The Rangers have spoken to the Blue Jays about acquiring left-hander Darren Oliver but a trade between the two clubs isn't likely, industry sources tell MLB.com's T.R. Sullivan. We heard earlier this week that Oliver would retire unless the Blue Jays paid him more than his agreed-upon $3MM salary in 2013, and Jays GM Alex Anthopoulos has said the team isn't interested in re-negotiating the deal.
Oliver has been on the fence about retirement all winter but seemed to be willing to continue into his 20th Major League season if he either received a pay bump from Toronto or if he could play for the Rangers, as the veteran lefty lives in the Dallas area. Oliver was originally drafted by the Rangers in 1988 and has pitched 317 games for Texas over three separate stints with the team.
It isn't surprising that Texas and Toronto can't come to an agreement given the unique circumstances of Oliver's situation. The Blue Jays probably aren't inclined to both help an AL Wild Card rival and do Oliver a favor unless the Rangers made a very generous offer, and while Oliver is coming off perhaps the best season of his long career, one figures Texas won't give much up for a 42-year-old relief pitcher.
As Sullivan outlines, Robbie Ross and Michael Kirkman are slated to be the Rangers' main left-handed relievers, with Neal Cotts and Jeff Beliveau also serving as lefty options heading into Spring Training. If Ross becomes a starting pitcher, Martin Perez (another southpaw) could rejoin the bullpen.