Oliver leaves Mets to head to AL, Angels

Free-agent reliever Darren Oliver reached agreement with the Los Angeles Angels on a $1.75 million, one-year contract with a team option for 2008.

Oliver will earn $1.5 million next season and $2 million in
2008, with a $250,000 buyout if the Angels decide not to keep him
beyond next year. If he makes a minimum of appearances next year,
his salary for 2008 will be guaranteed.

Oliver, 36, revived his career with the New York Mets last season, going 4-1 with a 3.44 ERA in 81 innings. He is expected to pitch primarily in long and middle relief for the Angels, who are strong in the late innings with Scot Shields, the newly acquired Justin Speier and closer Francisco Rodriguez.

Oliver replaces J.C. Romero as the Angels' principal left-hander in the bullpen. Romero became a free agent when the Angels declined his $2.75 million option for 2007.

The San Francisco Giants had also expressed interest in Oliver, who has a 91-80 record in 13 big-league seasons with Texas, St. Louis, Boston, Colorado, Florida, Houston and the Mets.

"We feel Darren is a solid addition to our ball club and adds a
veteran presence to our bullpen," Angels general manager Bill
Stoneman said. "His versatility gives us an option as both a
reliever and a spot starter."

Jerry Crasnick covers Major League Baseball for ESPN Insider. Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.