12/22/2009 5:38 PM ET
Rangers Sign Free Agent LHP Darren Oliver to One-Year Contract With Option for 2011
Oliver returns for third stint with Texas
Arlington, Texas - The Texas Rangers formally announced today that the club has signed free agent left-handed pitcher Darren Oliver to a one-year contract for the 2010 season. The deal also includes a vesting club option for 2011. Financial terms were not disclosed, per club policy.
"Darren's been one of the most effective, reliable relievers in the game over the past few years," said Rangers General Manager Jon Daniels. "We know him well from his previous time with the organization and having faced him more recently, and we're thrilled to add him to our staff."
Oliver, 39, went 5-1 with a 2.71 ERA (22 ER/73.0 IP) in 63 games/one start for LA of Anaheim in 2009. The 2.71 ERA was the lowest figure of his major league career, while the 63 appearances were a career high. He averaged 8.0 strikeouts per 9 innings this past season (65 SO), the 2nd-best figure of his career behind only a 9.0 mark as a 23-year-old rookie with Texas in 1994 (50 SO/50.0 IP). The opposition batted .237 against Oliver in 2009, the 3rd-lowest single-season average in his career. He allowed just 13 of 44 inherited runners to score (29.5%) and held the opposition scoreless in 16 of his final 21 outings.
Over the past two seasons, Oliver has compiled a 2.81 relief ERA for the Angels, which ranks 11th among American League pitchers with at least 100.0 innings out of the bullpen in 2008-09. He appeared in 8 of the Angels' 9 postseason games this season, posting a 3.12 ERA (3 ER/8.2 IP) against Boston and New York-AL.
The Tarrant County resident will be in his third stint with the Rangers, joining Bill Haselman (1990; 1998; 2000-02) and Kenny Rogers (1989-95; 2000-02; 2004-05) as the only players in team history with three separate tours of duty. His 842.2 innings for Texas rank 10th in club history, 3rd-most among left-handers behind only Rogers (1909.0) and Jon Matlack (915.0). Originally selected by Texas in the third round of the 1988 June draft, Oliver also has the 3rd-most innings of any pitcher at Rangers Ballpark (442.2), trailing only Rogers (748.0) and Helling (480.0). He started the first-ever postseason game in Arlington on Oct. 4, 1996 (Game 3 of ALDS), taking the loss to New York-AL despite allowing only 3 runs in 8.0 innings.
He is 106-83 with a 4.75 ERA in 529 games/229 starts in his major league career with Texas (1993-98, 2000-01), St. Louis (1998-99), Boston (2002), Colorado (2003), Florida (2004), Houston (2004), New York-NL (2006), and LA of Anaheim (2007-09). He is 54-47 with a 5.28 ERA in 192 games/137 starts in his Rangers career.
With these moves, the Rangers now have 39 players on the club's 40-man roster.