Six Blue Jays file for arbitration
Accardo, Frasor, Camp among players to put in papers
TORONTO -- Blue Jays general manager Alex Anthopoulos has altered the club's policy when it comes to the arbitration process. On Friday, six of Toronto's players filed for arbitration and Anthopoulos has essentially set a deadline on contract negotiations.
The fact that Jeremy Accardo, Shawn Camp, Jason Frasor, Casey Janssen, Shaun Marcum and Brian Tallet all filed is merely a formality. While Anthopoulos is hoping to avoid going to an arbitration hearing with the players, the general manager is not willing to have contract discussions last beyond next week.
Tuesday represents the deadline for teams to exchange salary figures with any arbitration-eligible players. Under Anthopoulos' new policy, he plans on heading to a hearing to decide a player's 2010 salary if they have not reached an agreement on a contract prior to Tuesday's exchange period.
"I made a change this year," Anthopoulos said. "The thought was, really, it's hopefully to encourage more dialogue in negotiations with the goal of continuing to avoid arbitration and continuing to try to get deals done and maybe bring both parties to the table a little bit sooner."
Under former Blue Jays general manager J.P. Ricciardi, who was dismissed on the final weekend of the regular season, Toronto never went to an arbitration hearing with any of its players. The Blue Jays have actually avoided needing an arbitration hearing to settle a contract dispute since 1997.
Anthopoulos -- an assistant under Ricciardi -- said that he felt the process was more complicated than necessary at times, adding that there seemed to be more risk involved when negotiations continued beyond the salary exchange date. This winter, Anthopoulos let player agents know early on that he was changing his approach, adopting a "file-to-go" strategy.
"It's not an adversarial thing," Anthopoulos said.
Anthopoulos hopes to settle the 2010 contracts for his six arbitration-eligible players over the course of the next four days.
At the beginning of the offseason, Jose Bautista, Dustin McGowan, Raul Chavez and Brandon League were also eligible for arbitration with the Jays. Bautista ($2.4 million) and McGowan ($500,000) have each signed, Chavez was declined arbitration and agreed to sign a Minor League contract with Toronto, and League was traded to Seattle in the deal that brought pitcher Brandon Morrow to the Jays.
Accardo split last season between Triple-A Las Vegas and Toronto's bullpen and will be in the mix for a relief job again this spring for the Blue Jays. The right-hander made $900,000 last season and finished with a 2.55 ERA over 26 games with Toronto.
Camp, who made $750,000 last year and is out of options, will also be in the mix for a spot in the Jays' bullpen again this season. In 2009, the right-hander appeared in 59 games, posting a 3.50 ERA across 79 2/3 innings.
Frasor, who is eligible for free agency next winter, earned $1.45 million last year and is in line for a raise after filling in as the Jays' closer and fashioning a career year. The right-hander finished 7-3 with a 2.50 ERA over 61 games, collecting 11 saves and striking out 56 hitters over 57 2/3 innings.
Janssen -- eligible for arbitration for the first time -- returned to the mound last season after missing the 2008 campaign following right shoulder surgery. Janssen appeared in 21 games, including five starts for the Jays, and it's likely that he'll be in the mix for a bullpen job this spring.
Marcum, who missed all of last season following right elbow surgery, heads into Spring Training with a shot at the No. 1 slot in the rotation. After the Jays traded Roy Halladay to the Phillies, Marcum became one of the most experienced starters on Toronto's young staff. In '08, Marcum went 9-7 with a 3.30 ERA over 25 starts for the Jays. He is eligible for arbitration for the first time.
Tallet earned $1.015 million last year and is due for a raise after helping out as a starter for the Blue Jays last season. The left-hander appeared in 37 games, including 25 starts, going 7-9 with a 5.32 ERA over a career-high 160 2/3 innings for Toronto.
Jordan Bastian is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.