After all the “my client wants more or trade him to Texas” talk coming from Darren Oliver’s agent, Jeff Frye, it looks like Oliver wasn’t ready to hang up the spikes just yet.
The Blue Jays have just announced that Oliver, 42, will return for his 20th season in the big leagues and honour the $3 million dollar option agreement on his contract. Oliver posted a 2.06 ERA with 8.3 K/9 and 2.4 BB/9 in 56 2/3 innings this past season. The Jays will be happy to welcome him back (especially at $3 million) to solidify the back end of the bullpen.
With Oliver returning, look for the following line up in the bullpen on opening day:
Longman – JA Happ (L)
Middle relief – S. Delabar (R), B. Lincoln (R), B. Cecil (L)
Set up – D. Oliver (L), S. Santos (R)
Closer – C. Janssen
On the outside looking in – E. Rogers (R), A. Loup (L), J.Jeffress (R). Look for Rogers to get the nod should any righty reliever be injured prior to opening day. He is an easy fill in for middle relief. Loup would be next on the depth chart if something happened to either Cecil or Oliver.
The closer spot will be Janssen’s to lose, but look for either Santos or Delabar to get consideration should Janssen struggle early (remember, he had minor surgery on his throwing shoulder this past offseason – yet, he is expected to be 100% for Spring Training).
Oliver will address the media today at 6 pm EST via conference call, so look for lots of headlines tomorrow.