Roy Oswalt Rumors
The Rangers have agreed to sign Roy Oswalt, Gerry Fraley of the Dallas Morning News reports. The right-hander will earn a guaranteed $5MM salary plus $1MM in incentives, Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com reports (on Twitter). The Rangers required ownership approval to sign Oswalt, a Bob Garber client.
The Rangers stayed in contact with Oswalt this past offseason, but didn't have an opening in their rotation at the time and none of his other suitors locked him up. Once Neftali Feliz hit the disabled list, an opening emerged in the rotation and GM Jon Daniels struck. Rangers CEO Nolan Ryan and pitching coach Mike Maddux appear to have helped convince Oswalt to pitch in Texas.
Oswalt made 23 starts and completed 139 innings for the Phillies last year, posting a 3.69 ERA with 6.0 K/9, 2.1 BB/9 and a 45.1% ground ball rate. However, the 34-year-old's average fastball velocity dropped to 91.4 mph, and he had two back-related stints on the disabled list.
If the Rangers have five healthy starters when Feliz returns from the disabled list, they could use him out of the bullpen and rely on a rotation of Oswalt, Yu Darvish, Colby Lewis, Derek Holland and Matt Harrison.
Photo courtesy of US Presswire.
There’s an expectation that Roy Oswalt will agree to sign with an MLB team this week, Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com reports (on Twitter). The Rangers, Orioles, Red Sox, Phillies and Dodgers have all been linked to the free agent right-hander in recent weeks. We'll keep track of today's Oswalt rumors right here with the most recent updates up top:
- The Rangers are actively engaged in negotiations with Oswalt, Bob Nightengale of USA Today reports. The Rangers definitely want to sign the right-hander, a team official told Nightengale. The Dodgers have renewed interest with Ted Lilly on the disabled list and plan to discuss a possible deal. Oswalt seeks $5-7.5MM.
- The Rangers would need approval from ownership to sign Oswalt since the team is over-budget, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports (on Twitter). There are mixed opinions about Oswalt in the Texas front office. Ownership approval appears to be the lone roadblock preventing the Rangers from signing Oswalt, Rosenthal and Jon Paul Morosi write.
- Baseball officials are convinced Oswalt will sign with the Rangers, ESPN.com’s Jerry Crasnick reports. The right-hander has given teams indications that he prefers the Rangers over other clubs. "I would be shocked if he doesn't go to Texas,'' one of Crasnick’s sources said. "A team is going to have to greatly outbid Texas to keep him from going there.''
- The Rangers could use Oswalt now that Neftali Feliz is on the disabled list. The Orioles are known to be seeking pitching and their division rivals, the Red Sox, have endured the struggles of Clay Buchholz and Daniel Bard. Phillies starters are dealing with injuries and the Dodgers actually made Oswalt an offer earlier this year.
TUESDAY: While the Dodgers did make Oswalt an offer, it came a while ago and the sides were far apart, Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com tweets. The Rangers are seen as the favorite to land the right-hander.
Yesterday, it was reported that the Dodgers inquired on the veteran at one point but didn't appear to be involved any longer. The Brewers also checked in on Oswalt but didn't feel that his salary could fit into their budget. A major league source told Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe that Oswalt's preferred destinations are Texas and St. Louis, just as they were during the offseason.
Earlier today, we learned Roy Oswalt would still prefer to play for the Rangers or Cardinals. Here is the latest:
- Oswalt's asking price has gradually decreased over the course of the season, but still may need to be reassessed if the right-hander wants to return the big leagues any time soon, reports CBSSports.com's Jon Heyman. Oswalt may not meet his asking price of $7.5MM prorated, predicts an executive of an interested team, who says the former Astros ace should eclipse Andy Pettitte's $2.5MM contract.
- Heyman says the Phillies could be more in play for Oswalt considering Roy Halladay's shoulder issue (Twitter link). Halladay left his start today after only two innings as a precaution due to right shoulder stiffness.
- Peter Gammons of the MLB Network tweets Oswalt's agent is telling teams his client worked out for the Dodgers on Friday. This morning, Heyman reported via Twitter that the Dodgers inquired about Oswalt at one point, but don't appear involved now.
- Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports reports the possibility of Oswalt returning in June is diminishing. According to Rosenthal, Major League executives say it's his asking price. One source tells Rosenthal Oswalt wants a pro-rated $7.5MM in base salary. Another said that Oswalt’s desired salary is a moving target, “but always high.”
- Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (via Twitter) says the Brewers checked in on Oswalt but apparently he wanted more money than they have in budget for half a season.
Sunday afternoon linkage..
- The Dodgers inquired on Roy Oswalt at one point but don't appear involved now, according to Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com (via Twitter). This morning we learned that Oswalt would still rather play for the Rangers or Cardinals than the Red Sox.
- Cubs pitcher Ryan Dempster hopes to stay in Chicago even though he knows that he could be trade bait, writes Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun-Times. "I want to be here and be part of what’s going to be a bright future," Dempster said. "Sometimes you have to endure some of the tough times in the present to get to that. We’ll just see how it goes."
- At certain points, Diamondbacks GM Kevin Towers put out feelers with other teams to see what another catcher might cost in trade and didn't like what he heard, writes Nick Piecoro of The Arizona Republic. Arizona realized what they have in catcher Miguel Montero and locked him up to a five-year extension over the weekend.
- Orioles center fielder Adam Jones told reporters that securing a no-trade clause in his six-year, $85.5MM contract was important to him, tweets Brittany Ghiroli of MLB.com.
- The Nationals could be interested in bringing back Erik Komatsu, who was DFA'd by the Twins earlier today, tweets Amanda Comak of the Washington Times.
The number of players on the disabled list is actually down overall this season, but you'd have a hard time getting the Red Sox, Phillies, and Yankees to take solace in that, writes Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe. One theory on the prolonged absences is that players are waiting to make sure they’re 100 percent before they get back on the field at the advice of agents like Scott Boras. "I’ve heard people say that about Boras clients, but I’ve also seen Boras clients who play through all sorts of pain and come back sooner than they’re supposed to," said Boston GM Ben Cherington. “Jason Varitek and Johnny Damon played through anything." Here's more from Cafardo..
- While Roy Oswalt was eager to work out for the Red Sox after turning them down before the season, he would still rather play for the Rangers or Cardinals, a major league source tells Cafardo. As of last week, the Red Sox have not discussed money with him, even though they liked what they saw.
- It's not yet known if Twins outfielder Josh Willingham will be available but he'll be in demand at the trading deadline or when the Twins feel they’re in a sell-off mode. One GM said of Willingham, "Of all the guys out there, he’s one who can significantly impact your offense immediately."
- The Mariners didn’t release Chone Figgins after Miguel Olivo came off the disabled list, but it doesn’t appear that he will be with the club much longer. At some point, a team with a lot of injuries might be willing to take him on if the M's pick up some of the $15MM remaining on his contract.
- The Cubs are willing to eat most of Alfonso Soriano’s $48MM if they can trade him. Unfortunately, Soriano isn't producing. Epstein approached the Red Sox about Soriano before the season and while they were discussing Marlon Byrd, but not since. Even with their outfield injuries, Boston hasn't come calling for the 36-year-old.
- There’s a feeling that Royals outfielder Alex Gordon could be had in a deal, but it would take an overwhelming package involving a front-line starter.
It's never a good sign for a team when its catcher has the game's best pitching line. Jeff Mathis' scoreless inning of mop-up work made him the only Blue Jay hurler to not allow a run in the Rangers' 14-3 drubbing of the Jays. Nelson Cruz swung the hottest Texas bat, going 4-for-5 with a home run and eight RBIs.
Here's some more news from around the majors...
- The Angels have "no real interest" in Nate McLouth, reports MLB.com's Alden Gonzalez (Twitter link). McLouth was designated for assignment by the Pirates earlier today.
- Major League Baseball has given approval for three ownership groups to review the Padres' financial records as a step towards possibly buying the team, reports MLB.com's Barry M. Bloom. The groups are respectively headed by Thomas Tull, Peter O'Malley and Steve Cohen. Tony Gwynn is affiliated with Tull's group, while O'Malley and Cohen also recently bid to buy the Dodgers.
- Roy Oswalt needs to show some compromise if he really wants to pitch for the Rangers, writes Evan P. Grant for the Dallas Morning News (subscription required).
- The Rangers should be willing to pay Josh Hamilton $180MM+ to keep him from leaving as a free agent, opines Randy Galloway of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. "You don't let immense talent walk. Immense talent always stays. Even if you overpay, immense talent, the best talent in baseball, stays -- warts, demons and all," Galloway says.
- Juan Carlos Oviedo has received his visa and will arrive at the Marlins' minor league headquarters on Monday, reports Juan C. Rodriguez of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel. Oviedo and his representatives have not decided if they will appeal Oviedo's eight-week suspension for playing under a false identity as Leo Nunez.
- The week's minor league transactions are recapped by Matt Eddy of Baseball America.
On this date in 2006, the Yankees acquired infielder Nick Green from the Devil Rays for cash. As our Transaction Tracker shows, it's the only trade ever made between the two division rivals. Here's the latest from the AL East...
- "We're always interested in the pitching market and any developments in the market," said Orioles GM Dan Duquette to Roch Kubatko of MASNSports.com when asked about the team's reported interest in Roy Oswalt. He wouldn't confirm if the club has watched Oswalt throw recently.
- Duquette also told Kubatko that a contract extension with Adam Jones is not imminent, and he wouldn't confirm if the Orioles and their star center fielder have spoken recently.
- Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports that the Orioles put a waiver claim in on John Gaub, but lost it to the Rangers because they have a better record (Twitter links). Baltimore came into the day 28-17 while Texas is 27-18.
- “My impression is not only do [the Steinbrenners] all love being part of [owning the Yankees], I think they are interested in handing it to their kids,” said Yankees GM Brian Cashman to Joel Sherman of The New York Post when asked about rumors of the team potentially going up for sale.
- ESPN's Jorge Arangure Jr. wrote about Yankees right-hander Ivan Nova and his path to the big leagues. He worked out for the Red Sox in the Dominican Republic but said "I really didn't want to sign with Boston ... My father and I were both Yankee fans."
Free agent right-hander Roy Oswalt hasn't discussed a contract with the Red Sox or Rangers, according to the latest rumors. The Phillies have also been linked to Oswalt, who is expected to sign a new contract midseason. Here are the latest rumors:
- Oswalt's preference is to play for the Rangers, Cardinals, or Braves according to ESPN's Jayson Stark, but there's no indication either St. Louis or Atlanta has interest. Stark hears that money is the most important factor, but Oswalt also doesn't not want to be a major media storyline wherever he goes.
- Oswalt is on the Orioles' radar, Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com writes. Orioles executive VP of baseball operations Dan Duquette said this week that he's looking for ways of adding pitching depth, so it's not surprising they're eyeing Oswalt. Teams other than the Orioles, Red Sox, Phillies and Rangers may be involved, according to Heyman.
The Red Sox haven't discussed a contract with Roy Oswalt, but GM Ben Cherington didn't deny that the team watched the free agent right-hander work out. That's the essence of yesterday's Oswalt rumors; now on to today's...
- Some rival executives fully expect Oswalt to sign with the Rangers, ESPN.com’s Buster Olney reports (Twitter links). The Rangers play relatively close to Oswalt’s home state of Mississippi and he might want to join pitching coach Mike Maddux and CEO Nolan Ryan in Texas. To this point the Rangers haven’t made Oswalt a formal offer, Olney notes.
- Manager Ron Washington said on ESPN Dallas 103.3 FM's Ben & Skin Show that GM Jon Daniels and the front office will make the final decision regarding the right-hander. "Oswalt has to want to come to Texas and we have to get him ready. The guy is a quality pitcher. But I'm more than certain there are other teams trying to do the same things," Washington said, according to Richard Durrett of ESPNDallas.com.
- Keep in mind that the Phillies have also been linked to Oswalt.