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Jays offer arbitration to five of six free agents

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  • Jays offer arbitration to five of six free agents

    The Toronto Blue Jays offered arbitration to five of their six free agents ahead of Tuesday's midnight deadline, ensuring that they will receive compensatory draft picks should they sign elsewhere.

    As Type A free agents set-up men Scott Downs and Jason Frasor will fetch the Blue Jays two choices apiece upon joining another club, while closer Kevin Gregg and catchers John Buck and Miguel Olivo will each bring back one pick under Type B status.

    Buck's US$18-million, three-year deal with Florida has already put one of those potential selections in the hands of general manager Alex Anthopoulos and his army of scouts, with the possibility of six more to come if none of the players re-signs.

    Teams had until midnight Tuesday to offer their free agents arbitration and had to do so in order to be eligible for the compensatory picks. Players have until Nov. 30 to accept.

    The fate of Downs, Frasor, Gregg and Olivo is of vital importance to the Blue Jays, since if they all leave, the club would end up with eight picks, including their own, in the top 50 or so of the 2011 draft.

    Such a bounty could provide a massive talent infusion into an already deep farm system and provide Anthopoulos with all kinds of flexibility in his dealings.

    At the same time such an exodus would also drain the bullpen of its three most reliable arms from 2010 and leave the Blue Jays with only veteran backup Jose Molina and untested prospect J.P. Arencibia behind the plate.

    How the Olivo talks play out will be keenly watched as the Blue Jays acquired him from the Colorado Rockies on Nov. 4 ahead of a deadline for exercising player options. Anthopoulos turned down his US$2.5 million option, opting instead for a $500,000 buyout, and should Olivo walk, the Blue Jays will have, in essence, bought a draft pick.

    Anthopoulos also turned down options of $4.5-million for one year or for two years for a total of US$8.75-million on Gregg.

    Being offered arbitration has hurt some Type A free agents in recent seasons, as suitors have been reluctant to part with their draft picks to sign a player. That in turn can drive down their price, although early indications suggest this off-season may be a more fruitful one for free agents.
    Frasor is really the only one I'm worried about. I think the others will probably decline and be able to get major league deals.

  • #2
    My guess is Frasor will be back.
    Check out my Canadian baseball history blog called "Cooperstowners in Canada": http://www.kevinglew.wordpress.com

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    • #3
      Unfortunatley, Frasor will be back is what you meant to say lol
      http://www.blackbetsy.com/movies/joeatbat.mpg

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      • #4
        Downs has declined arbitration. Word is that Gregg will as well. Brian Tallet signed with the Cardinals today.
        Check out my Canadian baseball history blog called "Cooperstowners in Canada": http://www.kevinglew.wordpress.com

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        • #5
          Frasor accepts arb:
          The depleted Toronto Blue Jays bullpen regained a familiar face Tuesday night when reliever Jason Frasor pulled himself off the open market by accepting the club's offer of salary arbitration.

          The right-hander's decision came ahead of a midnight deadline for free agents offered arbitration to either accept or decline.

          Teammates Scott Downs, Kevin Gregg and Miguel Olivo all rejected the offer and remain free to sign with other clubs. Should they move on, the Blue Jays will be receive compensatory draft picks.

          FAST FACTS
          Downs, Gregg and Olivo all rejected the offer and remain free to sign with other clubs

          Frasor's decision comes after he was able to test the market briefly after going 3-4 with four saves and a 3.68 earned-run average in 69 games this past season, when he earned US$2.65 million.

          While he expressed a desire to remain in Toronto after the season, he added he was curious to see what other teams might offer him. But he was likely hurt by his status as a Type A free agent, entitling the Blue Jays to two draft picks had he left.

          Frasor joins fellow right-hander Shawn Camp as one of the few veteran holdovers from a bullpen that ranked 10th in American League relief ERA in 2010.

          Left-handed set-up man Downs, also a Type A free agent, and closer Gregg, a Type B, are both said to be drawing plenty of interest from other clubs.

          Olivo, a Type B catcher, was acquired from the Colorado Rockies on Nov. 4 ahead of a deadline for exercising player options. The Blue Jays turned down his US$2.5 million option, opting instead for a $500,000 buyout, and should Olivo walk, the Blue Jays will have, in essence, bought a draft pick.

          If Downs, Gregg and Olivo all sign elsewhere, the Blue Jays will add four more compensatory picks to the one they will get from John Buck's signing with Florida.

          Frasor and the Blue Jays have until the Jan. 5-15 salary arbitration filing period to work out a new deal. If no agreement is reached, the sides will exchange salary arbitration figures on Jan. 18, with hearings set for Feb. 1-21.

          The next deadline looming for teams is Dec. 2, the last day for teams to offer 2011 contracts to unsigned players. Anyone not offered a contract becomes non-tendered and hits the open market

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