The Rangers have spoken to the Blue Jays about left-handed reliever Darren Oliver, but industry sources said a trade is unlikely to happen.
Oliver may end up retiring rather than returning to Toronto. The Blue Jays made a move to reinforce their left-handed relief options by claiming pitcher Tommy Hottovy from the Rangers on Thursday.
Oliver, who was Texas' No. 1 setup reliever in 2010-11 before signing with Toronto, is under contract for 2013 at a salary of $3 million. Oliver's agent, Jeff Frye, has requested that the Blue Jays renegotiate his client's salary or trade him to the Rangers.
Right now, the Blue Jays aren't inclined to do either one, and general manager Alex Anthopoulos said this week the club is moving forward on the assumption Oliver will not be back.
"We'd love to have Darren back," Anthopoulos said. "We'd love to have him back at any point. If he calls tomorrow, thrilled. If he calls two days before Spring Training, thrilling."
Oliver, 42, agreed to a one-year contract with the Blue Jays for the 2012 season. The contract also called for a $3 million club option for 2013 that the Blue Jays picked up after Oliver went 3-4 with a 2.06 ERA in 62 games this past season. The 2.06 ERA was the fourth lowest by a left-handed reliever with a minimum of 40 innings pitched.