Darren Oliver is open to returning to Toronto for 2013, but only if the Blue Jays are willing to pay up.
According to FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal and Jon Morosi, Oliver is only interested in returning to Toronto if the Blue Jays increase his salary from $3 million.
The 42-year-old reliever is reportedly seeking a deal closer to market value if he is to spend the year away from his family, who live in the Dallas area. According to the report, Oliver would welcome a trade to the Texas Rangers, where he spent the bulk of his career.
Oliver agreed to a one-year, $4.5-million deal with the Blue Jays last year with a $3-million club option. In 62 appearances with the Blue Jays last season, Oliver finished with a career-best 2.06 ERA along with a 1.06 WHIP, 8.26 strikeouts per nine innings.
The Blue Jays’ payroll skyrocketed to $120 million this offseason, $15 million more than their projected payroll of $105 million. According to the report, the Blue Jays do not want to go beyond their current payroll and might be forced to cut salary in other areas just to accommodate Oliver at $3 million.
With the Blue Jays committing to a win-now approach, Oliver is reportedly hoping the Blue Jays would be willing to further increase their payroll to bring back a proven performer and clubhouse presence.