Yankees did not inquire on Darren Oliver

The Last Two Bullpen Spots
Open Thread: Angel Berroa

Via Ben Nicholson-Smith, the Yankees did not check in on left-handed reliever Darren Oliver before he signed with the Blue Jays for one-year and $4M. Coincidentally, that’s how much the Yankees will pay Pedro Feliciano to rehab from shoulder surgery this year.

Oliver, 41, has enjoyed the four best seasons of his career — in terms of ERA and FIP — in the last four years. I don’t know how he did it, but the guy suddenly became a shutdown lefty reliever. He’s pitched to a 2.63 ERA and a 3.10 FIP in 253.2 IP during those four years, with solid overall strikeout (7.8 K/9 and 21.3 K%), walk (2.24 BB/9 and 6.1 BB%), and ground ball (44.6%) rates. Lefties have hit just .231/.270/.353 off him during that time. The Yankees brought in Hideki Okajima, Cesar Cabral, and Mike O’Connor on the cheap this winter an effort to maybe find a second lefty reliever to pair with Boone Logan.

The Last Two Bullpen Spots
Open Thread: Angel Berroa
  • Cris Pengiucci

    There’s not a 41 year old reliever in the world I’d sign for the type of money he’s being paid!

    Wait, what?

    (Seriously, I think he won’t be worth what he’s being paid. Glad the Yankees passed on him.)

  • Plank

    This is all the proof I need to show that Cashman has been replaced by an impostor. If the real Cashman were in charge Oliver would be flying to NY to don the pinstripes and sign his 10/40MM contract just about now.

  • cranky

    Cabral is going to be a quiet surprise this season.
    Great pickup.

  • RetroRob

    Considering the Yankees neverending desire to add a second lefty (sometimes a first lefty) year after year after year, I’m a bit surprised they haven’t tried to draft lefty relievers, similar to what they did with Dave Robertson. As John Manuel noted on BA, it is kind of surprising how few lefties (starter or reliever) the Yankees have developed over the years.

    • Mister Delaware

      Really? I feel like Pettitte + a prospect who has reached the ranking that Banuelos has is better than atleast 1/3 of the teams in MLB right there. How many really good lefties are there?

      • Plank

        Pettitte had a long career and retired. Just bringing him up is kind of showing Manuel’s point has validity.

      • RetroRob

        He wasn’t even going back to Pettitte. He was pretty much saying how few even vaugely promising lefty arms they’ve had in the past decade. We’re not talking about Whitey Ford or Ron Guidry or Andy Pettitte, he was talking overall. Kind of hard to argue his point.

  • Nathan

    I would have thought that the Yankees would at least kick the tires on Oliver as he can pitch nearly any spot (long relief, middle relief, spot starter) as well as being a lefty.

  • http://www.twitter.com/jmarlowescully Scully

    I know here at RAB and in the Yankee universe that during the offseason you’ll hear news on AROD, Jeter, Sabathia, Teixeira etc… (star players). But if you’re Boone Logan and you’re hearing and knowing the Yankees want to bring in another lefty because you’re not good enough against them what do you do? I don’t mean that in a pouty way. I’m wondering how he’s spending the off-season getting better at his job, be it conditioning, studying tape etc… I don’t imagine he’s thrilled about another lefty vying for his position so I’m sure he’s up to something to make himself a better pitcher. I wonder what it is.

  • jack knife

    you people are unreal. Sign Darren Oliver at 41 cmon. Hes older than the Geritol he takes. Cabral a surprise maybe but nobody gives Romanski or Hall any credit. One of them will be the surprise and im betting on Romanski

  • TopChuckie

    How many batters does the typical lefty reliever face in a season? 100 max? It’s such a small sample that any lefty of MLB ability might have worthwhile season. Why pay anyone $4M for such a small and volatile role? Yanks are doing it right, THIS season, make the minimum investment and try guys until one gets on a roll.

  • Brien Taylor

    Of corse the Yankees did not offer darrin Oliver a contract there’s 2 reasons why first reason cashman does not know anything about pitching and second he’s not old enough 41 for the Yankees is like 21 for other teams maybe if he were 55 he would be a Yankee. I herd a report the Yankees are negotiating with Steve Carlton on a 5 year deal