Former Philadelphia Phillies and Houston Astros ace Roy Oswalt threw for the Texas Rangers yesterday, per Ken Rosenthal. The veteran starter has created an ongoing saga throughout the offseason and regular season, and Oswalt has already auditioned for the Phillies and Boston Red Sox. He will pitch for at least one other team.
Although Roy Oswalt wants to pitch for the Rangers, they don’t have room for him. I mean, they don’t even have a spot for two solid starters in Alexi Ogando and Scott Feldman, with Ogando filling a key role for the team last season. It seems illogical for the Rangers to pursue him, so count them out.
If the Phillies want to sign Oswalt, then they will have to trade solid starter Joe Blanton to clear up some space for Oswalt. That could work, depending on how much Blanton can fetch them and how much Oswalt wants. He wants to pitch for a World Series contender, so the uncertainty surrounding the Phillies will mean that he will only be interested with playing for them at a high price.
The reason for his interest in the Rangers isn’t surprising, because they have been to the World Series in the past two years. They have also been first in our power rankings for each week this month, and they are certainly continuing their terrific form this year.
As for the Boston Red Sox, that’s the team that is the best fit for him. It is easier for the Sox to make room for Roy Oswalt than the other teams, but they are also in the worst shape right now. The Sox are in the best position to sign him, and the Phillies are in the worst position with pending extensions looming for stars Cole Hamels and Shane Victorino.
The Los Angeles Angels showed interest in Oswalt in March, so there is a chance that he ends up throwing for them. However, they are clearly the second best team in the AL West and are still in a downward slide. Still, they are a potent team if they gel. The Angels already have a stacked rotation, and Jerome Williams has proved to be a solid No. 5 starter, so the Angels might want to sit tight.
Roy Oswalt will most likely wait it out, and a future injury to a top club could play in his favor. The best thing for Oswalt to do is to pitch for a few more teams with some interest in him, show that he still has it, and then wait until one of those teams has a need. The options are thinner and a little less tantalizing for Oswalt than they were in the offseason, but the money is probably going to be better for him now than it was then. Regression changes the mindset of how big of a contender a team is, so a sudden charge from the Sox, Phillies, or Angels could change things.