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Red Sox and Phillies maintaining contact with Roy Oswalt

Feb 4, 2012, 4:00 PM EDT

Philadelphia Phillies v Arizona Diamondbacks Getty Images

It’s pretty well-documented that Roy Oswalt would prefer to pitch for the Rangers or Cardinals in order to be closer to his home in Mississippi. However, since both clubs have full starting rotations, they have little reason to break the bank in order to sign him. This leaves Oswalt considering the alternatives.

With that in mind, Jon Paul Morosi of reports that the Red Sox, Reds and Phillies are among the teams who have remained in contact with the veteran right-hander.

While Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington told WEEI’s Alex Speier earlier this week that it’s “unlikely” they’ll add a starting pitcher prior to spring training, Morosi was told that the two sides continue to have “mutual interest” in one another. Oswalt is open to returning to Philadelphia, but the Phillies haven’t been aggressive adding rotation help this offseason. As for the Reds, they already have six candidates for their rotation and would likely have to move some salary in order to be a realistic possibility.

Assuming a deal with the Rangers or Cardinals doesn’t happen, the Red Sox look like the best match. Then again, Morosi doesn’t dismiss the possibility that new suitors could emerge in the coming days, especially if Oswalt ends up lowering his asking price. While Edwin Jackson signing with the Nationals earlier this week wasn’t a huge shocker because of the Scott Boras connection, it at least served as a reminder that things can change in a hurry.

Oswalt, 34, was limited to 23 starts last season due to a back condition, posting a 3.69 ERA and 93/33 K/BB ratio over 139 innings.

UPDATE, 7:46 PM: FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal says the Reds only “kicked the tires” and aren’t actively pursuing Oswalt.

  1. uyf1950 - Feb 4, 2012 at 4:09 PM

    Don’t dismiss the Reds so easily. Considering the many years Oswalt pitched with the Astros in the NL Central the Reds if they can work out the payroll issue could be a very viable landing spot for Oswalt. And without Pujols and Fielder any longer with their “old” teams the NL Central Division could be more wide open in 2012.

  2. Utley's Hair - Feb 4, 2012 at 4:10 PM


  3. Ari Collins - Feb 4, 2012 at 4:22 PM

    Reds are a pretty great fit. Not against the luxury threshold, and they’re well-positioned to contend with their offseason moves so far (and the losses from the Cards and Brewers).

  4. bouwel92 - Feb 4, 2012 at 4:25 PM

    before its all said and done roy oswalt will be back in houston where he belongs with him brett myers and bud norris we have a good rotation for a possible wild card

    • bloodysock - Feb 4, 2012 at 5:10 PM

      Did you break into your Super Bowl stash a little early?

    • crisisjunky - Feb 4, 2012 at 5:34 PM

      tough crowd today…
      RoyO’s only going to Houston as last resort, and certainly knowing He would be chum for midseason prospect trolling.
      Cincy is his best case really, also very close to home. Reds would be making their rotation very right-handed, assuming this bumps Chapman to the pen, but Chapman and Bailey would make the pen tough.

    • Utley's Hair - Feb 4, 2012 at 10:30 PM

      You mean being back in Houston wearing the road uniform of whatever other team he signs with, right? ‘Cause otherwise, that ain’t gonna happen.

      As for your wild card statement…what is it that you’re smoking, and did you bring enough for the rest of the class?

    • johnwvideo - Feb 5, 2012 at 9:17 AM

      With good old Walt being the GM in Reds towns, there in the same position as the Cardinals, actually there one extra pitcher deeper. So it could come down to which GM dumps a pitcher faster, Walt or is protege John Mo.
      Though if Oswalt wants to wait to see if either team moves a pitcher to clear salary, he just might find himself sitting at home in 2 weeks.

  5. buffalomafia - Feb 4, 2012 at 5:23 PM

    I wish the Reds & Pirates would step up there game & quit being cheap & sign some good players?

  6. pisano - Feb 4, 2012 at 5:57 PM

    The smart move would be going back with the Phillies, if they want him back.

    • Utley's Hair - Feb 4, 2012 at 10:25 PM

      As a Phightins Phan, I would welcome him back with open arms. I would also be okay with him deciding to take his money and run home.

      • Francisco (FC) - Feb 5, 2012 at 11:56 AM

        I don’t see Oz returning as a Phillie unless Blanton gets traded. There’s no way they spend 8 MM to get Oz back and push Worley back to the minors. I believe the Vanimal is here to stay.

  7. spudchukar - Feb 4, 2012 at 6:09 PM

    If the Cards management team botches this deal, and allows Oswalt to go to either the Reds or Pheelies, when he has made it clear he wants to rejoin his buddy Lance Berkman and live close to home then any repercussions they receive will be well deserved. They have indicated previously that they have about $8 mil to “re-allocate”, yet they still insist on putting the squeeze on Oswalt because he has tipped his hand as to his desires.

  8. muckthefets23 - Feb 4, 2012 at 10:54 PM

    Houston?? Really?? I wish I started my super bowl drinking binge on a Thursday too!!

  9. marinersnate - Feb 5, 2012 at 2:28 AM

    Neither St. Louis nor Texas need him enough to pay $8M-$10M a year. The guy had serious back problems last year.

    Houston?? Why would the Astro’s pay $8M a year to lose 96 games instead of not paying $8M a year and losing 98 games?? Houston is not paying anyone that kind of money.

    It would seem his choices are pretty clear. First place no one is going to pay him $10M. (Or even $8M.) He could go to St. Louis or Texas for probably about half that. They might bite for that. Or back to the Phillies for maybe a hair more than that. Or to Boston, for probably say $5M-$5.5M. Or he could retire. But he might want to admit to himself that he is not the pitcher he once was.

    • johnwvideo - Feb 5, 2012 at 9:25 AM

      With good old Walt being the GM in Reds towns, there in the same position as the Cardinals, actually there one extra pitcher deeper. So it could come down to which GM dumps a pitcher faster, Walt or is protege John Mo.
      Though if Oswalt wants to wait to see if either team moves a pitcher to clear salary, he just might find himself sitting at home in 2 weeks.

      As for going to Houston I seriously dont think he wants to be trade bait again at mid season, and more important is that clear fact that Houston is NOT going to spend that money when they have conceded the season already and begin to build for the AL next year.. Roy is not in there plans..

      Bottom line is “this is getting totally ridiculous” he never should have shown his hand so early, now all teams can just sit and wait, no one has to over bid.

      • paperlions - Feb 5, 2012 at 10:36 AM

        Yep, in addition, they’ve already said they are up against the spending limit.

  10. stex52 - Feb 5, 2012 at 1:23 PM

    Gotta say, as big a fan of Roy as I have been in the past, I’m getting a little tired of all this.

    He is not going back to Houston. Get over it. Rangers are clearly uninterested. From what we all know abut his interests, make it the Cards or Phillies. His early bargaining positions were unrealistic, so now he finds himself in a market where has value has dropped greatly. I imagine 5-6 MM$ is still practical, can he make himself settle?

    But if not; it’s just time to retire.

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