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UPDATE: Darren Oliver agrees to a deal with the Rangers

Dec 21, 2009, 11:21 AM EDT

UPDATE: T.R. Sullivan of MLB.com reports that Oliver and the Rangers have reached a deal for $3.5 million with a vesting option for 2011.  The option may be moot, however, as Oliver has said that he’ll probably retire after 2010. I suppose that all depends on how 2010 goes for him on the field.

8:00 A.M.: ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick reports that Darren Oliver and the Rangers are near a deal. No sense on what the money is, but he says it could be done early this week.

Oliver made $3.665 million last year and posted a career-best ERA for a second straight season, finishing at 2.71 in 73 innings. He was probably the Angels’ best reliever, and if it weren’t for the fact that Anaheim has a handful of crummy contracts with other guys (Justin Speier, Brian Fuentes, Scot Sheilds) Anaheim probably would have offered him arbitration which would have effectively ensured his return.

Just a lesson that, more often than not, a handful of bad, mid-range deals can handicap a team far worse than a big bad contract can.

  1. Floyd - Dec 21, 2009 at 8:23 AM

    Really, Craig?
    The Angels owe Fuentes $9 million, Shields $5.35 million, and Speier $5.25 million. Even if you feel that those are all bad contracts (and I’m not sure they are, given the current market for closers), that’s a grand total of less than $20 million, and then all three guys will be off the books.
    Is that REALLY worse than Vernon Wells’ contract? Or Alfonso Soriano’s? or Barry Zito’s? Even Todd Helton’s? At worst, the Angels are paying $20 million for perhaps $7 million in actual production. That’s hardly equivalent to the cash that at least 10 teams are throwing away on wildly overpriced superstars.

  2. Mark - Dec 21, 2009 at 9:19 AM

    Pretty sure the Angels have that GMJ guy who’s set to make 11 mil sitting on the bench.
    Still I’m not sure why the Angels couldn’t have offered Oliver Arb. Unless I’m missing something Cots said their 2010 payroll is around 82 million and the past 3 years were around 100-110. Makes sense, since they lost Lackey/Figgins/Vlad. They still have to fill the spot left by Lackey, but as someone who doesn’t follow the Angels I find it hard to believe they couldn’t afford Darren Oliver even with the bad contracts.

  3. Eat a Peach - Dec 21, 2009 at 9:29 AM

    Relievers are the most volatile stock in the player acquisition game. Those 3 plus the Gary Matthews Jr. contract mentioned by Mark above effectively kneecap the Halos much worse than the one big bad contract of each team mentioned by Floyd. It’s a lot of dead salary plus a lot of roster spots being blocked. When Brandon Wood breaks out, or when Sean Rodriguez succeeds in Tampa or somewhere else, just remember that playing time and roster spots are all precious. Tying up salary and spots in unworthy players prevents you from developing or acquiring other players as well.
    Also, BTW, KRod is still locked up for another $25 million for 2 years, lest we forget. So at least they cut bait on that horrible investment.

  4. Ron - Dec 21, 2009 at 11:18 AM

    That’s why Dayton Moore is so good at what he does. He’s managed to combine the best of both worlds.

  5. Jodie Smith - Jan 10, 2010 at 1:12 PM

    A good background check service is difficult to find.

  6. Pierre Knack - Jan 20, 2010 at 3:55 PM

    I wanted to thank you for this great write up. I absolutely enjoyed every little part of it. I have you bookmarked and will be coming back.

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