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They’ll have to go at least one time through the rotation without him due to his back issues recurring. ESPN Dallas:
Texas Rangers pitcher Roy Oswalt will miss his scheduled start Monday with tightness in his lower back. The 34-year-old right-hander will visit a doctor in Houston on Monday, but is not expected to be placed on the disabled list.
“Prior to signing Roy he expressed to us what exactly is happening now,” Rangers general manager Jon Daniels said. “Sometimes this acts up with his lower back. If it’s the same thing he’s had in the past, and he expects it is, he believes he’ll make his next start. We’ve got to wait and see, but that’s our hope at this point.”
Scott Feldman will make the Monday start in Oswalt’s absence.
Earlier this week, Texas Rangers president Nolan Ryan said that in a perfect world, Roy Oswalt would get a couple more starts in the minors. Considering the state of the Rangers' injury-riddled rotation, though, there was a chance that Oswalt wouldn't get to make those extra starts.
It looks like Oswalt isn't even going to make one of those starts. From Rangers VP John Blake:
Rangers announce Roy Oswalt will make his first start with Texas on Friday vs. Colorado.— John Blake (@RangerBlake) June 20, 2012
Oswalt recently threw six innings for the Round Rock Express, allowing two runs in what was his most successful minor-league start since signing with the Rangers. Here's what Ryan said after that game:
"There wasn't a wow factor, but he used both sides of the plate," Ryan said. "He threw strikes. He wasn't as sharp as he can be, but he wasn't wild. Ideally, if this was spring training, he'd have two more starts and be ready. But given the circumstances, we'll just have to review everything."
Last Saturday, Roy Oswalt made his first Triple-A start for the Texas Rangers' affiliate. He went two innings, allowing three hits and a walk without giving up a run. On Thursday, he was hit hard, giving up five runs in four innings, with a walk and four strikeouts. As you'd expect, Oswalt said he wasn't very concerned:
"It's funny. When you throw in the Minor Leagues, they don't let you throw a lot of pitches," Oswalt said. "They swing early, and you don't get to work on a lot of stuff.
"Tonight I think out of six hits, I gave up five on first-pitch fastballs. So you try and get your fastball established and try to work on it as much as possible. But when they swing at first pitches, it's hard to work on your other pitches," he added.
There was a spot of good news*, as Wil Myers hit a grand slam off Oswalt:
* Offer of good news applies to Royals fans only.
The Texas Rangers upgraded their rotation by signing Roy Oswalt, but did they upgrade it enough?
Oswalt has had a terrific career. But as one scout said, "He wasn't great last year.'' He was, in fact, 9-10 with a 3.69 ERA, and that was in the National League. He allowed 153 hits in 139 innings.
A switch, at age 34, to the American League, seems like a gamble at best. It's nice that he'll be near home and with his buddy Ryan, who understandably has a hold over a lot of pitchers.
After all these months, Oswalt made a call to go to a great team in a desired location run by a friend. But I have to wonder whether he would have been better off going back to the Phillies, who treated him great, or even the Dodgers or Cardinals.
The location was important to Oswalt. But the new location in the American League may prove to be a risky spot for a talented pitcher on the downside.
No, he wasn't great last year. But you don't have to be great to be worth $5 million over the course of three months (or four, if you think the Rangers have a good shot at the World Series). He did allow 153 hits in 139 innings, but that's partially because he gave up a .321 batting average on balls in play; his career mark is .301, and he's likely to come in around that mark this season.
Oswalt missed July last season, for various reasons. After returning to the Phillies' rotation, he struck out three times more batters than he walked, and gave up only four home runs in 68 innings. He wasn't great, but he was real good. And real good is worth $5 million.
Of course, there's no guarantee that Oswalt will be real good this year. Presumably the Rangers took a good look, and their doctors took a good look, and if he's healthy there's no reason to think he won't be good. Or even real good.
Yes, maybe he wouldn't have better off with the Phillies, or the Dodgers or the Cardinals. But if he didn't want to pitch for those teams, how well would he have pitched for them?
Roy Oswalt probably isn't going to throw a pitch in the majors again until the end of June, at the earliest. It's possible he isn't going to be ready until early July. What kind of financial commitment would the Rangers have to lay out for three to four months of pitching? From Scott Miller:
Oswalt and the Rangers have agreed to a deal that will pay the veteran right-hander $5 million for the rest of this year, with $1 million available to him in incentives, according to sources with knowledge of the deal.
If Oswalt were willing to take a deal from the highest bidder this offseason, he probably would have received at least two years. If he didn't have a troublesome back, he probably would have had three-, four-, or five-year offers. In the end, he's still getting paid a decent amount of coin, he gets to pitch for a team that satisfies his offseason demands, and he picked up a couple months of extra vacation. There are worse fates.
The rumblings from this morning had the Texas Rangers in the lead for Roy Oswalt's services, and considering his desire to play for a contender that was close to his Mississippi home, it made sense. Now the Dallas Morning News is reporting that Oswalt has signed with the Rangers:
The Texas Rangers have signed free-agent right-hander Roy Oswalt, according to an individual familiar with the process.
As a guy who knows how telephones and computers operate, I'm also familiar with the process, but the Morning News probably means someone who actually knows what's going on in Ranger Land. The move made sense when it was rumored last week, and it still makes sense.
The Rangers briefly courted Oswalt last winter before committing to moving Neftali Feliz into the rotation. Now that Feliz is hampered by elbow problems, though, the Rangers became interested again, and they beat out several teams for Oswalt's services, including the Dodgers, Red Sox, Tigers, and Orioles.
Oswalt will likely need a few minor-league tuneups before returning to the majors, and the word earlier was that it would take him about a month to get ready.
Our long national nightmare is almost over, in which "national" is defined as a niche news story of mostly regional interest. Roy Oswalt is close to signing with a team. From Jon Heyman:
Lots of teams mentioned there. But according to Jayson Stark, there's one team that's pulling away from the rest of the pack:
The Los Angeles Dodgers watched pitcher Roy Oswalt throw last week in Starkville, Miss., but team officials are convinced that Oswalt is going to sign with the Texas Rangers -- possibly as early as this week.
Seeing as Jayson Stark is the lord and mayor and owner of that particular town, you'd have to figure he has a pretty good idea of what's going on.
Oswalt didn't sign this offseason because he was looking for a team close to his Mississippi home that was also a contender, and of the teams in the Oswalt market now, the Texas Rangers are the only team that still satisfies those desires. With Neftali Feliz on the shelf, the Rangers could sign Oswalt and rerereresend Feliz to the bullpen when he comes back from elbow soreness. Because the Rangers were running low on power arms in the bullpen. Gotta lock down that fourth inning.
Over the offseason, the story was that Roy Oswalt was looking to stay close to his Mississippi home, which eliminated teams like the Red Sox and Yankees from consideration. But now that it's almost June, and he's realized, "Boy, that's a lot of family time," he's more willing to sign with a team that might not be that close. The sticking point now? Money. From Ken Rosenthal:
Yet, the free-agent right-hander remains unsigned, and the possibility of him returning in June is diminishing by the hour.
The reason? Major-league executives say it’s Oswalt’s asking price.
The Dodgers checked in and considered the price "excessive." One source said Oswalt wants a pro-rated $7.5 million in base salary. Another said that Oswalt’s desired salary is a moving target, "but always high.
When Oswalt signs, he'll still have to take his sweet time getting in game shape, but he could still be a valuable part of a contending rotation. He's willing to wait, though, and if he's not going to budge with his demands, he'll have to wait for an injury that makes one of his suitors desperate. Roy Oswalt's kind of ghoulish when you put it that way.
First-place teams often look around for whatever assistance they might be able to find that could help get them to the postseason. The Orioles aren’t used to this, as they haven’t been to said postseason in 15 years, but they seem to have the hang of looking around:
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeymanCBS) May 24, 2012
Roy Oswalt! Who’s been connected with the other teams in Heyman’s tweet multiple times, as well as the Cardinals. At one point Oswalt said he only wanted to pitch for teams near his offseason home in Mississippi, but now that it’s almost June, maybe that isn’t important. Baltimore’s about 1,000 miles from Mississippi. That isn’t close. But maybe Oswalt wants to pitch a lot, after sitting around in Mississippi until now.
And he could help the Orioles. Maybe there will, at last, be a match.
For more on the Orioles, please visit Camden Chat.
The Boston Red Sox are presently 21-21, hanging out at the bottom of the AL East. They've scored the second-most runs in baseball, but they've also allowed the third-most runs in baseball, and Clay Buchholz looks like a big ol' pile of crap. The Red Sox recently watched free agent Roy Oswalt work out. Stands to reason the two sides might've talked contract, yes?
Red Sox and Roy Oswalt have still not discussed a contract according to a major league source.— Nick Cafardo (@nickcafardo) May 22, 2012
Here's what this means: not a lot. If it's true, it doesn't mean the Red Sox and Oswalt won't talk contract; it just means they haven't talked contract, yet. And maybe Oswalt isn't ready to talk contract. Or maybe the Red Sox want to give things a little longer with their current roster. Roy Oswalt might still join the Red Sox, and we won't know until Oswalt makes some kind of decision.
For the time being, Oswalt's still out there, open to being signed, and preferably by a team going somewhere. If recent rumors are to be believed, Oswalt should settle on a team before too much more time passes.
The Texas Rangers might be interested in Roy Oswalt with Neftali Feliz on the shelf. Here's why that makes a little sense.
Prince Fielder didn't sign a free-agent contract for a really long time. Then he signed with the Detroit Tigers, and you're used to him as a Tiger. Edwin Jackson didn't sign a free-agent contract for a really long time. Then he signed with the Washington Nationals, and you're used to him as a National, probably. Roy Oswalt never signed a free-agent contract! He just never felt like making a commitment. Men. Am I right?
...but Roy Oswalt is looking to sign a free-agent contract, soon. He's back on your radar, and according to Ken Rosenthal, he could put pen to paper within a week, if players have to actually physically sign contracts nowadays. Maybe it's all about iris recognition software. Anyway, Rosenthal:
Oswalt intends to sign with a team soon, possibly within the next week, and could pitch in the majors by mid- to late June, sources said.
After Oswalt signs, he won't be ready for big-league action right away, but it's not like he's been passing the time making pancakes and eating pancakes. He's in reasonable shape, and it shouldn't take long to get into major-league shape. Oswalt has already worked out for the Phillies and the Red Sox, and will reportedly work out for another two teams that aren't the Yankees or the Tigers. Somebody's going to make a pretty significant mid-season splash.
Over the offseason, Roy Oswalt was picky. Really picky. He wanted to pitch for the major-league team that played in Mississippi at first. His agent finally convinced him that was impossible. So he expanded his preferences to teams close to his Mississippi home. And finally, he said "to heck with this", and decided to kick back during the spring when all the suckers were busy training.
But he could come back soon. From Ken Rosenthal:
The Philadelphia Phillies were Oswalt's last team, and it appeared in the offseason that they weren't going to have room in the rotation. But Vance Worley's recent elbow concerns have probably made the Phillies explore other options.
The Boston Red Sox seemed like the best fit for Oswalt in the offseason, but he didn't appear particularly keen on pitching a full season that far away from home. For a half-season, though, he apparently will be open to the idea.
We're well into March, and Roy Oswalt is still a free agent. More, Roy Oswalt intends to remain a free agent until midseason. Roy Oswalt doesn't seem like the kind of guy who should go unsigned - he's not, I don't know, Brett Tomko - but we got here for two reasons. One, teams are worried about Roy Oswalt's health. He's not the most durable pitcher in the world, and he's 34 years old. Two, Oswalt's been picky. Oswalt's been very specific in saying he wants to play close to his family home in Mississippi. The Rangers count, but they didn't have room. The Cardinals count, but they didn't have room. The Royals count, but they're not supposed to be good, and Oswalt wants to win, too.
Oswalt supposedly turned down the Red Sox and the Tigers because he didn't want to play that far away. Everybody came to understand that Oswalt had something in mind, and he wasn't going to deviate from it.
Until now, when he's apparently deviated from it:
Roy Oswalt now telling teams he'll play anywhere. Until recently, he was focused on pitching close to his home in Mississippi— Jerry Crasnick (@jcrasnick) March 8, 2012
Oswalt still looking at possible June return. His kids will be out of school by then, so he can take the family wherever he goes— Jerry Crasnick (@jcrasnick) March 8, 2012
Roy Oswalt had closed so many doors. Almost all of the doors. Now he seems to be opening the doors back up, and while he's still not intending to sign for months, this makes him far more likely to sign on with a contender. Now he's not hoping for an opening with the Rangers or Cardinals. Now he's hoping for an opening anywhere. There will be openings. Someone will get hurt, or someone will underachieve, and there will be teams who like the idea of landing Roy Oswalt.
So this is pretty significant, even if Oswalt isn't going to do anything any time soon. If he stays in shape and stays healthy, he should get a summer job, and maybe that summer job will even get him a championship.
Roy Oswalt is
sitting at home, catching up on Downton Abbeys training diligently, hoping that a team will meet his particular requirements with money and location. The Boston Red Sox were said to be out, mostly because Oswalt didn't want to pitch that far north. But from Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe, we have whispers that the dream might not be dead:
It’s early in the Daniel Bard experiment. The jury is out on whether Bard will be needed more in the bullpen with Andrew Bailey showing signs of nagging injuries. Oswalt is still in play, and later in camp, the Red Sox could put on a full-court press for him.
If the full-court press doesn't work, they could huddle up and go for an end-around, making a power play for him before throwing a Hail Mary if all else fails.
The baseball season is very, very, very long, so it's a little presumptuous to chide Oswalt for wanting to stay close to his family. And if this is all a negotiating ploy to make the Red Sox overpay, well, that's sort of brilliant. And risky. It wouldn't be as risky as the Red Sox going into the season with the back end of their rotation being held together with crossed fingers and sprite kisses, of course. It's still the best fit for both sides. It's just up to Oswalt to a) settle or b) figure that out.
Roy Oswalt's not pitching for the Red Sox, or not soon anyway. Will the Sox miss him? Not much, if you believe Bobby Valentine's history lesson.
This is moot now, since Roy Oswalt has confirmed through agent Bob Garber that he'll stay in shape on his own and look to join a contender midseason, but over at FanGraphs, Dave Cameron tried to come up with an innovative solution by inventing the must-trade clause:
So, here’s a thought – maybe Oswalt and his agent should invent the anti-no-trade clause.
1. The base salary is $5 million, paid out evenly over the course of the season.
2. There’s a $3-$5 million signing bonus, payable September 1st.
3. Oswalt specifies a list of teams to which he will accept a trade before the season begins.
4. If Oswalt is not traded to one of those teams by August 1st, he has the right to opt out of the contract and become a free agent.
The idea being that Roy Oswalt could help himself more by pitching against real batters in real games for the first few months than by working out independently. It would be kind of awkward for the signing team, since everyone would know that Oswalt is a goner, but there are worse things than having Roy Oswalt around for a little while.
Anyway. I'm sure Cameron's idea has flaws. Beyond that, it's just not going to happen. But there's no denying the creativity.
We were told that free agent Roy Oswalt would make a statement through agent Bob Garber on Thursday. Sure enough, said statement has been made, and it confirms what was reported by sources Thursday morning.
oswalt will stay in shape and hope to pitch for a contender at some point this year, agent bob garber announces— Jon Heyman (@JonHeymanCBS) February 23, 2012
Roy Oswalt is Roy Oswalt, and even despite injury problems, he posted a 105 ERA+ last season. It stands to reason that Roy Oswalt would've been desirable, and shouldn't still be unsigned. But, of course, the issue is that Oswalt is picky. I don't mean that in a bad way. Roy Oswalt has every right to be picky. Roy Oswalt has every right to do whatever he wants*. But it's basically Roy Oswalt's fault that Roy Oswalt doesn't have a team.
* I guess not really
He wanted to pitch for the Rangers or the Cardinals, but neither the Rangers nor the Cardinals have an opening. He didn't want to pitch for the Tigers, who offered good money. He didn't want to pitch for the Red Sox, who made an offer as well. And Oswalt's never won a World Series, so he's looking to get a ring, and ... yeah, here we are, and it's not a great shock that Oswalt hasn't put pen to paper.
We'll see where this goes. As mentioned, Pedro Martinez signed midseason. Roger Clemens signed midseason. Roy Oswalt is not blazing a new trail. But he'll either need to hope that the Rangers or Cardinals sustain an injury, or he'll need to be more open-minded. Maybe time off will make him more willing to play farther from home. Maybe time off will make him less willing to play farther from home.
I suppose he could hope for the Royals to be a surprise contender. That'd be convenient. That'd also be - well we don't have words for that. I kind of feel like writing this section in wingdings, as long as we're being crazy.
In 2009, Pedro Martinez waited until August to pitch his first game for the Philadelphia Phillies. He showed good control and strikeout stuff over nine regular-season starts, and he pitched well in the NLCS before having a rough World Series against the Yankees.
After waiting until spring training and failing to land a job to his satisfaction, free agent pitcher Roy Oswalt has told major league clubs that he might pull a Roger Clemens and return midseason, according to a baseball source.
Oh, right. Clemens did that too. Of all the dramatic things.
The main difference between Oswalt and the two should-be Hall of Famers is that Oswalt is just 34. He should be somewhere between the prime and twilight of his career, ready to sign a multi-year deal. But the right-hander pitched only 139 innings last year because of back concerns, and teams are wary of his health. That, and he's being exceptionally selective with the list of teams he'll pitch for.
So if you figured that Oswalt was going to make a decision today, be prepared instead to read his name after any starting pitcher in baseball goes on the DL with an injury of any magnitude. You've been warned.
Reminder: Roy Oswalt wants a fair contract for a team in contention close to his Mississippi home. So, the Rangers or Cardinals. Maybe the Braves. All of whom are rotten and overflowing with starting pitchers. That means that Oswalt is going somewhere else. Except Roy Oswalt wants a fair contract for a team in contention close to his Mississippi home. And the cycle starts again.
You can see how it's February and Oswalt hasn't found a home yet. But according to Gordon Edes, Oswalt is going to make a statement today on where he's going. And according to Jon Heyman, it isn't going to be with the Rangers or Red Sox:
it is NOT rangers or red sox for oswalt, at least not now, according to people who know.
No word on if the people who know are linked to sources with knowledge of the situation, or if they're just familiar with the organizations' thinking.
And this comes shortly after this unambiguous statement from John Mozeliak:
"Roy Oswalt is not going to be a Cardinal," Mozeliak told AM 590 in St. Louis this morning.
This sets up a whopper of a mystery team, of course. If not the Cardinals and Rangers, and if the Red Sox have been out for a while, then who? I'll guess the Royals in the conservatory with a rosin bag, but that's just because mystery-team dust makes me hallucinate.
Teams have opened spring training camps and the first games are in about 10 days.
And one of the presumed premier free agents, Roy Oswalt, is still unsigned.
Thursday, we are going to get some sort of announcement from Oswalt, says Gordon Edes of ESPN Boston:
His agent, Bob Garber, sent me an email Wednesday night that Oswalt will have an announcement Thursday. Red Sox sources said they didn’t know what the announcement entailed.
The Red Sox have been rumored as a team interested in Oswalt. However, that interest has not been mutual; Oswalt has been said to not want to play that far from his home in Texas.
… unless Oswalt feels healthy enough to give a team between 180 to 200 innings, he might be a great candidate to follow the example of former Astros teammate Roger Clemens, who in both 2006 (Astros) and 2007 (Yankees) didn’t sign until May and gave them seasons of 113 and 99 1/3 innings, respectively.
That’s certainly a possibility. The only other logical assumption is that Oswalt will announce his retirement. As always, we await developments.
There are still a few worthwhile players looking for a home. Here's where they should go so we can start the season already.
Roy Oswalt wants to pitch for the Rangers, but the Rangers don't have room. Roy Oswalt wants to pitch for the Cardinals, but the Cardinals don't have room. Roy Oswalt reportedly isn't interested in pitching for the Pirates. The Reds denied that they're going after Roy Oswalt. Roy Oswalt reportedly isn't interested in pitching for the Red Sox, at least for now.
Source says there's "no sense of progress" in any talks between #RedSox and Roy Oswalt
Now what? Where is Roy Oswalt supposed to go? We look towards Jayson Stark:
Amaro admitted Phillies have had "dialogue" with Oswalt but said fitting him now isn't feasible.
Fitting Roy Oswalt isn't presently feasible because the Phillies are just about out of payroll space. That Jonathan Papelbon contract keeps on giving and giving, and it's not even started yet. But you know what would clear payroll space and a roster spot? Moving Joe Blanton, who is due $8.5 million this season.
Of course, that's much, much easier said than done. Blanton had physical problems a year ago. He posted a 78 ERA+. He posted an 85 ERA+ the year before that. It's unlikely that some team's going to be willing to take Blanton on at his price. His price being free in one regard, and not free in another.
But the Phillies have pulled off some magical moves before, so they're a team to monitor at least a little bit. Generally speaking, when the Phillies want something, they get it. How badly do the Phillies want Roy Oswalt?
Walt Jocketty announced that the Reds are not interested in Roy Oswalt. But should they be?
Today is Tuesday, February 7. Edwin Jackson signed a contract last week. Prince Fielder signed a contract not long before that. People thought those free-agent sweepstakes took forever. Roy Oswalt is still out there. Roy Oswalt is still a free agent. Meanwhile, team trucks are already shipping equipment to spring training.
And Roy Oswalt is having trouble finding a home. Oswalt has expressed a specific interest in signing with the Rangers or the Cardinals. The Rangers have a full starting rotation. The Cardinals have a full starting rotation. The Rangers appear to be out. The Cardinals appear to be out.
There are, of course, teams interested in signing Roy Oswalt. He's Roy Oswalt. The Red Sox have shown a lot of interest. Rob Bradford, however, says there's "no traction" there. And the Pirates have shown interest. Rob Biertempfel, however, says they were "rebuffed."
So the teams with whom Oswalt would like to sign apparently can't sign him. He's not real wild about the teams that can sign him. Oswalt's talked about retirement before - might he just hang them up, satisfied with a long and lucrative career? Might that be better than playing somewhere he doesn't want to play?
The Reds remain in talks with Oswalt, according to major league sources.
The team would need to clear payroll to sign Oswalt, who is believed to be seeking $8 million to $10 million on a one-year deal. Right-hander Homer Bailey, earning $2.425 million in 2012, would be the most likely candidate to be moved, sources say.
The Reds are new to the sweepstakes, and give Oswalt another option. But, wait, hold on again. From John Fay:
Update at 1:23: I just talked to Walt Jocketty. He insists that the Reds have had no recent talks to with Oswalt.
"It's all rumors," he said. "I'm sick and tired of it. We've had no serious talks. We've had no contact with the player."
That's it. I officially have absolutely no idea what Roy Oswalt is going to do. Whatever he does decide to do, though, he'll probably have to decide to do soon.
I think it's pretty well established that, if free agent starter Roy Oswalt had his druthers, next season he would pitch for either the Texas Rangers or the St. Louis Cardinals. He doesn't seem to have a whole lot of interest in pitching for the Boston Red Sox, despite their interest in him.
Of course, there's that problem that we've referred to a few times - neither the Rangers nor the Cardinals presently have room in their rotations for another starter. The Cardinals might make room. The Rangers don't look like they're going to. Jeff Wilson:
A baseball source said that the Rangers are not likely to sign free-agent right-hander Roy Oswalt, who informed them earlier this week that he doesn't want to pitch in relief.
The source said that the Rangers don't want to remove Matt Harrison from the starting rotation to make room for Oswalt [...]
It might sound crazy, if you just think of Roy Oswalt as being Roy Oswalt. But last season, Matt Harrison started 30 games - for Texas - and posted a 3.39 ERA with 126 strikeouts and 57 walks. Also, Harrison's 26. Harrison's a valuable asset, and at this point in the offseason the Rangers probably couldn't ship him away for a pile of prospects.
So. Oswalt's probably not a fit in Texas. It would appear that this leaves St. Louis and Boston, although you never know if there might be a mystery suitor. What an unusual sweepstakes this has become.
Sometimes a baseball source will tell a writer one thing, and then another baseball source will tell the writer a conflicting thing. This might be new. Here we have a baseball source telling a writer one thing, and then the same baseball source later telling the writer a conflicting thing. Gordon Edes:
After indicating late Friday night that pitcher Roy Oswalt was signing with the St. Louis Cardinals "soon," the same major league source acknowledged Wednesday that Oswalt had not yet made a decision and that the Red Sox still "had a great chance" of signing him.
On the one hand, okay, maybe the baseball source is plugged in to the fluid Oswalt sweepstakes. On the other hand, this baseball source said Oswalt was going to the Cardinals last Friday. This exact same baseball source, just last Friday. Like, no baseball source has told Gordon Edes the wrong thing more recently than this baseball source.
This update does make a little sense, though. Maybe "great" is overstating things, but as much as Oswalt would like to pitch for the Cardinals or Rangers, the Cardinals and Rangers have full starting rotations. And limited money. The Red Sox are next in line, and though Oswalt isn't thrilled about pitching in Massachusetts, what if the Cardinals and Rangers can't make space? Oswalt would have to sign somewhere, right?
Boston's still in the mix. To some degree. There should be a resolution to all this soon.
Roy Oswalt knows where he wants to pitch in 2012, but are those the teams that need him?
It was just a couple of days ago when it seemed like Roy Oswalt was almost certainly a St. Louis Cardinal. But sources, people with knowledge of team's thinking, and people close to the situation can all jump the gun, it seems. Oswalt is still out there, and apparently he's the Yuniesky Betancourt of creating good leverage. From Ken Rosenthal:
Oswalt wants to pitch either for the Texas Rangers or St. Louis Cardinals, yet is not an easy fit for either team.
Talks are fluid and can accelerate quickly, but Oswalt’s agent, Bob Garber, appears to be in a bind. If Oswalt does not want to play for the Boston Red Sox or any other interested club, all the agent can do is wait. And the Rangers and Cardinals know it.
Oswalt would love to pitch in Texas, close to home. Alas, the Rangers already have five starters, and they're pushing a sixth candidate to the bullpen, where they're also stacked. The Cardinals know this, so they can be the jerks who don't call until three days after the first date. They have all the leverage.
As for the Red Sox, who have an opening, an acute need, and a clear yen for Oswalt's services? It sure looks like if Oswalt wanted to be a Red Sock, he would be by now. Or maybe this whole thing is a way to make the Red Sox overpay for his services. Maybe instead of the Yuni of creating leverage, he's the Omar Vizquel. He could do this for decades more if required.
So that report that emerged Friday night about Roy Oswalt going to the Cardinals was untrue. Roy Oswalt has not gone to the Cardinals, yet. But according to reports, the Cardinals are most certainly trying to make it happen.
Given that the Cardinals have a full starting rotation, the assumed stumbling block has been that they'd need to move Kyle Lohse or Jake Westbrook. However, Jon Morosi says they're looking to move someone else instead:
That is why the Cardinals are attempting to move relief pitcher Kyle McClellan and his $2.5 million salary.
St. Louis general manager John Mozeliak is said to be concerned with alleviating McClellan's payroll obligation, rather than obtaining top-end talent in return.
If the Cardinals can deal McClellan, they can improve their current offer to Oswalt. They'd then move Lohse - or, more likely, Westbrook - into the bullpen. This sounds like the most probable course of action.
The Rangers aren't completely out on Oswalt. Other teams are probably still somewhere on the fringes. The Cardinals are out in front. It shouldn't be long before Oswalt makes his final decision.
Late Friday evening - early Saturday morning, for some of you - a report emerged saying that free agent starter Roy Oswalt was going to the Cardinals. Implied was that the Cardinals would make room, either by dumping Kyle Lohse or Jake Westbrook, or by moving one of them to the bullpen.
Well, not so fast. Here's Ken Rosenthal:
Oswalt prefers to play for the Cardinals or Texas Rangers, but was not close to a deal with the Cardinals late Friday night, major-league sources said.
And Gordon Edes, who passed along that first report:
Free-agent pitcher Roy Oswalt has elected to remain in the National League and is likely to sign with the St. Louis Cardinals "soon," a major league source said late Friday night.
"It's not yet 100 percent," the source said.
Roy Oswalt has not reached an agreement with the Cardinals. Roy Oswalt might be very close to reaching an agreement with the Cardinals, but nothing's done yet, meaning other teams remain in the mix to some degree. There exists some possibility that Oswalt ends up signing with somebody else.
It's probably going to be the Cardinals. It's probably going to be the Cardinals, soon. Let's all just be patient now.
Earlier Friday evening, it seemed as if the Roy Oswalt sweepstakes were intensifying, as a report emerged that Oswalt was nearing an agreement with the St. Louis Cardinals. Well, now we're taking things one step further. According to Gordon Edes, Oswalt has reached an agreement with the St. Louis Cardinals.
Oswalt headed to the Cardinals, source says.
It's unconfirmed at this point, but Edes is reliable, and Joe Strauss tweeted earlier that the Cardinals were definitely interested and that a decision was expected soon. One figures that, as badly as Oswalt wants to stay around his home, this is probably true.
Assuming this is true, it means that one of Kyle Lohse or Jake Westbrook will presumably be booted from the starting rotation, and possibly from the organization. It's unlikely that the Cardinals would bring in Oswalt if they didn't have some kind of plan for how to make room.
And assuming this is true, hey, that puts Oswalt, Chris Carpenter, Adam Wainwright and Jaime Garcia on the same staff. That's a hell of a staff, and though it's a staff with question marks, the defending world champions won't head into the 2012 season short on talent.
Expect Oswalt to sign a one-year contract worth something like $5 or $6 or $7 or $8 million. It probably won't be as much money as a guy like Roy Oswalt should get, but Oswalt has his own issues, and besides, St. Louis is the kind of place for which he'd take a discount.
The 34-year-old made 23 starts last season with the Phillies, posting a 3.69 ERA and nearly three strikeouts for every walk. After returning from a back injury in August, he put up even better numbers down the stretch. There's good reason to believe the Cardinals will be getting Roy Oswalt as Roy Oswalt, or at least as an approximation thereof.
It's almost February, and Roy Oswalt is a free agent and good, so it stands to reason that Roy Oswalt isn't going to wait that much longer before he decides on his next team. There have been reports that Oswalt would most like to sign with the Cardinals or the Rangers. The Cardinals and Rangers both presently have full starting rotations, but according to Jim Duquette, that might not be too big of an obstacle:
Source - Roy Oswalt and the #Cardinals are close to a deal. #RedSox and #Astros are also still in the mix.
Duquette later adds that the Rangers are still involved. What's most significant here, though, is that Oswalt might find a home in St. Louis. The Cardinals already have Chris Carpenter, Adam Wainwright, Jaime Garcia, Kyle Lohse and Jake Westbrook, but you can bump a Jake Westbrook to make room for a Roy Oswalt. Doing so would give the Cardinals the possibility of having four aces. Ish.
Nothing's done. This rumor might not even be true. I don't know. I don't know Jim Duquette, and I don't know what Jim Duquette's source knows. But the Cardinals play close to Oswalt's home and they make sense once you get over the Westbrook thing, so we could see a signing before too long. Expect a one-year contract with a lower base than you'd think Roy Oswalt would deserve.
So, a few days ago, when reports emerged that Roy Oswalt had turned down an offer from the Tigers, it looked like the Red Sox were sitting pretty. The Red Sox had a need. The Red Sox had the money. The Red Sox could promise Oswalt a shot at a championship. The Red Sox traded Marco Scutaro to clear payroll space. Plus, Oswalt didn't seem to have a very active group of suitors.
But according to Ken Rosenthal, Oswalt going to Boston is by no means a lock. As a matter of fact, Oswalt might not want to pitch for Boston at all.
Oswalt's a guy from the south who would prefer to be near the south. Kind of explains this:
And kind of explains why he might be hesitant to commit to a town in Massachusetts. Even if for just a year. Oswalt isn't that interested in the money; he'd love for there to be an opening closer to home.
But that's the thing. At present, the Rangers don't have an opening in the rotation. At present, the Cardinals don't have an opening in the rotation. The Rangers actually have too many starters, and the Cardinals would need to move Kyle Lohse or Jake Westbrook.
So we'll see. Oswalt, presumably, will sign somewhere. Boston isn't out of the question. The Rangers could make a play, just for the hell of it. The Nationals could re-emerge. The Indians could arrive. And so on. Roy Oswalt hasn't signed yet, but don't mistake that as a lack of interest in Roy Oswalt. It would be crazy if there weren't much interest in Roy Oswalt.
Roy Oswalt on a one-year deal is like a cheesecake with the nutritional benefits of spinach. People should be fighting over this sort of thing. Also, the cheesecake has a screwy back. But a one-year deal, people. That is so, so devoid of risk. Last year at this time, we were talking about the Phillies acing the aciest bunch of aces that ever aced. One of them is a free agent now, and he wants a one-year deal. Where's the line?
Red Sox have made offers for Edwin Jackson and are presently in discussions with him and prefer him over Roy Oswalt according to source
The better pitcher for next year? Flip a coin. The better pitcher for 2014? Almost certainly Jackson, so if the Red Sox are thinking this is an opportunity to buy low on him, it makes sense.
Here's a fearless (if not stupid) prediction: The Red Sox get both. One second the Yankees were futzing around with A.J. Burnett, and the next they had Michael Pineda and Hiroki Kuroda. This wouldn't be a perfectly comparable one-two strike for the Red Sox, but it would do a lot to ease some worried minds.
And it would mean the Marco Scutaro stuff would make a lot more sense. But absent that wild conjecture, what it looks like now is that Jackson is in the lead. And he's a Scott Boras client! John Lackey's contract will probably look like a minor-league invite when this is all finished.
The Boston Red Sox want to add to their starting rotation. Over the weekend, the Red Sox basically gave Marco Scutaro and his salary away just to make room for a more expensive pitcher. The Red Sox have been said to be interested in Roy Oswalt. The Red Sox have been said to be planning an aggressive push for Roy Oswalt.
The Red Sox are probably going to sign Roy Oswalt. The Texas Rangers were in there at one point, but then they signed Yu Darvish, who already made their crockpot of starters overflow. And the Detroit Tigers were in there at one point, but if you believe this tweet from Danny Knobler, they've been eliminated from contention:
On Oswalt, I hear the Tigers were very interested (even had Verlander call him), but he didn't want to go to Detroit. May land in Boston.
Verlander: So, uh...
Verlander: Play for us?
Maybe the Rangers are still in the mix somehow. Maybe the Tigers aren't completely toast. Maybe there's a mystery team. But Oswalt's 34 years old, he's never won a World Series, and the Red Sox make just about perfect sense. It's gotta be the Red Sox. Right? Right?
The Yankees acquired 40 percent of a contending rotation on their last trip to Costco. Do the Red Sox have to make a move now?
It's that time of year. It's the middle of January, and Roy Oswalt, Hiroki Kuroda and Edwin Jackson are free agents. Those pitchers have been holding out for X, but according to a Buster Olney tweet, they are now seeking < X. I shouldn't really put this on the pitchers. This is about their agents. It's always about the agents, except for when it's Jamie Moyer.
Olney made a note of saying that Oswalt is now looking for about $8 million over a year. This is just a little report on Twitter, so who knows, but, Roy Oswalt? For a year and $8 million?
At FanGraphs, Dave Cameron writes about how he loves that price. For a buyer.
At $8 million for one year, the line for Roy Oswalt should be out the door. I’d venture to go so far as to argue that any contender with enough money to spend is wasting a potential golden opportunity by letting him sit out on the market any longer. At that price, Oswalt might just be the biggest bargain of the winter.
There’s not much in his 2011 performance that suggests a healthy Oswalt took any real step backwards as a pitcher. When he was throwing at normal velocity, he was still pitching at a the level of a +3 to +4 win pitcher, and that was the type of ability he was showing when the season ended.
Basically, Oswalt was hurt last year, but when he wasn't hurt, he was really good, and he finished the season not hurt. So while there is the obvious injury red flag, Oswalt is probably good to go for the time being. Sorry if I gave it all away.
Long-term contracts for free agent pitchers usually turn out bad. Short-term contracts for free agent pitchers often turn out good. Roy Oswalt for one guaranteed year and a seven-figure salary? At that price, he should attract so many suitors that he...ends up with an eight-figure salary, probably. Huh.
The Yankees did quite well with a collection of question marks and retreads last year. They're not going to try to do it again.
A lot of teams have been interested in free agent Roy Oswalt. Writers have chosen some unsettling ways to tell us.
Are the St. Louis Cardinals the favorites to sign free-agent Roy Oswalt? Can anyone prove that the Cardinals haven't already signed him? Because he feels like a Cardinal already...
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