When yesterday we learned about the hardball that Darren Oliver and his camp have decided to play with the Jays regarding his contract, the details– provided by Ken Rosenthal and Jon Morosi of Fox Sports– were a little bit shadowy.

The ultimatum to increase his salary came simply from “major-league sources,” and it was “sources” who told the pair that the Jays wanted Oliver back but were unwilling to stretch their budget further.

On the record, Oliver’s agent– ex-player Jeff Frye– would only say to them that “Darren Oliver has been a friend of mine for 20 years and a client for 10. Whatever he decides to do is his decision. I’m behind him 100 percent.”

Well, apparently Rosenthal and Morosi aren’t TR Sullivan, Rangers beat reporter for MLB.com, because– just in case you thought there was a chance that the Fox pair’s reporting wasn’t straight– he laid out the situation in no uncertain terms:

“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.”

Can’t be a whole lot clearer than that, can you?

But, as much as people want to fly off the handle about greed and the sheer audacity of it all, it really is just a tactic– and a particularly shrewd one at that.

Oliver wants more money and he has a decent enough amount of leverage here, thanks to his actual– er… supposed– willingness to retire.

Making these sorts of demands would be far more problematic for a player not in that position; if Oliver won’t play for the Jays he won’t collect any money and he won’t be able to play for anybody else for the length of his deal with the Jays. That shouldn’t be difficult for him to swallow, since he was just going to retire anyway, but it wouldn’t be so easy for a player in the middle of a long contract, or at the end of one, but who’d stand to lose a lot of money by sitting out a year.

Does that make it right or ethical? I don’t know. But I do know that we praise GMs when they maximize their leverage in deals and applaud progressive clubs for importing Wall Street principles to the game, which makes it especially strange to me how emphatically some people disdain what Oliver is doing here, given what side of the worker-management dynamic he is (and most of us are) on, how blindingly rich the company he’s trying to get more money from– and they’re insisting should keep it– truly is, and what little opportunity these guys actually have to get a chunk of the astronomical profits being made off their service.

But… whatever. Again, it’s a tactic. It doesn’t hurt anybody to try, and the worst thing that possibly happens is the Jays call his bluff, then he calls theirs and he retires like we all kinda thought he was going to in the first place. I’d rather he honoured the deal, but I get it, and… meh.

Jason Wojciechowski’s got it:


Image via @mattomic, awesomeness.

Comments (190)

  1. Of course there’s no mention from Frye of the fact that the whole reason the Jays HAVE the option is because they paid him above the market last year.

  2. Yeah, well, fuck him.

  3. Typical greedy expletive deleted

  4. Wow, so Jeff Frye is something other than the answer to “name the two Blue Jays to hit for the cycle”…who knew?

  5. AA’s tactic should be fairly simple. If he’s not in training camp on time he goes on the suspended list. No play; no pay. End of story. If he wants to retire, all he needs to do is file the papers.

  6. Either pay the man or prepare to sweat bullets in the late innings of games when a big powerful lefty steps up to the plate in a one run or tie game and Brett “Out of Options” Cecil or JA “Hanging Curveball” Happ comes trotting out of the bullpen.

    • I imagine that’s when Steve Delabar would come into the game.

      • I sure hope so, but I’d be more comfortable with also having the option of turning to a reliable veteran lefty specialist.

        Fuck, just at 25 cents onto the price of every large beer, call it the Oliver tax. They’ll more than make up for the salary increase. Make it incentive laden too… for every run Oliver gives up, he buys a free round of beer for everyone over the legal age at the game that night/day. Kinda like the free pizza thing they do at Raptor games. Win-win situation.

      • I kinda like Aaron Loup too.

        • He’s a little on the green side IMO. Bit of a risk to gamble on his reliability.

    • +1

    • You would think that Oliver is the only fucking pitcher that can get a lefty out. He’s as old as I am, and there’s no guarantee that he’s as effective as he was last year.

      Have we not learned anything from the Farrell debacle? I don’t want to play against him in playoffs, so he’d better start polishing his golf clubs and stock p on crossword puzzles.

  7. There is just no way a trade happens for a whole number of reasons.

  8. Not sure that this is correct or factual .. “That shouldn’t be difficult for him to swallow, since he was just going to retire anyway” .. perhaps coming off another great season his intention was always to keep playing, but on his terms (1) for Texas or (2) for more $ .. with no intention t really ever retire knowing that it should work out one way or the other..

    Jays now have an asset to trade (admittedly for probably very little) or they can re-up and continue the “all-in” approach ..

    It would seem silly for the Jays to not just suck-it up and meet him somewhere acceptable and move on .. why do they need this drama when they need his Left Arm more?

    Understand it was a contract, but players in every sport renegotiate all the time .. this is not different .. unless of course he really is looking for a $ value in Fantasy Zone and just wants to play for Texas

    • When was the last time a baseball player renegotiated a 1 year deal? Or for that matter, when was the last time any player in the major sports OTHER than football (where contracts aren’t guaranteed, making holdouts logical and acceptable) had this happen?

      • By which I mean renegotiated a 1 year deal to ANOTHER 1 year deal, because there’s no way in hell the Jays would give him a multi-year deal.

      • slightly different scenarios but CC, A-Rod, AJ Burnett .. not much difference ..

        who cares .. the Jays are trying to WIN NOW .. sign him provided he is realistic, and then avoid complete reliance on Cecil and Happ ..

    • I don’t think you want to create that precedent. You don’t want a parade of spoiled gutless people holding for more money every time they like. You play your contract, or you don’t get money. That’s rather simple.

  9. Oh my god, I died at the graphic

    too funny

  10. I say you’re only good as your word. And when you sign a contract, you give your word. You should respect your word. You can ask for a trade, but doing it under threat of “trade me, pay me or I don’t play”, however you want to characterize it, is pretty low. At this point, I no longer want him on the team. Send him packing and hope for a decent return, or let him sit this one out.

  11. I don’t blame him so much & would actually love to see him back next year but if I’m A.A. I tell Oliver to file his retirement papers if Texas doesn’t want him / won’t give up at least a ‘C’ prospect.

    • fuck that. Jays don’t need a ‘C’ prospect. Oliver just retired himself, no way AA caves here.

  12. if he’s comfortable retiring and being with his family, a modest raise shouldn’t change that..

    if you want to keep playing, 3 million dollars is a good salary. if its not enough to keep you playing in toronto, why would an extra million or two?

    • but if you can get an extra million or two, isn’t it worth a shot?

      • no.

        you don’t just walk away from the game because you don’t get paid enough, you walk away because either you’re time to move on or your abilities aren’t there anymore.

        If oliver is clearly content on retiring, then he should just retire.

        I’ve never heard this nonsense that someone will retire if he gets paid 3 million, but will play if he gets 4.5. its fucking stupid.

        If you want to play in texas and be close to your family then thats fine, say that, fans can appreciate that fact. But asking for a raise or you’re not playing is a bitch move, no matter how you rationalize it.

        • This is the sentiment I most closely identify with.

        • Oh serious?

        • I disagree. There is a number to (almost) everything. Would I live in Winnipeg and work as a mail man, and be away from my family for $45k? Nope. Would I do it for $3 million, sure. What is the exact number that I would do it for? I dont know but it’s somewhere in the middle.

          Apparently Oliver has decided that for him to do this job in Toronto is worth more to him than $3 million and if he doesnt get it, he’ll retire. I dont see a lot wrong with that, and see it way better than hold outs that want more money, but wont actually hang ‘em up.

          My 2 cents.

  13. I say screw Darren Oliver and screw Jeff Frye… work for what you signed for or retire. No trade to Texas, no extra money, live up to your end of the bargain or call it quits I don’t care which. I have zero interest in seeing Texas get a useful piece and I have even less for seeing payroll shed in order to retain Oliver Twist.

  14. This may be the fan in me speaking, but there’s one piece in the statement from the agent that gets me…

    The piece where he acknowledges that its going to cost the Jays more to keep him than Texas… That I get and I think was adequately covered yesterday. However – “pay him what he deserves”? How does that fit in with what he stated about playing in Toronto vs Texas? I’d get it if it meant Texas would pay him, but he’s stated otherwise. He “deserves” more in Toronto than Texas? Why?

  15. good for Darren Oliver

    I am in the camp that calls this levearge not greed

  16. The way Frye worded that irks me a lot more than what I read yesterday, but I am still hesitantly sticking to my thought that people romanticize players too much when really it makes perfect sense that they want more money. However, although I don’t think he’s evil for doing what he’s doing or anything, I would definitely feel satisfaction at AA calling his bluff.

  17. and theres no fuckin way i trade him to texas. I’d be perfectly comfortable allowing him to retire if the money isn’t there for a raise or he’s demanding too much.

    we’re a win now team, no way you can allow a competitor to improve like that unless you get something substantial back

  18. Why do you keep defending this as a tactic? It is scummy. He agreed to a deal. Take the deal or retire.

    Just because you CAN do something doesn’t make it right.

    He agreed that IF he played it would be for 3M. That was the implication. Take it or leave it.

    If he said “sorry I’m retiring” and AA offered him more money, and he took it, fine. But to technically hold the team in limbo and ask for the raise before retiring is cheesy.

  19. Jays just need to pay the guy. It’s a bitch move on Oliver’s part and it’ll be part of his legacy, but that’s his choice. I’d rather see him in our bullpen than playing for a competitor. We’re talking about Rogers here….not like they’re some individual owner pulling cash out of his pocket, it’s a major corporation that continues to take advantage of Canadians and charge a ridiculous amount for their services. I love the Jays but have zero sympathy for our owners. Pay up, we want the Series.

    • ummm…..no one is forcing you to buy Rogers services…get over it! They are a corporation, and corporations in our Free Market economy survive by growing and growing means maximizing profit. If you don’t like the system, fine…but grow up and understand that whoever the owners are, it will still be a business bent on making profits.

    • well, you wont see him in any bullpen coz AA ain’t a bitch and Oliver isn’t getting another dime.

  20. I’d let him retire. Take the money the Jays would have used for him and put it towards another arm.

    He may be underpaid in terms of what other players make, but by signing a guaranteed contract, the risk moved from the player to the owner. He would be paid if he got injured after his first pitch with the Jays.

    Renegotiating or giving into his demands would set a bad precedent. Jose Bautista is underpaid too, should the Jays give him more money as well?

  21. What’s the point of going public with this? It doesn’t put any more pressure on the Blue Jays to pay him market price. In fact, if he really preferred a trade to the Rangers he’d be better off keeping a muzzle on his agent.

    • they’re not allowed to talk to texas.

      so this is his agents way of getting them on the phone to work out a deal

      • Which is why you clearly communicate to the Blue Jays brain trust that a hometown discount is available only to the Rangers. There is no need to say anything publicly.

  22. One thing that stood out to me was that Oliver requires “a lot more”……I was under the impression hes looking for another $1.5 milllion. But it looks like thats not the case.

    In any case, let hi retire then. This isnt just spite. Oliver is a damn good reliever and Texas is a likely direct rival for a WC. Unless its a legit baseball trade (that is, we get something back as good as we give up) Im happy to let him retire. No interest whatsoever in bending over backwards to accomodate another employee who wants to go to his “dream job” for peanuts. Especially to direct rival.

    And after the optics of the JF thing, do we really want to continue adding to the precedent of ppl asking to leave and being let go? And the reason why we should give him he raise is it also sets a bad precedent. And a team with so many below market deals, that could be a dangerous precedent to set. What about when Bautista, Morrow, Dickey (maybe Melky) look at their below market deals and think “since TO pays players whay theyre worth as long as its requested, how about me?”

    note: im on my phone and have fat thumbs. please disregard typos.

    • He’s a damn good reliever…who is going to be 42 years old next year.

      He can compare himself to much younger guys like Jeremy Affeldt (34) and Sean Burnett (30) all he wants. It’s not going to get him paid like them because of the massive age difference.

      Sorry Darren, it’s retirement time.

  23. We need to increase taxes.

  24. Let him retire. And I don’t mean that in some butt-hurt emotional way. He very clearly doesn’t want to play for the Jays on the contract he signed – so unless the Rangers are going to compensate the team with something worthwhile, take the money and invest in another reliever and see how it goes for a few months. If we still need a bullpen at that point pick up one of the MANY good options that should be available on bad teams.

    Daren Oliver was great last year – but lets be completely honest here (and wasn’t this ALWAYS the mantra around here?) – its the fucking bullpen. Its already pretty good, and there are plenty of moveable parts to make it better! Or have we all switched to the “proven closer” philosophy of ball? Move on – there are other options.

  25. I’d much rather spend the 6 months, countless hours and dollars spent this upcoming season watching the Jays with Oliver than without. Pay the man and let’s win some ballgames.

    • depends what he wants.

      if he wants a million or so, i guess its okay.

      but if he’s lookng for 2 or 3 million gtfo

  26. Another reason its unlikely we pay him is that AA is like Friedman of the Rays. A huge weapon in his arsenal is to sign players to extensions at below market rates BEFORE fully prove themselves and are willing to give up some upside in exchange for some security. Bautista, Romero, Morrow, Mcgowan….these deals all fit under that mold. By doing these, AA is BETTING on the fact that these players will soon be underpaid. Hes HOPING they’ll be underpaid. If he goes around adjusting his signings to fair market value simply because the player asks, then hes basicllly destroying one of his major strategies.

    They wont pay Oliver.

  27. Buehrle and Romero should pay Oliver $50K every time he gets them a hold. That should even out the overpaid and underpaid in a fair and simple manner.

  28. Just as a note, I believe Alex has said in numerous interviews that Oliver did not want the option year, since he was fairly certain he would retire. The option was put in in case he changed his mind, and because if an AA contract doesn’t have an option he may go into anaphylactic shock. None of this “absolves” Oliver, as he did sign the contract. It does add a bit of context as to where he’s coming from though.

    • +1. AA needs options on everyone.

      I can’t see AA allowing himself to pay Oliver in this type of situation.

    • You said it yourself, it doesn’t really change anything. Oliver still agreed to the contract, no one made him.

  29. I am surprised by the meh take on this issue. A few months ago there were screams of self-righteous indignation when the infamous eye patch writing was exposed. Now a guy is dishonouring his agreement in the name of greed, and the response is meh. I mean one was juvenile and ignorant but this is immoral. I think perhaps this betrays our new cultural moral sensitivities and judgements. Respectfully speaking. And I still wish we would go and get Bastardo! That would make this offseason perfect for me

    • Well Revem, that’s because you’ve got everything backwards here. If you think this is ‘immoral’ or whatever, then I don’t think you’ve been paying attention. Also, 30 year old men spreading hatred is not juvenile.

      • I think ‘spreading hate’ is just a tad hyperbolic. And by ‘tad’, I mean completely and utterly.

  30. http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/o/oliveda02.shtml#contracts

    I can see why this is all about $’s for Oliver.

    In any case, all depends on how much he’s asking for – may not be unreasonable (ie. $4-$4.5m or whatever) but still need to sell the increase to the public. In other words, unlikely AA ups the contract without the usual media antics – ie. what we’re currently seeing.

    May in fact be wrong but that’s how I see it.

    • an extra $4-$4.5 would be most definitely unreasonable. I would consider anything above $1.5 to be unreasonable, given the context of the situationm

      It is unreasonable for him to ask for a 120% raise.

    • He’s forcing his way out of toronto

      • if true & the Jays cannot obtain much if anything of value in return from Texas, might as well draw the line in the sand or up the contract a ‘reasonable’ amount. otherwise, Oliver retires.

        • regardless of what they might obtain (realistically) from Texas, Oliver either plays for 3M in Toronto or he retires. Anyone who says otherwise is a spineless pussy. He’s a fucking LOOGY for christsakes.

  31. There is no way the Jays get anything of value back by trading Oliver to Texas. So if I’m AA, I call BS and tell Oliver to either honour the original agreement or wave goodbye to $3 million.

  32. Trade him for Frasor.

  33. He wants to go to Texas? Fine.
    Trade him to the Astros, get a bucket of baseballs in return. Let him rot… I mean retire there.

  34. ya … anyone else get the paranoid kinda feeling that IF AA let him go to the Rangers, it would almost for sure end up being one of those huge ironies that’d be biting us in the ass sometime around next October? Even if the chance of that is slim … I wouldn’t feel good about letting him go to Texas. On the other hand, if he got exactly what he asked for (demanded), that in itself would be begging for a karmic bitch-slap somewhere down the road. So only one thing for it, then (AA). Make him a counter-offer and stick to your guns, one way or another.

  35. Package him up with Rasmus, Happ and Bonifacio and ship him off to Texas for Kinsler. Boom, Mega-trade of the Month.

  36. AA ain’t gonna pay him. It’s not his style. Trade or retirement is what we got here.

  37. Is there a deadline for the option. It would be a shame if oliver rides it out and the jays miss out on a jp howell signing

  38. Given this news, I think AA is a level headed and astute enough GM to at least set up a negotiation with the Oliver camp. Both sides know Black Magic is a very valuable part of the pen, and a million or so bucks, if that is the increase he wants, is not something to cut ties over. Yeah the precedent is not great, but this year is an exception and if you’re gonna bend the rules, you do it in 2013 for the big prize. Heck, we already signed 2012′s PED cheater of the year, and nobody is complaining about the ethics around that.

    I think AA will eventually sign Oliver to a little less than his initial demands.

  39. You can justify it by calling it earned leverage but it just stinks of manipulation. My friend Bob is going to quit our bowling team unless I pick his ass up and pay for his beers afterward. He’ll gladly spend the thursday nights with his kids if I balk.

    How quickly do you tell this guy to go fuck himself and find a guy who wants to play to the agreed parameters.

    Oliver is a heck of pitcher but I wouldn’t trade him. Play for what you AGREED to or hang em up. Why improve Texas when we’re competing for the same playoff spots.

    • If AA renegotiates it sets a horrible prescedent.
      I’m sure there are 29 other GM’s that, like me are hoping Alex says play for what you agreed to or “here’s your gold watch.”

      • Totally agree here. If you pay Oliver what’s to stop someone like Melky doing the same thing next year if he lights it up this year like he was still roided up? He could easily threaten to sit out a year unless he got paid market value… or any player in the final year of a contract that pays them below what they would get on the open market?

        • If Melky is willing to retire then yes, he could exert similar leverage. It’s not the threat itself that gives a player leverage, it’s the likelihood of following through on that threat that does it. Nobody on this roster aside from maybe Dickey has a credible retirement threat. Even Dickey is questionable considering he hasn’t made a fat paycheque in the big leagues yet.

    • agree smasher-that’s my point as well. Besides, relievers can be replaced. Move on.

    • Will you pay for my beers if I get myself to the lanes?

  40. What’s J.P. Howell looking for in a deal?

  41. Darren Oliver asks for more money up front from the Jays last season, with the reasoning that the option will make it easier to swallow if he decides to keep playing.

    When it comes time to either take up the option BOTH sides agreed to or retire, he all of a sudden says now it’s either more money or retirement.

    The whole reason he got more money last year is because of the option price the Jays had for 2013. If he was coming back, it was with us at $3M. Why have the option otherwise?

    We praise GMs when they intelligently buy up the arbitration years of a quality player’s contract at below-market value, not this BS.

    Oliver is going back on a deal he agreed to last year. If it was a player option and he had a shit year in 2012 and didn’t pack it in, the Jays would be on the hook for $3M. There it is.

  42. J.P Howell for 3 million for one year and a club option for another 3 million. Does that get it done?

  43. I am not in love with this as a bargaining tactic by Frye/Oliver. AA can say ‘go ahead and retire’ and Oliver loses $3M. And I think the chances are that AA will do precisely that. He did a great job but he’s no spring chicken. He’s replaceable.

  44. I struggle with the idea that its okay for Oliver to essentially welch out of his signed (legal) contract. I have mixed feelings in that I want him back with the Jays this year, but think it sends a message to others on the team that they can hold the team hostage if they don’t like what they (and their agent) agreed to.

    Hey Joey Bats, do you still like your contract?

    Josh Johnson, do you think you’re worth more this year?

    Hey Lawrie, you’re gating paid crap, why don’t you make some noise?

    Comments have been made about managers trying to maximize their ability to get a contractual edge over players…but that only happens until a contract is signed…I can’t recall a manager ever trying to re-open a signed contract after a player who has a sucky year in a multi year contract…It would have been nice if the Jays could have gone back and reopened Vernon Wells or B J Ryan’s contract.

    In my mind, if a player can hold a team hostage like this then a GM should be able to reopen a bad contract

    • I so wanted them to reopen BJ’s contract. There were tns of rumors about hm juicing and I believe them having seen the huge difference in his body mass in that last season.

    • Very well put Jim, a lot has been said about GM’s using similar tactics bit I disagee. The leverage the Gm’s have over first year players, “team controlled” players, and arbitrtion elligible players has all been agreed upon in the the collective bargaining agreement. The players agreed to have younger players in situations where the owners have an advantage but accepting the trade-off for early free agency and the big payoff.

      This control keeps the business model sound and keeps guys like Scott Boras from hijacking the draft, something he has done in the past. The rookie salary cap can probably be attributed to the style of negotiation he has created.

      See Harper and Strasburg.

      • Oliver is dishonouring a contract and trying to manipulate more money from an employer he allready made an agreement with. What the fuck are we talking about here? He’s wrong.

  45. Can people please stop with the “Oliver requested to be paid more in 2012″ as part of the contract stuff.

    Every single player would take an extra $1 million in the present year and every single GM/owner would prefer to save $1 million in the present year.

    As AA said regarding “verbal” promises to both JPA and Mathis, get it in writing.

    Oliver signed a standard player contract which he has honoured. He likely came to Toronto because they offered more money than anyone else in 2012.

    He doesn’t owe the organization a penny. He doesn’t have to be loyal. He doesn’t have to play out the 2013 option if he doesn’t feel he is compensated fairly for living in Toronto.

    Good for him that he feels he needs Canadian equalization pay.

    Again, as AA always says, get it in writing. This isn’t sharing M&Ms on the playground.

    • You’re right about one thing, Oliver doesn’t owe the organization a penny, but conversely they don’t owe him one penny more then HE AGREED to work for. And they certainly don’t owe it to him to trade him to a rival.

      If he thinks it’s an unfair amount to accept for his services(in Toronto) then he’s an idiot for signing the contract.

      Play or piss off.

      • Not sure why you feel the need to take a moral stance on a player who may very well add an extra win for $4 million or so.

        • Then read my post below
          it argues to the business consequences as opposed to the moral argument.

    • Remind me to never do business with you.

  46. Why isn’t anyone pointing the blame at AA? When negotiating big contracts, you always have to avoid moral hazard situations like this. Why pay a front-loaded contract to a player on the verge of retirement without some vesting clause where he has to pay back part of the first-year premium if he retires (though the CBA may have rules preventing that). It may not seem like a lot of money to quibble over, but with the team a few relievers and a righty platoon away from being beyond ridiculous, decisions that piss away a few million on Oliver (and the McGown contract, etc.) really seem awful in hindsight.

    • What is there to blame AA for? They both had an agreement that is outlined in a contract. Oliver is within his rights to retire and forfeit the 2013 option if he chooses. If that is a problem, AA is under zero obligation to do anything about it.

      I’d love to see Oliver return to the Jays, but I agree with some others here that if AA renegotiates this existing contract, then he is setting a poor precedent and will open the door to everyone else, especially Bautista, to demand renegotiations.

      • except the fact JB would miss a year of baseball & not get paid. Not gonna happen.

        Seems to be a pretty unique situation of the retirement variety.

        • It does open a door though. JB would only miss the year that you indicate if AA didn’t cave. If he caves to Oliver then players and more to the fact their agents will be licking their lips and getting in line.

          You can’t be the General Manager of a business and cave to requests like this. It sucks, and we all want Oliver to pitch but Anthopolous absolutely needs to draw this line.

    • AA did what he had to do to get Oliver to sign in Toronto.

      Oliver likely only chose Toronto because they offered him the most 2012 money.

  47. So if the Jays pony up the dough and Oliver underperforms, do they get to take some of the money back? Call it a market value correction? I have a feeling that wouldn’t fly with the player or his agent.

    Don’t cave on this AA. A contract is a contract. If he didn’t want the option year he should not have signed for it. If the Jays do cater to him and I’m Jose Bautista, the first thing I’m doing is asking AA for a raise.

  48. imo, if AA does increase Olivers pay it show weakness in AA, and what do you think his teammates will think of him? Would you feel comfortable playing with a player who did not want to play for your team unless he got the extra few million, I don’t see that boosting team moral or clubhouse chemistry- which i already have my concerns about with this team.

  49. Frye is such a douche…and he was just horrible with the Jays.

    AA should deliver a box of aphids to his office…

  50. This whole situation reeks like Shea Hillenbrand and the “play for yourselves” post on the clubhouse whiteboad.

    Fuck the team, fuck contracts you’ve agreed to, fuck the fans, get as much money as you can.

    • That may have been a little over dramatic but this whole situation makes me angry.

      Apologies, I’ll just get drunk and hope this whole thing is resolved when I wake up.

  51. I dont hate oliver. I get it. But he can still suck AA’s dick imo.

  52. Well, if Player X says to his GM that he had a pretty good year and deserves more money – REGARDLESS of the contract to which he agreed…..why couldn’t (using the same logic) General Manager X say to another player, “you had a crap year…I don’t care what you agreed to, I’m cutting your pay. Feel free to leave.”

    • Because that would be illegal.

      • So a player can sign a contract, and then demand a raise halfway through – ostensibly based on his subjective evaluation of his performance – and that’s legal.
        But it’s illegal for an employer to do exactly the same thing if the guy sucks?

        Yeah, I get it….but somehow there’s a double standard here.

        • There is nothing in the contract that states Oliver does not have the right to retire.

          There is also nothing in the contract stating Oliver can’t use retirement as leverage,

          What’s so hard to understand about a player willing to take a discount to play near his family?

          If the Jays want him to forgo retirement, they’ll have to compensate him accordingly.

          • I’m not disputing the legaiity of his negotiation tactics…nor minimizing Oliver’s desire to play near his family, or his desire to sweeten his deal.
            Personally speaking, I just find the concept of guys deciding to renegotiate their contracts that they signed in good faith only a year ago somewhat distasteful. Either play by the terms of the contract, or exercise your right to quit. Would we like if management decided to renegotiate our terms in mid-contract?

  53. Oliver HAD 2 contractual choices: follow through on his option to play OR retire. That’s all there is and that’s all there should be on the table.

    The fact that he (and his agent) are trying to introduce a third option, (pay me more money), or a fourth option, (trade me to Texas). Some have said this is a good business move on his part. It might be but it isn’t ethical in my mind. Kind of reminds me of Kevin O’Leary in the Lions Den…and I fucking hate his ethics!

  54. It’s probably been said and I don’t want to be a dick here, but if this was Escobar or some other scumbag, this article would shit all over him.

    • Ridiculous.

      • Is it really? How about if Omar V. put up a 4WAR season and still had his ‘no accountability’ speech and proceeded to pull this same shit as Oliver?

        I think its time for you come off your crusader horse there Jays2010. Its all a little blah puke at this point.

  55. Yeah. I can see AA doing a 2 or 3 player trade with Oliver included. I can also see – given the information noted above- that both teams thought he was going to retire and AA slipped in the 3 miil team option. So now that he wants more to play in Canada I’m ok with it provided it’s not over 4.5 mill…what he got last year. That to me is a compromise. Otherwise save the $$ and go get Brandon Lyon.

    • There’s no need to compromise. Oliver signed the contract, he plays for 3M or retires. That is all. Fucking 42 year old LOOGYs do not have any leverage.

  56. Tell him to fuck off and move on. Where did this idea come from that Oliver will make or break the Jays season? He’s a career middle reliever for Godsake, call his bluff and move on.

    At Getting Blanked, Drew is comparing him to Mariano Rivera…gimme a break!

    • agreed. Relievers are the most volatile ( season to season variances in performance) and easiest to replace, on average. He is not a Rivera ( hell he has played for 7 teams) or even an Eckersley so let’s move on.
      Remember, how, after we signed him last year, most people said it was a waste of $$$?
      So it goes with most relievers. Time to move on and invest in someone else much younger

  57. AA would obviously be insane to give into these demands now that they are made public. His bosses would think very negatively of an employee reneging on a contract. Basically the whole NHL lockout was based on the players demanding signed contracts be honored with the make-whole provision.

    The one option that I believe works for both sides is to let him “retire” then have him come back in late May/early June a la Clemens/Pettite. We pay DO his $3mm for 4 months down the stretch and into the playoffs and he gets an extra 3 months with the family.


    • we find someone better with the money or nearly as good and he can stay retired til 2014 then he can see if Texas still wants him. We owe him no favours at this point.

  58. Give Oliver a backloaded 2 year deal. $2.5MM in 2013, $5.5MM in 2014. Then AA pulls the same stunt next January.

  59. Already under contract – it’s extortion.

    • extortion is something happens to you if I dont get my money. Not i retire if i dont get more money, thats like a routine thing that all people do before retirement. “how much do you want me?” “whup, not enough I’m retiring..”

  60. Just out of curiosity does anyone know if Oliver has a no trade clause??? Because if not why not trade him to fucking Houston for nothing just to prove a point. If he doesn’t want to play for the Jays (as much as I love him so) fuck him and get anything in return…this is the ninja way imo. That’s what I call the double fuck; he asked for Texas he gets Texas and we get a D prospect for a guy who’s going to retire. I’m not saying it’s ethical but what he’s doing is unprecedented as far as I know so send a message.

  61. Bye bye Oliver, was fun while it lasted.

    What pisses me off about this situation is that timing-wise the ball seems to be in Oliver’s court as to when he wants to decide on retiring.

    If the Jays want to say fuck him, is there a way to force him to decide? Otherwise, it seems like the Jays are in limbo with his roster spot until Spring Training.

    If we sign someone else then Oliver says he wants to play, would we then be forced to play him or cut him and pay his salary?

    • not really. AA goes about his business and if Oliver takes the option, trade him to Kansas City the same day, have a clause that states if KC then trades him; they owe the Jays a PTBNL

  62. Alright I am sick and tired of this guy and the jerk off session going on around him. Dude, go fuck yourself and retire so you can play with your kids.

    HE and HIS AGENT agreed to this contract, now HE and HIS AGENT are trying to leverage more money, go jump off a cliff the both of you.

    Here’s the question, it might have been answered but IF the blue jays tell him to walk and retire, is he allowed to sign with another team or does it render him retire until at least the end of the contract that he is using his retirement out clause in.

    Here’s my actual rational though on it. The guy pitched for a shitty team for the money he agreed to but now after AA goes and puts a serious team together and now he doesnt wanna pitch? Even more importantly, if he is already moaning and groaning about missing his family, whats his attitude going to be like come mid season.

    I say dont trade him to another contender for what would be peanuts, I say tell him to shove it up his ass and retire.

    • He has a contract that allows him to retire, unless he wants to play. If he wants to play this year, he is under contract with the Jays. So he has control of if and when he decides…I guess right up to when pitchers are to show up for spring training

    • well said, man +1

      • +1 again-it’s the merlot

        • If AA says fuck you to Oliver and his agent, poof, there’s a year of forced retirement which would be a good blow to Oliver’s ego. Even moreso if the Jays win the world series.

          My guess, Oliver gets sick of family time by mid May and spends the rest of the season feeling like an asshole.

  63. AA Don’t try to out-ninja the ninja. Retire then son if that’s what you want.

  64. I call douchebaggery here on Oliver.

    It’s one thing if he’d quietly gone to Anthopoulos, said that he needed to go home and ask if the Jays could make anything happen with Texas, otherwise he’d need to call it a day.

    Then I’d be more sympathetic and wouldn’t have objected to the Jays making a deal like they did when they sent Scott Rolen to the Reds to be closer to his family and get off the turf.

    But now Oliver and his agent have muddied the waters, shit in them really, with this doubletalk about how he would play in Toronto but only for more money.

    So what’s this about really, is it family or money? If it’s really about his family and his current contract is good enough for playing in Texas, then there shouldn’t be any question of trying to extort more money for returning to Toronto.

    Black Magic or not, Oliver’s a douchebag.

    • u answered your own question.

      in order for him to play in Toronto and not retire this year, to play on a team that desperately needs him in the bullpen as he was their best reliever last year, a player they need to repeat that same season for the year they intend to contend….yeah he’s gonna need more money to stay another year away from his family.

      not rocket science. its not ABOUT money…its about his family. to keep him AWAY from his family ONE MORE YEAR….is gonna cost you. regardless of the contract.

      how is that douchebagery?

      • sorry ketchup….did you read any of thing above here?!?! How is this not about the money? His agent has said its about the money.

  65. Whos are loogy if not Oliver? JP Howell, just signed.. I dont see anyone left.

    • *our

      And JC Romero is available but he’s a huge downgrade. I guess kick in an extra million bucks but not much more than that.

  66. Here’s the conversation I picture

    AA: So whats the plan
    Oliver: I want more money
    AA: No
    Oliver: muthafucka whaaaaat Im black magic
    AA: Well thats a great nick name you gave yourself, because now youre going to disappear

    And then as I said above, Oliver has a year of forced retirement and by May he will be sick of his family and want to pitch at which time I hope AA tells him to promptly fuck off.

    • Disagree on your May thought. To me, this breaks down into two pieces, the competitive piece and the money piece.

      1st: If the Jays are truly planning on 2013 being a playoff year (and it sure looks like it), they need to be as strong as possible, and other teams need to be as weak as possible. That means Oliver plays for the Jays or sits this one out. Unless Texas is willing to part with major-league ready players which make the Jays better than they would be with Oliver in 2013, no trade can happen, as otherwise they’re giving away a 2013 asset.

      2nd: Oliver signed a contract, and so did all the other players on the team. If Oliver is let out of his, every other player has a legitimate beef, and those being paid less than market value will have the option to ‘retire’ and ‘unretire’ any time they wish to try to leverage more money out of the Jays.

      But, as for the May thing… if I’m AA, I keep my options open. I’d say to Oliver that he’s welcome back any time, and we’ll be happy to start paying his pro-rated $3M. It would be like a mid-season trade for a reliever, with no prospects lost. What’s to lose by not being angry, but being firm?

      • What the fuck is a ‘May’ thought?!?!?

        Anyway…’if the Jays are truly planning to be a playoff team in 2013′…did you get to the party late?

        • 1. … “By May… Tell him to fuck off.” I’d do the opposite and welcome him back.

          2. Trading Oliver to Texas for prospects would have been a great move this time last year. This year it’s a terrible idea. It’s a big difference I emphasised by using full sentences. Sorry I overheated your brain cell.

  67. Don’t know if an AA speaks post (unlikely) comes of this but he said tonight that He doesn’t expect Oliver to be on the team for 2013 and will retire.
    As well Dickey gets the nod vs the Cleveland’s on opening day.

    • I’m glad he addressed the issue quickly so the team and the fans can move on

    • Well that’s a big thumbs up to both of those pieces of information.
      Atta kid Alex.
      Don’t let that S.O.B. force your hand.

  68. Darren Oliver is a piece of shit. I guess we could have just cut Wells’ salary instead of trading him using Oliver’s logic?

  69. I don’t know who else Jeff Frye represents, but I hope every GM makes note of his handling of this when they deal with him in the future

  70. It’s laughable how people on here don’t understand what leverage means. Oliver has ZERO leverage. He can’t force alex to do anything. In fact alex has all the leverage. He can force oliver to take nothing and go home. He can sign any other reliever instead.

    Imagine if you went into your bosses office and said give me a 20% raise or I’m quitting! What do you think would happen?

  71. Disagree basic fundamentalism of capitalism is you live to the contracts you have signed. When he had shitty years ( yes he has) the teams didn’t ask him to give back dollars the next year.

    He has the following options:
    Retire and lose $3M & adoration of fans and other benefits of being a MLB ball player or play for the Jays and lose reported 1.5M from what he believes he is worth.

    I this he’ll chose the first when push comes to shove.

  72. Oliver wants to play in Texas so bad ?
    Trade him to the Astros’ !

  73. I m not big on the idea of bein held hostage to Oliver’s demands. If he wants to retire then retire. Don’t go around using the threat of retirement as leverage to get more dollars out of a team that wants you. He had a great year but at his age there is certainly less chance of a repeat performance this season. I would think with the team the Jays have assembled for 13, a guy like Oliver would be thrilled to pitch one more season on a club with the potential to have him go out with a post season berth.
    If it’s truly more $$$$ he wants, then share the risk. Put the 1.5 on the table but only have him get it if he pitches to similar numbers of 2012. If he sucks or his arm finally falls off, then the Jays get 1.5 back from him.
    If he don’t like that kinda deal…throw him a retirement party and send him off into the sunset.

  74. Oliver is 100% right in doing this, but he should be asking for more money and years, just a totally new reconstructed deal.

    If you haven’t noticed (none of you apparently have), this edition of Oliver (I believe its Oliver 4.0 or so by now) is absolutely an elite reliever and deserves bigger money than he’s getting. He didn’t know the Jays were going to go all-out and blow their salary sky-high, they kept that quiet, in doing so screwing over guys like Oliver.

    Jays players don’t even make the same as their contracts due to taxes, that’s why everyone hated the Marlins for shipping off their team to them, they screwed over Reyes & Buehrle really badly. Income taxes in FL are microscopic compared to Canada.

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