Another high-profile free agent not named Roy Oswalt came off the board yesterday. With pitchers and catchers already reporting, Oswalt sits atop the list of best available free agents, but it’s still unclear where the right-hander will end up. Reports were released yesterday involving Oswalt and the Red Sox, Rangers, Royals and Reds, yet it doesn’t appear as if the veteran hurler is any closer to signing a deal.
The Royals are one team that hasn’t been tied to Oswalt this offseason. Instead of pursuing a veteran free agent starter such as Oswalt or Edwin Jackson, Royals general manager Dayton Moore told Bob Duttonof the Kansas City Star that he would rather see what his group of young pitchers can do at the major league level.
Reds general manager Walt Jocketty made it seem that he might come to blows with the next reporter that asked him about Roy Oswalt last week, but someone was apparently brave enough to question him once again. Jocketty was calmer this time, responding that the Reds haven’t been in touch with Oswalt or his representation in the last week. Jocketty added that he’s getting the feeling that Oswalt is holding out for the Rangers, hoping Texas makes room for him in their budget and rotation.
But, as much as Oswalt might like to join the Rangers, it doesn’t appear that Texas is especially interested in bringing in the right-hander. Tim Purpura, the Rangers director of player development, told ESPNDallas.com yesterday that it will be hard for Texas to fit Oswalt into a rotation that already features six candidates to start.
Between their addition of Yu Darvish and moving Neftali Feliz into the starting rotation, the Rangers do boast a full squad of arms. It’s believed that if Oswalt were added, Matt Harrison would be the odd man out. Harrison has said that he’d be open to moving to the ‘pen to make room for Oswalt, but the Rangers have indicated that they are not interested in this scenario.
With all of the uncertainty surrounding the Oswalt sweepstakes, the Red Sox have remained in the hunt, or at least in the rumors, for the right-hander. However, every time it looks like Boston’s chances of acquiring Oswalt are improving, a report comes out saying otherwise.
Yesterday, following his team’s agreement with David Ortiz, Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington told reporters that he doesn’t expect any major moves to be made before pitchers and catchers report Sunday. Cherington added that the club is still working on a few things, but Rob Bradford of WEEI.com reported that there is still no traction in the Oswalt-to-Boston talks.
With all of that I ask you; should the Rangers look to make room for Oswalt, or do the Red Sox need the 34-year-old to cap off their winter?
You can check out all of the available free agents by position below.