NEW YORK - OCTOBER 19: Darren Oliver #28 ofthe Texas Rangers reacts after the Rangers won 10-3 against the New York Yankees in Game Four of the ALCS during the 2010 MLB Playoffs at Yankee Stadium on October 19 2010 in the Bronx borough of New York City. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
Free-agent reliever Darren Oliver and the Toronto Blue Jays have agreed to terms on a one-year contract with a club option for 2013, according to T.R. Sullivan of MLB.com. It was reported earlier in the day the two sides were close to an agreement, and now only the physical is pending as the sides have agreed to terms.
Even at the seasoned age of 41, Oliver continues to be a reliable option out of the bullpen against lefties and righties. The sixteen-year veteran perhaps had his best season in 2011, posting a 2.29 ERA, 7.8 K/9 and 1.9 BB/9 across 51 innings of work in relief.
- Oliver agrees to a one-year deal with Blue Jays " Postcards From Elysian Fields
- Source: Darren Oliver close to deal with Toronto | Texas Rangers Blog | Sports News | News for Dallas, Texas | The Dallas Morning News
As Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News discussed, the Rangers are now left without a left-handed option out of the bullpen. According to Grant, the team has interest in free-agent lefty Mike Gonzalez, who the team acquired last summer, and moving Matt Harrison to the bullpen is another option.
There was a mutual interest between Oliver and the Texas Rangers, but the Rangers don't have the budget to make room for Oliver with a hefty investment already in place for Japanese pitcher Yu Darvish.
Meanwhile, Oliver provides the Blue Jays with a liable option in high-leverage situations. He'll be the bridge to closer Sergio Santos.