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.
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