10:35pm: The Cardinals made a bid approaching $5MM on Oswalt weeks ago but that deal is not likely to happen, tweets Joe Strauss of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Strauss predicts that the Rangers will win the bidding on Oswalt with $2-3MM more and other perks.
9:36pm: Some executives believe that the Rangers are the favorites to land Oswalt, writes Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports. Other interested clubs include the Cardinals, Red Sox, Nationals, Indians, and Brewers.
Even after acquiring Gio Gonzalez, Rosenthal writes that the Nats value Oswalt's veteran presence and makeup. The Indians are in the mix as they face the possible loss of the pitcher formerly known as Fausto Carmona. Milwaukee would only sign Oswalt at the right price.
The big question with the 34-year-old is whether he'll continue playing if neither the Cardinals nor Rangers want him. One friend of the pitcher says that he again mentioned retirement as an option, though two sources close to Oswalt insist that he will pitch in 2012 and perhaps even sign a two-year deal. Sources also say that the right-hander turned down a strong offer from the Tigers.
4:35pm: There's mutual interest between the Rangers and Oswalt, but for him to be a fit, it'd have to be on Texas' terms, Heyman tweets.
1:33pm: The Red Sox made Oswalt an offer, but are unsure of his interest level, since he has yet to accept, Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com tweets.
8:13am: Now that Prince Fielder has agreed to terms with the Tigers, Edwin Jackson and Roy Oswalt are the top unsigned free agents. It wouldn’t surprise many if Oswalt, who now seeks a one-year deal, signs in Boston, but two general managers think he wants to join the Rangers and another says he’d like to sign in St. Louis, tweets Peter Gammons of MLB Network.
Oswalt would like to join Mike Maddux and Nolan Ryan with the Rangers, Gammons reports. However, both of last year’s World Series teams enter the 2012 season will rotations that appear to be full.
Though Oswalt had two back-related stints on the disabled list in 2011, he finished the season with six strong September starts and a season ERA of 3.69 with 6.0 K/9 and 2.0 BB/9. The 34-year-old Bob Garber client made 23 starts and completed 139 innings this past season, posting a 3.69 ERA with 6.0 K/9, 2.1 BB/9 and a 45.1% ground ball rate overall. His average fastball velocity dropped to 91.4 mph, however. Oswalt was a Type A free agent, but the Phillies declined to offer him arbitration and he won't cost a draft pick.