After enduring six long months of waiting, the Roy Oswalt saga has finally concluded. Oswalt reached an agreement with a team that was favored to sign the veteran from the start, the Texas Rangers. Gerry Fraley of The Dallas Morning News was the first to report the agreement, and CBSSports.com’s Jon Heyman later provided the details of Oswalt’s new contract; $5 million guaranteed (not pro-rated) and $1 million in possible incentives.
After being one of the main topics of the offseason, it appeared Oswalt would sign this spring. However, rather than ink a new deal, Oswalt said he would wait until midseason to negotiate his next contract.
Oswalt held to his word, as the right-hander was pursued by several clubs this spring but ultimately decided to wait until late May to sign. Beyond the Rangers, Oswalt has recently been tied to the St. Louis Cardinals, Philadelphia Phillies, Baltimore Orioles, Atlanta Braves, Los Angeles Dodgers and Milwaukee Brewers.
Texas had been a favorite in the Oswalt sweepstakes because of what they could offer the veteran starter. Oswalt’s primary concern, at least recently, was reportedly the money, but several other factors likely played into the right-hander’s decision to sign with the Rangers.
Texas is close to Oswalt’s Mississippi home. Oswalt wants to win a World Series before he calls it a career, and the Rangers currently have the best record in the American League and have been to two Fall Classics in a row.
While other clubs such as the Cardinals and Braves could have offered Oswalt similar situations, there were a few things unique to the Rangers that also caused Oswalt to sign. Oswalt will have the opportunity to work with Rangers president and pitching coach Nolan Ryan and Mike Maddux. Oswalt also doesn’t figure to be the center of attention in Texas as he will be playing alongside Josh Hamilton and Yu Darvish.
Oswalt will start his Rangers career pitching in their minor league system. Once they are satisfied with his performance, the Rangers are expected to call upon Oswalt to join their starting rotation. Scott Feldman, who’s been replacing injured starter Neftali Feliz, could shift back to his role of long-man to make room for Oswalt.
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