Accardo hoping to move on
Jeremy Accardo is one pitcher who wants to hit the free-agent market after Saturday’s tender deadline passes. The right-handed reliever is hoping the Blue Jays decide against offering him a contract for 2010, providing him with a fresh start.
“We’ve had no discussion with the club nor do we intend to,” Damon Lapa, Accardo’s agent, said in an e-mail on Friday night. “It is our hope that Jeremy is non tendered by the Jays.”
Clubs have until 11:59 p.m. ET on Saturday night to offer contracts to each of their arbitration-eligible players. Accardo is among a handful players who fit into that category for the Blue Jays, who are most likely trying to trade the pitcher before deciding whether to tender him a contract.
Last season, the Blue Jays took advantage of the fact that Accardo still had a player option, sending him back and forth between Triple-A Las Vegas and Toronto throughout the year. As a result, Accardo’s service time remains just shy of four years, meaning it will take an extra year for him to be eligible for free agency.
In the 26 games Accardo appeared in for the Blue Jays in 2009, the 27-year-old posted a 2.55 ERA with 18 strikeouts and 17 walks over 24 2/3 innings. Two years earlier, Accardo found himself in the closer’s role for Toronto after B.J. Ryan suffered an elbow injury, and the reliever saved 30 games and fashioned a 2.14 ERA over 64 appearances.
Accardo — acquired from the Giants in a three-player trade in July of 2006 — was under contract for $900,000 last season and could face a pay cut by hitting the open market. That is a risk the pitcher is ready to take.
Beyond Accardo, the Blue Jays have arbitration-eligible players in utlity man Jose Bautista, catcher Raul Chavez, as well as pitchers Shawn Camp, Jason Frasor, Brandon League, Shaun Marcum, Dustin McGowan and Brian Taller. Bautista, who posted a .235 average while earning $2.4 million, is the most likely non-tender candidate among that group.
ALSO: According to a report on FOXSports.com, the Blue Jays have some interest in free-agent outfielder Marcus Thames. A Jays source declined comment, but GM Alex Anthopoulos already saw his policy of not talking about reports or rumors when it was publicly confirmed on Thursday that the team has interest in outfielder Joey Gathright. Thames’ agent was not immediately available for comment, either. What is clear is that the Jays are looking for short-term solutions in the outfield, and Gathright and Thames fit that description.