According to a team release, the Jays have made their decisions on the two players they held contract options on, picking up lefty reliever Darren Oliver’s $3-million option for 2013, while declining the $3-million option they had on Rajai Davis.

Ahh, but there’s a catch!

Though Davis had his option declined, the club also announces that they have re-signed Davis to a one-year deal worth $2.5-million. Davis had a buyout clause worth $500K on the old contract, and it’s still unclear whether he’ll receive this or not. There’s no savings here for the Jays if he does, but Mike Wilner speculates as to a reason why the club would still have incentive to do it:

If so, it gives the club some nifty flexibility. They can look for something better and still have the ability in mid-March to cut Davis while only paying a sixth of his salary, much in the way Reed Johnson was cut loose back in 2008. Let’s just hope the Jays find something better than the ’08 version of Shannon Stewart as their everyday left fielder, if they do end up going that way.

For Davis… I guess he’s decided it’s better to take this chance than to hit the open market– assuming, that is, Wilner is correct about the deal being a non-guaranteed one. I can’t say I think it’s a bad choice, frankly. (Yes, he’s technically arbitration eligible, but if the Jays declined his option, there’s no way they’ll go to arbitration with him– MLBTR projected him as in line for about $3.9-million through arb earlier in the week.)

As for Oliver, clearly it was a no-brainer to pick up his option, though it’s no guarantee that he won’t still retire. Fingers crossed for the return of Black Magic, especially since I didn’t realize that’s what he’d nicknamed himself until way too late in the season. But mostly because he was pretty fucking awesome.


Still some confusion among the beat writers as to what’s happened here, precisely:

So… the Jays are now being forced to practice Rogers brand sideways accounting? Is that what I’m seeing here?

Well that’s not nearly so positive as the idea that it’s non-guaranteed, is it? MID-PARAGRAPH UPDATE: But…. I think it is a non-guaranteed deal.

That Davis had his option declined we know. But when that happened he would have remained under team control because he hasn’t accumulated enough service time to be a free agent. He would, however, be eligible for arbitration.

We know that deal where an arb-eligible player and club avoided arbitration can be terminated in the manner that Johnson’s was, and I’m assuming that Davis did the same thing by signing the new deal. Makes total sense, right?

Thing is, I’m honestly not entirely sure how deep into the process they have to go before a non-guaranteed deal like that can be reached. (Procedurally, are there steps they need to take? Must Davis file for arbitration first? Could he have? Must he be tendered a contract? Must numbers be exchanged? I don’t know.)

But I’m thinking that’s possibly what this is– thus Davis may be cut in March and only paid 1/6th of his salary, whereas picking up the option would have guaranteed it. And if he hadn’t agreed, the Jays would surely have declined arbitration, making him a free agent– and not one who is necessarily likely to do a whole lot better on the free agent market than what he got here.

But for the love of fuck, don’t quote me on that.

Otherwise, they’re simply shifting $500K off of next year’s payroll, which doesn’t exactly give one confidence about any kind of spending sprees that might be forthcoming.

Comments (74)

  1. Black Magic is Dyno-mite!

    • haha this guy knows whats up

    • Stoeten you are delusional if you think even one second the jays are going to spend big this offseason. It’s gonna be second tier bargain players again and you know it.

  2. once again, ridiculously stupid to resign him for that amount. I’m sure nate mclouth would have taken that money in 2 seconds and he’s far better.

    Once again AA shows he doesn’t know what he’s doing. Why bring back all the stiffs who couldn’t hit from last year? What’s next ben francisco sighting? I wish alex would for once try to set his sights just a little higher than the gutter.

    • Ridiculously stupid, eh.

      AA can still set his sights higher while knowing he has a fall back option if he can`t find (or doesn`t have the budget room) to upgrade LF.

      • +1. No problem with bringing back Davis as 4th OF & Oliver.

        Would Oliver want to retire as a Jay but go back to Texas as a trade chip for 2013?

        Not sure if he wants to play for anyone in 2013.

    • “far better”
      Nate Mclouth WAR, 2010-2012:
      Rajai Davis WAR, 2010-2012:

    • Nate McLouth? Are you for fucking real???

      If they were a platoon, Davis would be the better half. He’s better against lefties than McLouth is against righties. And over three years of UZR, Davis is a better defender, and by DRS, a considerably better defender over three years.

      Jaw-droppingly dumb stuff right here, farrellstick.

  3. “Ahh, but there’s a catch!”
    is exactly what I said in surprise each time I saw a confused Rajai Davis circling around under a pop-up

  4. Hahaha black magic?? How have I not heard of this till now, also that trade scenario I found to be pretty reasonable, though I’m not too enamored with holland, I’d rather pay for Sanchez on open market than give up one of syndergaard/Sanchez/nicolino

    • Agree.

    • Holland would be a very nice land, and Rogers probably doesn’t see it that way, so… get ready for disappointment.

      • Very nice indeed. He’s a young stud.

      • “very nice land” not too nitpick but so far Holland’s proven himself to be basically a 1.5-2 win pitcher…he’s controllable so there’s still lots of value there, but I really don’t think he’s that much better than Happ.

  5. As I said in the other thread I wonder if the decline and sign allows them to leave 500k in the budget for 2012 (the buyout) and go into 2013 with only 2.5 million on the books. It doesn’t seem like a large amount, but if he’s truly stuck at the ridiculous amount of $95 million he might be under the gun to squeeze every dollar he can out of whoever he can.

  6. I am a little disappointed to see Santana dealt for nothing and the Jays not in on it. He sucked last year, but it’s not like we need healthy arms or anything. It’s just frustrating because we don’t have the same information as the club does. The Jays have been fairly close so many years but just haven’t been able to fill holes when they had them. I hope AA can do better than JP did at this.

    • You said it… he sucked last year.

      They can aim higher for their $13-million, I think. Haren was the one to go after of those two.

      • Haren at what cost? My sense is that Jays fans are lining up to throw trade bait at the Angels for a declining Haren for one year at an overpay rate.

        • Indeed. Haren is a scary proposition, but at least a short term one with a very nice upside, even if he’s definitely not an idea pitcher for the Rogers Centre. Only reason you don’t do it is if you think it saps too much budget or if you think the cost in trade is prohibitive. We’ll see how it shakes down.

          • But what’s the end game here? If he does well, you won’t re-sign him. if he does poorly, he’s not worth the money. Either way this puts them in the same place next offseason. I think the Jays need more than a 1 year fill in. They need a veteran starter for 2 to 4 years.

            • Yes , there is one year, however, you can offer one year for 2014 for around 15 million and if he signs elsewhere to a contender , jays would receive a 1st

          • The end game is trying to put a competitive team on the field for 2013 while maintaining payroll flexibility going forward.

            Plus Haren could easily net a draft pick for the following year.

          • @Jays2010

            Unless I’m misremembering the rule, wouldn’t Haren have to be on the team for more than a full season to net a draft pick with the new CBA?

          • @Indestructible: I think just one full season, meaning he would net the pick.

          • @Stoeten

            Looked it up and you are correct. It’s only mid-season acquisitions that no longer net draft picks.

  7. It seems like a nickel and dime move, I continue to hope Rogers will pay up for some talent someday, but it seems more and more unlikely every year,

    • I have no problem nickel and diming Rajai and apparently he didn’t either.

      • Rajai is a barber in the offseason based on last year’s segment with Shi Davidi.

        He used to earn 5-10$ in the minor leagues for every haircut:))

  8. I have a bad feeling about this. if the Jays need to expend time and energy (no matter how small the amount) to come up with creative wYs to hide $500K……I dont think I like that implication.

    • Yeah, instead of saving money on average bench players, they should throw crazy amounts of money at them the way the Dodgers do.

    • Gotta agree here. How much more of this bull shit will AA put up with enforce he finds his dream job anywhere that has a 120+M.
      This shit from Rogers is even more fucking compounded when you go see the Dodgers lose their minds and give a reliever (non closer) a guaranteed 3 years plus an option at a AAV OF OVER 7M. For fuck sakes do we have to show up at the CEO of Rogers house with pitchforks? It’s an easy equation
      let AA DO HIS JOB. He’s not Ned colletti he will be reasonable = More people will watch o line, tv and in the seats = more revenue= allows you to cover some of the losses you have as the magazine and print businesses fall apart and you continue to lose wireless subscribers.

  9. I must be missing something because I can’t tell how the guaranteed-ness of Davis’ contract is effected here. What’s the difference between signing him to 2.5m today and picking up the 3m option? Either way he has a contract for 2013 that can be terminated for 1/6th.

    • As the Kennedy tweet said and I said above it’s just an accounting gimmick. There’s no reason for Davis to sign a non guaranteed contract at this stage.

      • LOL! The accountants are running Rogers. AA probably has a reason why he did what he did.

        It is a minor ninja move:))

    • Here’s exactly what I wanted to be doing with my night: combing through CBA stuff!

      But excellent question, for sure.

      • I remember going through it and leaving with the impression that no MLB contract is actually guaranteed, it’s just easier to get out of the ones handed out to players with 0-6 years of service.

    • OK, so I guess the main question here is, can any contract be terminated for 1/6th? I don’t think so.

      Guys who avoid arbitration by coming to terms can, though. So, if that’s what it is, it’s like the Jays declined the option, which would have made Davis an arb-eligible, and then come to terms with him to avoid arbitration. That makes it non-guaranteed, whereas as a straight free agent deal, or extension, would be guaranteed.

      Makes sense, right?

      • Multi year deals given to players without 6 years of service are more guaranteed than the year to year ones they sign? Why?

        • 1 year deals are fully guaranteed the day that the regular season starts. You have to buy out a prorated amount if you terminate a 1 year contract in the offseason or spring training. Usually 1 year deals to 0-6 players aren’t terminated because if the Club doesn’t want them, they’ll usually just non-tendered in the first place before giving them such a deal, or the player will be optioned to the minor league team on a minor league salary.

      • Lower salary for a team to take on in trade mid-season but at the same cost to the jays.

        He’s now slightly more valuable on the trade market for the Jays and Rajai gets some cash up front.

        Win Win

        • That, combined with the non-guaranteed stuff above, would make this deal make the most sense.

        • Does $500K REALLY matter, though? I mean, would any trade get rejected because the GM said “Well, if only he was making $500K less….”

          • Not to mention that money could be eaten to facilitate a trade at any time.

          • Its not just 500 k though. had they picked up his option, it would be considered a continuation of his prior deal..thus you could not terminate for 1/6.

            this buys the jays time to seek out something better..if they do, and they need some of that 2.5 mill back, now they can cut him and pay 1/6 of it..and call it a day..

            why? because now we are dealing with a one year deal and NOT the last year of a multiyear deal.

  10. There’s also salary arbitration gamesmanship here. Now when Davis is used by someone as a comparable in arbitration, his 2013 salary is $2.5 million instead of $3 million.

  11. Fuckin eh, Darren Oliver is a boss.

  12. As a 4th/5th outfielder/primary running man this great. Investing in a quality bench, in my opinion, is of tremendous value over 162.

    One can only hope that this is remains his defined role, and that injury or poor performance by someone else doesn’t mean a promotion for Rajai Davis.

    Can I get a Hallelujah!?!

  13. And here’s one for SP where ever he’s keeping himself (hopefully save from earthquakes) these days

    • I appreciate that DD. Sarah is a goddess.
      I’ve been lurking lately, girding my loins for the fray.
      I’m no different that anyone else–the return of Black Magic would be huge, although this new thought of a trade to a contender (if it would change his mind about retiring) is itself intriguing. Cheers.

      • They sure don’t make them like Sarah and Ella any more.

        Glad you’re keeping well.

        I would hate to see Oliver go, either through retirement or trade. Hopefully he sticks around for one more season.

        It’s either the wine or the hallowe’en candy but there’s lots of funny shit tonight.

  14. All I hope is, is that AA isn’t spending a lot of time dicking around with these accounting shenanigans!
    I want him spending money creatively not figuring out how play 3 card monti with outfielders and fooling people by moving $$ around.
    I’m still hopeful that they spend big on a couple of pitchers but I got to admit the optics are fuzzy when we spend this much effort fukin around with a guy most people admit isn’t very good

    • Settle down, fukstick!

      Fuck this ‘optics’ shit.
      AA has ‘people’ who do his bidding. It frees him up to do other stuff.
      Some of us think that if utilized properly, Davis is valuable off the bench.
      Stay tuned for the creative stuff. (He said hopefully.)

    • +1. Leave the accounting to Beeston.

  15. If the Jays fail to land a single impact starter then they are going to have a rough time growing the Blue Jays brand. The expectations from fans is a team that will find themselves in a playoff race by August and September. All of those late season games with ~15 000 attendance could be 35 000+ if they are at or near a playoff position.

    How big of a risk is it for Rogers to land 1-2 free agnts? Toronto is the 4th biggest market in MLB. Build a winner and the fans will come. They can’t expect things to work the other way around.

    • Agreed bob. Last off season, Beeston and/or AA stated that they would spend more if the fans come out. Well, Attendance rose and merchandise flew off the shelves. So let’s raise the payroll!

      I’m not saying let’s go overboard like LAD, but they need to spend a little more to keep their promise.

  16. I’ll just take the face that there’s so much discussion about $500K amongst the DJF readership as an indication that everyone’s really interested in this off-season (as am I)… I doubt it’s worth trying too hard to read the tea leaves and find meaning in this though. Seems like a sound roster move with nominal budgetary implications – if that’s not the case come spring training, it probably means it’s been a shitty offseason.

  17. How can we get Lind on a contract like this!

  18. [...] done my best to add to in the post below. If you caught that one when it was relatively fresh, have a look again, as there have been some updates worth checking out. (Y’know, if you’re into agonizing over the [...]

  19. Rogers overcharged me on my bill AGAIN.

    For real!!

    They have the money – they fucking have it….lol.

  20. Some teams are spending their time and energy putting a championship contender on the field.
    The Blue Jays spend their time moving 500k to a different bucket on their books and negotating for a utility player who basically is a younger version of the 2012 Omar Visquel.

    Davis’ lower salary might now get us a Pat Listach type player for him at the trade deadline!

  21. Pat Listach… What we really need is a Tony Womack up in this bitch

  22. Davis has the ability to be a super star in this league. He needs to study the basics, take a step back once in awhile and stand witness to some of them bonehead head plays that continue to hold him back. Yes, be confident young man, but, leave the show at home. We don’t need to be entertained, we need a winning attitude and man with your capabilities, to lead by example. Grow up you Super Star, we need players like you…..

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