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Blue Jays GM Alex Anthopoulos believes Darren Oliver will retire

Jan 4, 2013, 11:35 PM EDT

Darren Oliver Getty Getty Images

Remember how left-hander Darren Oliver wanted a raise to return to the Blue Jays in 2013? Yeah, well, general manager Alex Anthopoulos is calling his bluff.

According to Chris Toman of, Anthopoulos said earlier tonight that he doesn’t expect Oliver to be with the Blue Jays next season and believes the 42-year-old will ultimately opt for retirement. He also expressed little interest in restructuring the $3 million club option they exercised earlier this offseason.

“His contract is his contract. That’s what we signed him to. I don’t see us doing that.”

Can’t blame Oliver for trying and it’s unfortunate that this had to leak out into the press, but he put pen to paper and agreed to a contract last offseason. The Blue Jays could set a nasty precedent if they give in to Oliver’s wishes, either with a raise or a trade to the Rangers, so it’s unlikely they’ll budge here.

  1. yankeepunk3000 - Jan 4, 2013 at 11:55 PM

    can’t blame him? this is crazy why should he get ANY type of raise when he signed the contract…after it is signed that is what he’ll get. when players sign 100 million dollar deal and miss half the contract they still get paid what the contract was…so why should this be any difference the other way around…he should suck it up and play the contract or retire…no raise

  2. mazblast - Jan 5, 2013 at 12:03 AM

    What would be so crazy about getting something in return from the Rangers?

    Let’s see–

    1. Oliver agrees to pitch for the Jays this year per his contract. Jays win, Oliver makes only $3 million.
    2. Oliver retires. Jays lose his services, save $3 million. Oliver loses the $3 million.
    3. Oliver gets a raise, agrees to pitch for the Jays. Jays lose money, Oliver wins.
    4. Oliver is traded to Texas, and the Jays don’t care what happens then. Jays gain a player of some sort, Oliver gets to pitch where he wants.

    I’ll be sorry if he retires. I think he’s the last guy left active in MLB from my first fantasy team.

    • Mark - Jan 5, 2013 at 6:33 AM

      The Jays won’t get anything of value by sending him to Texas. Everybody knows he wants to go to Texas, so AA will have no leverage. He’ll get a bag of balls, if he’s lucky, despite how good Oliver is. So the Jays lose by getting nothing for Oliver, and because Toronto hopes to contend they’ll need to be able to beat Texas at some point. Handing Oliver over to Texas simply makes it harder to beat them, especially if they get little value in return.

      The best option for the Jays is to call his bluff, and either let him retire or bring him back for $3M.

  3. yankeepunk3000 - Jan 5, 2013 at 12:04 AM

    so good job on the bluejays part…stand your ground

  4. jaysfan64 - Jan 5, 2013 at 12:10 AM

    AA should stick to his guns here – he’s been a man of his word since he took over and along with Paul Beeston has returned integrity and class to the Jays…they can’t be happy that this got leaked or that Oliver is even trying a power play like this in the first place…

    • tc4306 - Jan 5, 2013 at 9:01 AM

      You’ve got it right jaysfan. AA won’t be jerked around by Oliver or anyone else. Had he approached the Jays quietly he might have got a trade (unlikely, but possible.) The minute this was leaked to the press his choices became to retire, to back down and play for the number on his contract or to go on the suspended list.

  5. jaysfan64 - Jan 5, 2013 at 12:18 AM

    And yankeepunk is 100% right – if the clubs wanted to redo player contracts based on poor performance then everyone would scream bloody murder yet if the player wants more than what he agreed to play for “Can’t blame him for trying” is the response???!!?? Really? Come on! Give your head a shake! Contracts work both ways – that’s why they’re there…

  6. dirtyharry1971 - Jan 5, 2013 at 12:25 AM

    If the jays are Olivers only option, yea he should retire. Im sure he doesnt need to experience another 4th place finish

    • mistercue62 - Jan 5, 2013 at 8:03 AM

      What a stupid remark! “4th place finish”? You’re not really up on current events, are you? Or perhaps you’re just plain ignorant! The Jays have quickly become the team to beat in the American League! The ONLY thing that could cause the 2013 Blue Jays to finish in 4th is a plane crash!

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Jan 5, 2013 at 9:55 AM

        The ONLY thing that could cause the 2013 Blue Jays to finish in 4th is a plane crash!

        How about the DL because a few of the “stud” pickups have problems staying off it. Josh Johnson’s starts since he was a full time pitcher: 31, 4, 14, 33, 28, 9, 31. Jose Reyes games played over the last four years: 36, 133, 126, 160. What about the Ricky Romero poster that showed up last year instead of the ace the year before?

        The team has a lot of upside, but a lot of things have to go right (aka health, and that’s not even discussing Bautista’s wrist yet) for them to win it all. Let’s not forget that they finished 22 games behind the Yanks last year, not 3-4.

      • historiophiliac - Jan 5, 2013 at 10:29 AM

        I think you mean the team to beat in the AL EAST….and they want to beat the reigning AL Champions, the Detroit Tigers.

    • dmcmillan2286 - Jan 5, 2013 at 11:26 PM

      Just ignore little harry: he’s such a predictable troll. Running around spamming all the Jays threads trying to get a reaction. How about getting a life harry?

  7. yankeepunk3000 - Jan 5, 2013 at 1:08 AM

    exactly…if that was ever the case then the yanks would of tried to redo A-rods contract…which would never be aloud…so it should stay both ways

    • paperlions - Jan 5, 2013 at 12:36 PM

      Yeah, if they ever tried to redo ARods contract, they would do it very quietly, possibly using sign language or telepathy.

      • historiophiliac - Jan 5, 2013 at 7:33 PM

        the contract that shall never speak it’s name…

  8. randygnyc - Jan 5, 2013 at 1:35 AM

    I can’t stand people and companies who try to weasel out of binding contracts. Especially after having the benefit of competent legal representation.

  9. brewcrewfan54 - Jan 5, 2013 at 2:01 AM

    Hardballtalk needs T-shirts for sale because I’m drunk and primed to buy one. The best shape of my lofe logo shirt would be a good start.

    • historiophiliac - Jan 5, 2013 at 10:34 AM

      Hmmm, best shape of my “lofe” t-shirts would definitely indicate a drunken purchase. :)

  10. louhudson23 - Jan 5, 2013 at 3:26 AM

    Oliver seems perfectly content to retire. Considering his long career,I do not see him involving himself in a strategic gambit to weasel more money. Reality is that he is ready to call it quits but wouldn’t mind giving the Rangers another shot which puts him closer to home and with his old team(reportedly possibly accepting a renegotiation for less money than his current Jays deal).The spewing against him is pretty entertaining. He is 42 years old. Whether he pitches one more year or not,he is basically done. Last dance and he wants to call the tune. If not,it was a helluva ride.Acting as though he is involved in some big money strategy of holding the Blue jays hostage is ridiculous.

    • paint771 - Jan 5, 2013 at 5:47 AM

      This would be true if said he’d be traded or retire.

      If he said be traded, retire, or get a raise – a little less true.

      No qualms with him going out, as you say. But at the same time, you just can’t set up a situation where anybody can threaten retirement to restructure their contract. The slippery slope there is steep indeed.

      As a Jays fan, I hope he returns. Also, as a Jays fan, I hope they tell him to go fuck himself on this.

    • dmcmillan2286 - Jan 5, 2013 at 11:30 PM

      What I heard that was irritating was him saying his priority was his family so he wanted to retire or play with Texas. Unless….the Jays coughed up some more money and then his family suddenly wouldn’t be such an overwhelming priority. That’s what I thought was so classless.

  11. proudlycanadian - Jan 5, 2013 at 8:10 AM

    The only way that the Jays would trade him to Texas would be if he was part of a larger trade for Kinsler.

    • paperlions - Jan 5, 2013 at 12:39 PM

      So….they only way they would trade him to Texas is if the Rangers are stupid? There is really no deal that would make sense for the Rangers that includes them trading Kinsler. They don’t really need more prospects, and what the Jays have left are not particularly great ones.

      • Mark - Jan 5, 2013 at 1:01 PM

        The Jays do have some pretty good prospects. Aaron Sanchez was the best of the Lansing trio. Sickels said he had better stuff than Snydergaard (and 3 plus pitches vs 2 for Snydergaard), but Snydergaard has better control at this point. Sanchez is a B+/borderline A- prospect. Osuna is a quality arm (B+ via Sickels), but he’s far away at 18.

        There’s no top 10-20 guy like D’Arnaud, but there are still some quality players there.

        I don’t know if the Jays could even afford Kinsler’s salary at this point. But they most definitely have the prospects to acquire him if they were interested.

        But your main point is correct, in that the Jays farm isn’t what it used to be. Or that Oliver wouldn’t make sense in a Kinsler deal.

      • paperlions - Jan 5, 2013 at 1:34 PM

        The main point is just that the assets Toronoto does have (Oliver, Sanchez) aren’t exactly high on the list of Ranger needs and do not represent the value necessary for them to trade away a player like Kinsler right now.

  12. cshearing - Jan 5, 2013 at 10:32 AM

    Ridiculous gambit by Oliver, and the Jays will not budge. This is not the NFL, where I often support players that hold out for new contracts. The difference there is that NFL contracts are not guaranteed, so the renegotiation tactic can be used by both sides. When your contract is guaranteed, you need to honour it.

  13. jaybird22seven - Jan 5, 2013 at 5:38 PM

    AA is turning into a really smart Manager. The Blue Jays are lucky to have him.

    • dmcmillan2286 - Jan 5, 2013 at 11:32 PM

      If only he can manage the Leafs and Raptors too…

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