What is Darren Oliver still doing in a Blue Jays uniform?
Granted, this was one of the least eventful trade deadlines in recent memory (thanks, second Wild Card!), so it was possible that Alex Anthopoulos just couldn’t find the value that he was looking for in return for the team’s All-Star relievers like Steve Delabar and Brett Cecil … but what of the 42-year-old veteran?
Surely, even a deal involving just cash considerations with a contender would have been a nice gesture for the lefty who chose not to retire for one more season — a sendoff for him to get one more shot at a ring?
Alas, it was not to be … at least, not yet anyway.
The end of the non-waiver trade deadline, of course, is not the actual end of trading in the league for the season. Teams still have the month of August to try and move players as long as they pass waivers (or if they can reach a deal with the team that picked them up on waivers) and well, let’s just say that a lot of Blue Jays are going to be placed on waivers.
Okay, that’s a little facetious, being that it’s basically a formality that most teams will put most of their players on waivers during this time (with almost all of them getting pulled back), but Blue Jays fans will recall that as unlikely as it is, the team has gotten deals done in this matter before.
All you’d have to do is look back at Alex Rios, who was shipped off for basically nothing in a waiver deal with the Chicago White Sox.
The team desperately wanted to free up some financial flexibility then, and thought it’s not quite as dire these days, Anthopoulos may still be in a similar situation of looking to dump some of the non-essential salary from the mess that has been the 2013 Blue Jays.
And this year’s Rios could be Adam Lind, who is owed the remainder of his $5 million salary for the rest of the season with several option years coming up, including a $7 million option with a $2 million team buyout that the Blue Jays probably don’t want to be paying next year.
But will they be able to get anything out of it from a team that may happen to claim him on waivers?
That’s hard to say, as his revelatory May and June has now regressed back to a Lind-esque .625 OPS in July. It might not be a whole lot of salary, but even $2 million of contract relief may be worth is at this point for the Blue Jays to get off the continual tease that is the Lind experience.
As for Oliver? Well … let’s just say he’s got a bit more time in an audition to convince a team to pick him up in the next month, yes?