Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports dishes the latest on several free agents…
- The Nationals "plan a major push" for free agent righty Roy Oswalt, and Rosenthal considers the Rangers another potential player. Nats GM Mike Rizzo explained his interest earlier this month. Oswalt's agent Bob Garber told Jon Paul Morosi, "With Roy, home and family are very important to him. It would be a bonus to be close to home, but nothing is off limits, in terms of either coast or the Midwest. Ideally, yes, it would be great to be close to home, but it's not going to stop us, if it's the right situation. His goal is to get the ring. He doesn't have any jewelry right now. He's made a lot of money. At this point, it's about the ring. That's what he wants to take with him." Oswalt lives in Mississippi.
- Rosenthal doesn't see the Giants having the money to afford Carlos Beltran or Jose Reyes this winter. This math was apparent in September, when GM Brian Sabean told reporters payroll would remain about the same, around $125MM. The Giants currently have $81.683MM in contractual commitments for 2012, and if they tender the most likely nine of their 13 arbitration eligible players that's another estimated $38.7MM for a total of $120.383MM before minimum salary players are considered. A few million for 2012 could be freed up by trading Jeff Keppinger and signing Tim Lincecum to a multiyear deal.
- Rosenthal feels that Hiroki Kuroda "might be more open to playing elsewhere, having gone through the experience of considering another team." I ranked Kuroda 15th on my top 50 free agents list.
- Wei-Yin Chen of the Chunichi Dragons is a likely free agent, writes Rosenthal. Agent Alan Nero told Rosenthal Chen and Tsuyoshi Wada are drawing significant interest. Last week, Chen said he was 50/50 on moving to MLB (link in Japanese, thanks to Patrick Newman of NPB Tracker for the translation). Chen controls the process due to a free agency clause in his contract, and he's only 26. Newman tells me Chen topped out around 91 miles per hour this year, short of the 95 he reached a few years ago, but he's still interesting enough to fit in the middle of our top 50 list. I ranked Wada 34th.