Monday, 7 January 2013

Stuff: Oliver, Bullpen, Fielder

If anyone out there follows me on twitter, you may have noticed a little tidbit that I had posted last night.  On this day, twenty years ago, Cecil Fielder signed a deal with the Yankees, making him the highest paid player in the game-- 5 years, $36MM.  It's pretty amazing to see numbers like that, especially when we consider that the only players who get those contracts (i.e. similar combinations of years/dollars) are guys who are signing away the rest of their arbitration years along with a year or two of free agency.  Not that it's a comp or anything, but Ricky Romero signed a 5 year, $30.1MM deal with the Jays after his second full season, taking him through his 7th season of service, buying out his first free agency season.  How far we've come.

Jays Journal has a look at what the bullpen looks like right now, assuming Oliver retires and AA doesn't add anybody else.  Jeeze.  It's not that I agree entirely with the piece (Esmil Rogers isn't fighting with anyone, in my view,-- he was traded for Mike Aviles because he's going to be part of the opening day bullpen-- especially not Jeremy Jeffress), but for the most part, uh... the Jays have a good rotation and lineup.

And that's really where my stance on the Oliver thing is lightening.  There is literally 0 other situations in which I'd allow anyone, especially a relief pitcher, to refuse to honor his contract as a holdout.  Don't like the contract?  Retire.  But damn, would Oliver look good in that bullpen.

It stinks that there doesn't appear to be any money left, and it's not like the two sides could just re-up with extra option years tacked on, because the dude is ancient and is sure to retire anyway, and I don't know how significant the raise would have to be to get him to stick around, but I'm inclined to believe AA when he says that there's no money left and that he isn't about to re-open negotiations on a $3MM club option for a 43-year old reliever.

Finally, Edwin Encarnacion turns 30 today. Enjoy.

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