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Darren Oliver isn’t retiring, will pitch for the Blue Jays

Jan 16, 2013, 3:15 PM EDT

Darren Oliver Getty Getty Images

Darren Oliver told the Blue Jays he’d retire if they didn’t give him a raise on his $3 million contract or trade him to the Rangers, but they never caved into his demands and now the 42-year-old reliever is coming back to pitch in 2013 … for Toronto.

The team made an official announcement today, although I suppose that doesn’t preclude them from trading Oliver at some point. It just means he no longer has any real leverage, although considering how the Blue Jays let the whole situation play out it’s debatable if he had any leverage in the first place.

While the whole “raise, trade, or quit” scenario was a very interesting storyline, it’s also worth noting that Oliver is still a very effective pitcher and adding him back to the bullpen shouldn’t be overlooked for the Blue Jays. Last season Oliver threw 57 innings with a 2.06 ERA and 52/15 K/BB ratio and he’s posted an ERA under 3.00 in five straight seasons.

  1. missthemexpos - Jan 16, 2013 at 3:18 PM

    I wonder if AA is a good poker player, cause he sure called Oliver’s bluff.

    • geoknows - Jan 16, 2013 at 4:03 PM

      I wouldn’t say that. Oliver told him when he signed the contract that he was pretty sure that he would retire after the 2012 season. So that possiblity was in AA’s mind right from the start, and there was no reason to be concerned if he did. It’s just a bonus for the Jays that Oliver changed his mind.

  2. cur68 - Jan 16, 2013 at 3:29 PM

    End of the day $3 000 000 is $3 000 000. Which is better than the $0 retiring would earn him (like, duh). Smart move, Darren. The back end of the BeaverPen is looking pretty solid right now.

    • Alex K - Jan 16, 2013 at 4:24 PM

      For some reason BeaverPen sounds super dirty to me.

      • paint771 - Jan 16, 2013 at 4:45 PM

        There really aren’t many iterations of Beaver__ that don’t sound vaguely dirty.

      • proudlycanadian - Jan 16, 2013 at 4:47 PM

        Wait until you try a Canadian delicacy called “Beaver Tails.”

      • jwbiii - Jan 16, 2013 at 5:07 PM

        Not only is pc not kidding, but they look really good

      • cur68 - Jan 16, 2013 at 8:42 PM

        Our national animal is a source of much pride. Noble, clean, industrious and tasty. Mmmm….beaver…..

      • foreverchipper10 - Jan 17, 2013 at 9:10 AM

        Someone needs to mail me one of these beavertails stat.

  3. tc4306 - Jan 16, 2013 at 4:12 PM

    Good news for Blue Jays fans. If he performs like he did last year, the whole raise/trade/retire thing quickly will be forgotten.
    Nice try Jeff Frye. No harm; no foul.

    • proudlycanadian - Jan 16, 2013 at 4:23 PM

      1) Funny thing about “Not So Secret Agent” Frye is that he hit for the cycle when he played for the Jays. In his final at bat he just needed a single. He probably could have made it to second on that hit, but after he rounded first he stopped, threw out his arms as if to ask if he should try for the double and then stayed put at first.

      2) This should put an end to the nonsense spread by Rosenthal that the Jays were interested in Farnsworth.

  4. unlost1 - Jan 16, 2013 at 4:34 PM

    all he has to do is fake an injury. money in the bank

  5. paint771 - Jan 16, 2013 at 4:34 PM

    Very good news. I understand this was a tough decision for Oliver (and it wasn’t just mercenary on his part), but we’ll get back a very effective left-handed pitcher, and he gets another $3 mil for his family and a chance to go out on a high note on a suddenly competitive team. Win-win.

  6. nygdriveforfive - Jan 16, 2013 at 5:16 PM

    You haven’t lived until you have tried a beavertail. Glad Oliver is coming back. He was awesome last year, and the bully is most concerns me this year as a Jays fan.

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