Friday, January 4, 2013

Black Magic Working Some Voodoo

If reports from Ken Rosenthal and Jon Morosi are true, Darren Oliver is looking for either more money or a trade to Texas in order to return to baseball in 2013.

The Blue Jays and Oliver reached a deal last season on a contract for $4.5 million for 2012 with a team option for $3 million (with a $500,000 buy out) for 2013.  From what others have written, the front-loading of the contract was at Oliver's request, since he thought he would retire after the season.

What happened?  Well, Oliver was awesome last year.  Really awesome, and this off-season, the market for relievers has exploded (starting with Brandon League's 3-year, $22.5 million contract).  Now, Oliver wants more money to be convinced to spend the season further away from his family.

As many other bloggers have written, Black Magic signed a contract and that Alex Anthopoulos should hold him to it if he's going to play in 2013.

The only new thing that I have to say on this topic is this:  R.A. Dickey.

Dickey is VASTLY underpaid -- even more so than Oliver would be at $3 million.  Dickey is making $5 million in 2013.  A veteran CY YOUNG WINNER is making $5 million bucks.  Even when the Blue Jays take into account the extension he signed (for 2014 and 2015 at around $12 million each), he is STILL underpaid compared to just about everyone else in the free agent market.  Was Dickey asking the Mets to pay market value (as a free agent) for him?  No.  Was Dickey asking the Mets to renegotiate his current 2013 contract?  No.

Oliver appears to be a class act, and he is well within his rights to express his interest in being paid better to come back and pitch.  However, this smacks of a little bit of blackmail ("pay me more, or else"), and really leaves a bad taste in my mouth, so I can imagine how Alex Anthopoulos feels about it.

A contract is a contract.  R.A. Dickey seems to think so, why can't Darren Oliver?

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