What would Darren Oliver bring?
ESPN.com's Jerry Crasnick reported Sunday that the Rangers, according to sources, are close to a deal with left-handed reliever Darren Oliver on a one-year deal for $3.5 million with a vesting option for 2011 that could mean a total of $6.25 million. The deal would be dependent on a physical and could be announced this week.
Oliver would give the Rangers an experienced lefty who has shown a consistent ability to get hitters out from either side of the plate out. He spent his last three seasons in the Los Angeles Angels bullpen and left-handed hitters batted .259 against him, while right-handed batters had a .233 average. Oliver had a 15-3 record and a 3.10 ERA used mainly as a late-inning setup guy. He only started four innings in his three seasons with the Angels.
Oliver did a good job with runners in scoring position in his three-year span in Los Angeles. Opponents had just a .210 batting average with runners in scoring position. Oliver also pitches better in the second half of the season. He was 10-2 with a 2.19 ERA in 102 2/3 innings after the All-Star break in his three-season stint in LA.