Despite big year, Oliver undecided on future

Despite big year, Oliver undecided on future

Despite big year, Oliver undecided on future
TORONTO -- Veteran reliever Darren Oliver is enjoying the best season of his 19-year career, but he isn't sure if he will be back in 2013 to build off it.

The Blue Jays hold a club option on the 41-year-old lefty for next season and would certainly consider bringing him back, but Oliver hasn't yet decided whether he is prepared to grind out another 162-game season.

"I'm not thinking about it right now," Oliver said. "I'll worry about that when the season's over, when I'm at home, relaxing."

Entering Sunday's contest against the Yankees, Oliver was sporting a 1.78 ERA and a 0.99 WHIP, both of which are career bests. He's held opponents to the lowest average, on-base percentage and slugging percentage of his career, too, while his 15 holds are the third most he has recorded in a season.

But what Oliver has done this year will have no bearing on whether he retires. That will come down to his wife and two kids, ages 10 and 12.

"I would never play this game and be away from them and take that away from them," Oliver said. "Every kid needs a father at home. That's important to me. I think it should be important to a lot of people. Baseball's second. Family's first. I've always said that."

Oliver said he's unaware of any potential deadline for him to make a decision, but manager John Farrell said the club will not push him.

"I am hopeful that he will say yes, that he will continue, for obvious reasons -- the way he performs, the way he handles himself," Farrell said.

"He's going to make the decision that he chooses to. Sure, I can say what I would love for him to do, but I don't press that issue. That's a personal decision."