Darren Oliver says his decision to return to the Blue Jays was never about money and his agent was speaking out of turn when he suggested he would only come back to Toronto if he got a raise.
"Not once did I ever demand anything from the Blue Jays or (GM) Alex (Anthopoulos)," the 42-year-old reliever said Wednesday in a conference call with reporters.
The Jays exercised the $3 million option on Oliver's contract for 2013, but the veteran lefty — who was arguably the Jays best reliever in 2012 — was expected to retire after long hinting at his desire to spend more time with his Dallas-based family.
Then, earlier this month Oliver's agent Jeff Frye said his client would only return to Toronto for market value — believed to be around $6 million.
Oliver said Frye was acting alone when he made those comments, and shortly after they appeared reached out to Anthopolous to assure him money wasn't the issue.
The issue for Oliver was his commitment to his family.
"Let's be honest: I'm 42 years old, I've got a wife and kids," he said, adding that at this point in his career, everybody in the household has to be on side with his decisions and it takes time to build consensus.
Blue Jays reliever Darren Oliver to return for another season
Toronto Star | Jan 17