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Report: Jays' Oliver demanding higher salary to play in '13

TSN.ca Staff

1/4/2013 11:27:26 AM

The Toronto Blue Jays might be without left-handed relief pitcher Darren Oliver when the season begins.

According to a Foxsports.com report, Oliver, who had his $3 million club option picked up by the Jays in October, wants to play in 2013, but is unwilling to do so unless the club increases his salary.

Oliver signed a one-year contract for $4.5 million before the 2012 season that included the $3 million option for 2013, with the thought that he would likely retire. Oliver then went out and posted a career-low 2.06 ERA in 56 2/3 innings.

According to the report, Oliver, who has family in the Dallas area, would rather retire and spend the time at home than play for an under-market contract.

Fellow left-hander Jeremy Affeldt re-signed with the San Francisco Giants in November for $18 million over three years, and Oliver has posted better numbers.

The Blue Jays, who already have a payroll of around $120 million, are not willing to renegotiate a deal with Oliver due to the fact that they are well above their projected $105 million payroll already, reports Foxsports.

"Darren Oliver has been a friend of mine for 20 years and a client for 10," said Oliver's agent, Jeff Frye. "Whatever he decides to do is his decision. I'm behind him 100 percent."

The Foxsports report suggests that Oliver might consider a trade to the Texas Rangers, where he could play at home and be more flexible with his financial wishes.