He was the losing pitcher in the second game of a doubleheader on Tuesday. He will turn 43 in October and almost did not come back in 2013, which is now his 20th full season in the Big Leagues. Darren Oliver‘s career hasn’t been spectacular but it has been steady, particularly since his conversion to a strictly relief role in 2006. He is an easy to guy to root for. However, Oliver’s career is missing a World Series Championship, something he has come close to, most notably as a member of the 2011 Texas Rangers who were one strike away from winning it all. So I have one favor to ask of Toronto Blue Jays’ General Manager Alex Anthopoulos:
Please send Darren Oliver to a place where he has a chance to earn a ring.
Surely, some contending team has room for a wily lefty (what a great term) out of the bullpen. The 3.92 ERA is a bit high but consider the mess that are the Blue Jays, with their underachieving 57-71 record. Oliver’s ERA has not finished a season over 3.00 since 2007, including 2012’s sparkling 2.06. Don’t you think the Detroit Tigers despite all of their might and muscle but can’t find stability in the ‘pen, could use someone like him? Perhaps Drew Smyly is their answer from the left side but they should think about another lefty out there. How about the St. Louis Cardinals? I know Randy Choate has done a nice job for them but picture Oliver going back-to-back with Trevor Rosenthal. First, you get the 80 MPH junk of Darren followed by the 100 MPH heat of Rosenthal. Tell opposing batters to have fun with that.
Darren Oliver considered retirement following the 2012 season with a year left on his contract. However, once the Blue Jays made all of those moves to contend and they increased his salary, he decided to give it one more shot. I would like Toronto to give him one last World Series opportunity by trading him before August 31st. Perhaps a third go-round with the Rangers will give him the ring that has eluded him for two decades.
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