The Rangers have spoken to the Blue Jays about left-handed reliever Darren Oliver, but industry sources said a trade is unlikely to happen.
Oliver may end up retiring rather than returning to Toronto.
The Rangers currently have a few young lefty options in their bullpen, specifically Robbie Ross and Michael Kirkman, so the failure to bring Oliver back should not be detrimental to their success.
If Oliver does end up returning in 2013, it will be at a higher salary than the standing $3 million agreement he has with Toronto. The veteran left-hander stated last week that he would not be willing to return unless he received a raise to match the current market value for late-inning relievers.
The 42-year-old Oliver pitched for the Rangers from 2010-2011, posting a stellar 2.40 ERA and 8.7 K/9 rate in 112⅔ innings in a home park widely known to be death to pitching numbers. Despite approaching and surpassing age 40, Oliver has been absolutely lights out the last five seasons, amassing a 2.52 ERA in over 300 innings in that span.
The Blue Jays claimed left-hander Tommy Hottovy from the Rangers yesterday to give the club a lefty reliever option in case Oliver does opt for retirement.