OAKLAND, Calif. – Darren Oliver insists this season will be his last, but the veteran left-hander says he and Toronto Blue Jays general manager Alex Anthopoulos haven’t discussed finding him a better way to go out before Wednesday’s non-waiver trade deadline.
“We really haven’t talked about it, actually,” the 42-year-old said in an interview Monday. “I haven’t heard anything.”
Still, with the Blue Jays needing to make a move this week when reliever Sergio Santos’ rehab assignment expires Saturday (unless he suffers a setback), moving Oliver would make sense, particularly since he decided to return for a 20th season for a chance at an elusive World Series ring.
Things haven’t gone to plan with the Blue Jays, and if he’s not traded and things don’t turn around, a very good career would come to an end with back-to-back difficult finishes. Oliver is 3-2 with a 3.82 ERA in 33 games this season, and could surely help a contender in some role.
Asked how he’d feel about his playing days ending on “a sour note,” as he put it, he paused and replied: “I don’t know, I’ve never been in this situation before, it’s kind of a tough question to answer. Usually I’ve been on teams getting ready to go to the post-season, or close to it, so to be in this situation is weird, is different.”
“Last year we were kind of close, we were only five games out of the wild card (at the trade deadline), we were actually doing better than this year,” he added. “We were trying to add pieces, not subtract.
“That’s really all I can say on that question.”
Either way, Oliver is adamant he won’t return for 2014. As it is the native of Kansas City, Mo., “can’t believe I’m pitching now, it’s almost like I’m on borrowed time.”
Factor in a desire to be home full-time raising his two sons, and he is confident in saying, “Oh, I know it’s my last year. That’s no doubt.”
“Even though I’ve been saying that for the past five, six years, everybody keeps asking me that, even my wife,” he continued. “I told them I’m going to have to actually fill out the paperwork and make it official so she will believe me.”