The results are in from the Jays’ four ranked free agents on whether they were going to accept arbitration or decline and test the free agent market.
There were no real surprises in the end, and here’s the full rundown:
Olivo’s decision to decline the Jays’ offer and test the free agent market was the closest to the 11:59 p.m. EST deadline, as first reported by Jon Morosi of FOX Sports about two-and-a-half hours ago (via Twitter).
This wasn’t surprising considering Olivo was slightly bitter to be traded away from Colorado in the first place and was a Blue Jay for about one hour.
Ken Rosenthal reported a few hours ago that the Dodgers are one of the teams interested in Olivo’s services.
RP Jason Frasor:
Frasor took a lot longer to make his decision of accepting the Jays’ offer, which was first reported by Mike Wilner of the Fan 590 about three hours ago.
He was negotiating with multiple teams regarding a deal before finally accepting the Blue Jays offer, according to FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal (via Twitter).
He will now have to iron out a new one-year contract with the Jays this offseason or otherwise head to an arbitration hearing. Due to his respectable numbers last year he should fetch, hearing or no hearing, somewhere in the neighborhood of $3.3M.
Frasor made $2.65M last season appearing in 69 games, and finished with a 3.68 ERA in 63.2 innings, along with a 9.2 K/9.
His Type-A free-agent status unfortunately made it harder for him to sign with another club, and although he could still be traded, he would still be a reliable veteran arm for the back end of the Jays’ 2011 bullpen.
That being said, he should by no means be considered a closer, especially given his less than stellar showing as one in 2010.
RP Scott Downs:
Downs was reported to be declining the Jays’ arbitration offer, which was mentioned yesterday afternoon by Jon Morosi of FOX Sports.
This likely came as no surprise to anybody, as this is the first time in Downs’ career that he has been able to test the free agent market, and he has been one of the most consistent relievers over the last five years.
From 2006-2010, Downs had a record of 16-15 with a 2.78 ERA in 313.2 innings over that span, not to mention that he’s left-handed as well.
Downs’ case was helped a lot when Joaquin Benoit, a right-handed reliever coming off a career year but did not play at all in 2009 because of injury and boasts a career 4.47 ERA, signed a lucrative 3 year/$16.5M deal with the Detroit Tigers over a week ago.
RP Kevin Gregg:
Gregg was the first Blue Jay to decline arbitration, as reported by Jon Heyman of SI.com on Monday (via Twitter). Heyman pointed out the main reason Gregg turned down the offer was because of interest from other teams including the Angels, Orioles, and Rays. The Jays apparently remain interested as well.
While shaky at times, Gregg did a good job as the Jays’ closer, racking up 37 saves to go along with a 3.51 ERA in 63 appearances in 2010.
To summarize everything regarding the draft pick situation, the Jays already received a compensation pick in between the first and second rounds of the draft when John Buck signed with the Marlins, and the Jays will receive one from each of Olivo and Gregg should they sign elsewhere.
Downs, a Type-A free agent, could net the Jays a first-round draft pick as well as a compensation pick should he sign elsewhere, bringing the total to a possible 5 additional draft picks the Jays could receive in a very deep 2011 draft.