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Monday, December 08, 2008
 
Oliver and Weathers Accept Salary Arbitration

Of the 24 free agents offered salary arbitration by their teams last week, only pitchers Darren Oliver of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim and David Weathers of the Cincinnati Reds accepted the offer. Thus, both Oliver and Weathers will stay with their current team for the 2009 season. The only point left to determine is the salary. In the other 22 cases, the team will get either one or two draft choices depended upon whether or not their player is a Type A or a Type B free agent according to the Elias Sports Bureau ranking system.

Oliver pitched for the Angels last year for $2 million. As a lefty middle-reliever for a bullpen with current free agent closer Francisco Rodriguez, Oliver pitched in 54 games with a 7-1 record and a 2.88 ERA. His ERA was nearly 2 runs below his career ERA in 15 years of major league work. Oliver was originally a third round draft choice of the Texas Rangers, and his greatest payday came with a three-year, $19 million deal in 2000. In 2002 Oliver moved to the Red Sox only to be released on July 2. The Cardinals picked up Oliver on July 19 and released him on August 13 after Oliver pitched in 5 games for Memphis in the Pacific Coast League (14 earned runs in 16 innings as a starter).

Weathers will be entering his 19 major league season in 2009. In 69 1/3 innings last year, Weathers posted a 3.25 ERA with a 4-6 record. He finished 17 games with no saves after yielding the closer’s role in Cincinnati to Francisco Cordero who recorded all 34 saves for the staff. Weathers completed the final year of a two-year, $5 million deal last year. MLB.com’s Mark Sheldon predicts that Weathers “stands to get a considerable increase through the arbitration process.”





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