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01/09/12 6:04 PM EST
'No hard feelings' as Oliver heads to Toronto
Veteran recognizes business side after third go-round with Texas
By T.R. Sullivan / MLB.com
ARLINGTON -- Darren Oliver's departure from the Rangers became official on Monday. The Blue Jays formally announced they have signed Oliver to a one-year contract worth $4 million with a club option for 2013.
Oliver spent the past two seasons with the Rangers in his third tour of duty with them. He was also with them in 1993-98 and again in 2000-01. He currently ranks sixth all-time in club history with 317 games pitched.
"This is not the first time I've left," Oliver said Monday. "The contract just didn't work out. That's the part of baseball -- the business side -- that the players don't like. The business side stinks. But you've got to move on.
"There are no hard feelings or ill-will. I wish them the best, and I'm sure they wish me the best."
Oliver agreed to a contract with the Blue Jays in the final week of December. The official announcement was delayed until Oliver passed a physical and the Blue Jays cleared a spot on their 40-man roster. Oliver took his physical last week, and the Blue Jays designated utility infielder Mark Teahen for assignment on Monday.
"They have a good young team," Oliver said. "I know what kind of team they have. When we played them, they always hit. But it comes down to pitching, and they were pretty aggressive in getting me over there."
The Blue Jays will be his ninth organization. Besides the Rangers, Oliver has played with the Cardinals, Red Sox, Rockies, Marlins, Astros, Mets and Angels since making his Major League debut in 1993. He and his family still reside in Tarrant County, Texas, and Oliver was hoping to retire with the Rangers.
"You never say never," Oliver said. "I would have never thought I was going to Toronto, but here I am going to Toronto."
Oliver, 41, was 5-5 with a 2.29 ERA in 61 appearances with the Rangers in 2011, as they went to the World Series for the second straight year. Oliver, who spent the first part of his career mainly as a starter, was almost out of baseball in 2005. He did not play in the Majors that season and was considering retirement until the Mets brought him to camp on a Minor League invitation in 2006.
He re-invented himself as a reliever and has pitched effectively over the past six years. His 2.94 ERA over those six years is fifth best among all left-handed relievers with at least 225 innings pitched. He has been in the playoffs six straight years.
"We'll see if I really am the good-luck charm," Oliver said.
Oliver is scheduled to receive the Jim Sundberg Community Service Award at the Rangers awards banquet on Thursday but said he is not planning on attending. C.J. Wilson, who was the Rangers Pitcher of the Year in 2011, confirmed that he will not attend either.