserves' is just insulting. Stuff like that should be done behind closed doors so the Jays have some leverage at least, right now they have none with Texas. If Texas just offers D level prospects (as they probably will) then the Jays should force him to retire.
   3. zack Posted: January 05, 2013 at 12:41 AM (#4339459)
I love Darren Oliver. Was basically getting worse and worse every year as an average to mediocre to poor starter, finally at age 34 is back in the minors and horrific there (9+ ERA) and looking finished. Then the next year he's back in the majors as a reliever, and from 35 to 41 he goes out and gets BETTER every year: ERA+'s of 127-120-144-162-181-194-207.

(Well, better ERAs, but with more looginess and less work each year).

Plus if the Mets had kept him after 2006 they probably don't collapse in 2007 and win the division.
   4. Yonder Alonso in misguided trousers (cardinal) Posted: January 05, 2013 at 01:07 AM (#4339473)
After Toronto's and Texas's respective off-seasons, I would think a reliever at Oliver's age would be thrilled to play (let alone fulfill his contract) for the Jays.
   5. Mess with the Meat, you get the Wad! Posted: January 05, 2013 at 01:09 AM (#4339474)
Is this the next operation shutdown?
   6. snowles Posted: January 05, 2013 at 01:14 AM (#4339477)
Oliver's agent Jeff Frye was the last Blue Jay to hit for the cycle. He's only 4 years older than Darren Oliver.

This whole thing stinks of BS. Guy takes a front-loaded contract on the basis he will retire, cause no one else will give him a 2 year deal. Now that the market has changed he expects to be paid more for the back half of said contract? So if he got hurt last year or was terrible was he ready to give his salary back to the team? You sign a contract, you either play out the contract, or you retire and head off into the sunset. Oliver seems like a great guy, but I'd sooner see the Jays tell him to buzz off then ship him to a team they will likely compete against for the wild card for pennies on the dollar.
   7. Bruce Markusen Posted: January 05, 2013 at 01:18 AM (#4339480)
As John Northey points out, the agent has basically ruined any leverage Toronto might have in dealing Oliver to Texas. Why would the Rangers give up much of anything if they know Oliver will not pitch anywhere else? In a real trade market, Oliver is worth something good, perhaps a B-level prospect, but in this condensed market, his value shrinks badly.

Or would he accept a trade to Houston? Is that close enough to his home?

I like Oliver--and think his career has been an incredible journey--but his agent is doing him a disservice here.
   8. Squash Posted: January 05, 2013 at 01:24 AM (#4339482)
If I was a player I'd hesitate to use him as Oliver now is persona non grata in Toronto and I suspect that the Jays will avoid this player agent's clients in the future if at all possible as he obviously doesn't believe in living up to contracts.

I doubt that very much. Players aren't dumb - they know whatever the agent is saying is whatever Oliver is telling him to say. If anything this will encourage future clients to go to this guy because they know he'll go to bat for them. These guys aren't off freelancing doing whatever they want with their MLB clients - they're doing what the client tells them to do.
   9. Shock Posted: January 05, 2013 at 02:20 AM (#4339504)
As a Jays fan, it has long been an assumption that Oliver will probably retire. So I don't really have a problem with this. Everyone has a price, and Oliver's is higher than 3M. Good for him.

As for the Jays, I don' think they should "cave" but I don't really think DO is expecting them to. They can find another lefty who can give them 50 innings, whatever. Maybe JA Happ.
   10. Good cripple hitter Posted: January 05, 2013 at 04:50 AM (#4339519)
As a Jays fan, it has long been an assumption that Oliver will probably retire. So I don't really have a problem with this. Everyone has a price, and Oliver's is higher than 3M. Good for him.


I'd totally forgotten about it until this comment, but I remember reading an article (probably in the Star) early in this offseason that claimed that the Jays' option on Oliver was more or less irrelevant. Either Oliver would retire or he'd pitch somewhere else. This was before the Reyes and Dickey deals, so it probably didn't take the Jays by surprise. If Frye's ultimatum is serious (and I don't doubt that it is), the Jays should tell Oliver to enjoy his retirement.


Oliver's agent Jeff Frye was the last Blue Jay to hit for the cycle. He's only 4 years older than Darren Oliver.


They both played on the Rangers in 1995. Even better, Jeff Frye vs Darren Oliver:

                                                                
PA AB H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO   BA  OBP   SLG   OPS
11 10 7  2  1  0   0  1  1 .700 .727 1.100 1.827
   11. Paul D(uda) Posted: January 05, 2013 at 12:28 PM (#4339624)
Oliver's contract was not front loaded.
   12. SoSH U at work Posted: January 05, 2013 at 12:43 PM (#4339632)
This seems like it came up before with Darren, but has anyone ever gone out with five straight seasons of improved ERA+?
   13. Nasty Nate Posted: January 05, 2013 at 12:49 PM (#4339634)
Oliver's contract was not front loaded.


$4m for 2012 and $3m for 2013 is slightly front-loaded.

   14. Lassus Posted: January 05, 2013 at 12:52 PM (#4339637)
This seems like it came up before with Darren, but has anyone ever gone out with five straight seasons of improved ERA+?

I improved my GPA in undergrad for seven straight semesters before graduating.

Let's not discuss why that was able to happen.
   15. Danny Posted: January 05, 2013 at 12:53 PM (#4339638)
Red Faber.
   16. Spivey Posted: January 05, 2013 at 01:19 PM (#4339656)
It's annoying that the Rangers didn't just give him a 2/7 type deal last year. They could have really used him.
   17. smileyy Posted: January 05, 2013 at 01:44 PM (#4339665)
Why would he sign with that team option? Is that the only way Toronto would sign him? Seems like there's only downside for him.

If he's lousy, they decline the option. If he's good, he gets underpaid (at least in his eyes)
   18. BDC Posted: January 05, 2013 at 02:22 PM (#4339674)
has anyone ever gone out with five straight seasons of improved ERA+?

If Koufax hadn't posted that miserable 2.04 ERA in 1965, he'd have done it :)

Duane Ward also just about did it. In fact pitchers like Ward and Koufax, who were getting better at a young age and then were definitively hurt, would be the likeliest candidates.
   19. Petunia inquires about ponies Posted: January 05, 2013 at 02:34 PM (#4339679)
I'd sooner see the Jays tell him to buzz off

I see what you did there. Very subtle. I salute you!
   20. Bug Selig Posted: January 05, 2013 at 02:34 PM (#4339680)
Why would he sign with that team option?


Because it beats working at Sears. Why is the assumption that the player always has the hammer?
   21. SoSH U at work Posted: January 05, 2013 at 02:54 PM (#4339687)
Duane Ward also just about did it. In fact pitchers like Ward and Koufax, who were getting better at a young age and then were definitively hurt, would be the likeliest candidates.


Red's the kind of guy I was looking for, and he did it for six straight to close out his career. OTOH, his climbs were mostly small bumps (89, 108, 109, 110, 112, 115, 122), rather than the dramatic year-over-year improvements Oliver made. On the third hand, Red was also pitching a hell of a lot more innings than Darren.

Both are pretty damn impressive codas (if indeed this is all she wrote for Oliver).
   22. Paul D(uda) Posted: January 05, 2013 at 04:15 PM (#4339716)
$4m for 2012 and $3m for 2013 is slightly front-loaded.

You're right, I'm sorry.
   23. A big pile of nonsense (gef the talking mongoose) Posted: January 05, 2013 at 05:00 PM (#4339740)
Players aren't dumb


Pedro Guerrero says ... ummm ... that word that he can't spell. Or remember.
   24. Walt Davis Posted: January 05, 2013 at 06:00 PM (#4339770)
It's all part of Sabean's sub-genius!

Overpay for Affeldt, create jealousy among similar pitchers, create strife for those other teams. I'll bet a bejillion internet dollars that Oliver is in the Giants bullpen by July.
   25. The Ghost fouled out, but stays in the game Posted: January 05, 2013 at 11:15 PM (#4339864)
The heck with guys who threaten to retire. Don't trade him.

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