Here's a look at some highlights from today's column by Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe..
- One National League GM said that Roy Oswalt's desire to pitch closer to home has some teams wondering if the hurler might not be enthused about pitching this season. "Everyone knows he has back issues, but the thing that bothered teams was that all of a sudden, he wanted to be closer to home and wanted to start picking and choosing where he wanted to be. A lot of people felt he lost that desire he used to have to pitch, and now we’re seeing him say, ‘Maybe I’ll show up somewhere around midseason and make just as much as I’d make if I signed now,'" said the GM.
- The Angels are unlikely to outright release Bobby Abreu as they owe him $9MM, but their efforts to deal him have been fruitless so far.
- Peter Bourjos, meanwhile, is still prominent on the Nationals’ wish list for center fielders, but the Angels want considerable value back if they deal him. With Torii Hunter in the final year of his contract, there is room for the Halos to keep both Bourjos and Mike Trout.
- Astros left-hander Wandy Rodriguez will be a top "go get" guy before the deadline for teams needing an extra piece. Astros people remain surprised at the lack of interest in Rodriguez, even with the club willing to pick up about half the $36MM owed to him.
- Indians pitcher Derek Lowe has strong interest in returning to the Red Sox after this season as a starter or reliever. Cafardo writes that the veteran could have been an interesting solution as the BoSox's fourth or fifth starter, but picking up a large chunk his salary from the Braves didn't interest Boston.
- Jason Varitek's friends still insist that he is leaning toward retirement as he can’t envision himself in a non-Red Sox uniform. However, he feels that he can still play and at least be a backup catcher somewhere.