Cubs sign LHP Oliver to minor-league deal

Updated: May 8, 2005, 3:40 PM ET
Associated Press

CHICAGO -- The Chicago Cubs have signed left-hander Darren Oliver to a minor-league deal, the team announced before Sunday's game against the Philadelphia Phillies.

Oliver, 34, was signed Friday and started Sunday for Triple-A Iowa. With Kerry Wood on the disabled list with a right shoulder strain and Ryan Dempster possibly moving into the closer's role, the Cubs could use another starter.

Oliver went 1-0 with a 6.38 ERA in four starts with the Arizona Diamondbacks' Triple-A affiliate in Tucson. The Diamondbacks signed Oliver to a minor-league deal on April 16 after he was released in spring training by the Colorado Rockies. He left Tucson on May 2 and hinted to reporters he might retire.

"He had a good spring training," Cubs general manager Jim Hendry said. "Colorado let him go. He had (four) starts in Triple-A Tucson just to get his work in, then had an out if he wasn't in the big leagues. Obviously, the Diamondbacks are doing well and didn't have a spot for him."

Oliver is 87-79 with a 5.07 ERA in 12 major league seasons with six teams, including two stints with Texas. He went 3-3 last season with Florida and Houston.

Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press

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