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Blue Jays pick up Oliver's option, re-sign Davis

Blue Jays pick up Oliver's option, re-sign Davis

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Blue Jays pick up Oliver's option, re-sign Davis
TORONTO -- The Blue Jays exercised their team option on left-hander Darren Oliver while also re-signing outfielder Rajai Davis to a one-year contract prior to Wednesday night's deadline.

Davis was set to earn $3 million in 2013 and could have been bought out for $500,000, but instead he re-signed for $2.5 million. Oliver will earn $3 million after Toronto decided not to buy him out for $500,000.

The decision leaves the Blue Jays without any open spots on their 40-man roster, but that is expected to change in the near future.

Oliver is coming off yet another solid season out of the bullpen. He went 3-4 with a 2.06 ERA as the primary setup man to closer Casey Janssen. It marked the fifth consecutive season that Oliver improved his ERA and he hasn't recorded a mark above three since the 2007 campaign.

There was never any debate about whether the Blue Jays wanted Oliver back in the fold. He has been considered an integral part of their bullpen, but the native of Kansas City has been pondering retirement after expressing a desire to spend more time with his family.

Oliver could still opt to retire, but for now Toronto will pencil him in as the club's main left-handed reliever. He is expected to be joined by either Brett Cecil or Aaron Loup, who will both audition for the second lefty job in Spring Training.

The decision to keep Davis comes as no surprise. The 32-year-old provides a versatile skill set off the bench and should serve as the Blue Jays' fourth outfielder or could possibly platoon with rookie Anthony Gose in left.

Davis hit .257 with eight homers and 43 RBIs in 142 games for the Blue Jays last season. He also finished second in the American League with 46 stolen bases while being caught 13 times.

The native of Connecticut was originally acquired from the A's following the 2010 season. He has played in parts of seven seasons at the big league level with a .270 career average and .317 on-base percentage.

Gregor Chisholm is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, North of the Border, and follow him on Twitter @gregorMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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