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Red Sox, Reds, Rangers, Cardinals all downplaying interest in Roy Oswalt

Feb 7, 2012, 10:15 AM EDT

oswalt glove getty Getty Images

Roy Oswalt remains linked to a handful of teams, but seemingly no one wants to admit that they’re actually close to signing him.

Reds general manager Walt Jocketty said yesterday that he hadn’t talked to Oswalt’s agent in a week, only to have Jon Morosi of report that they were indeed “still in talks.”

Rob Bradford of reports that the Red Sox have “no traction” in negotiations with Oswalt and Boston signing him “doesn’t seem likely at this point.”

Similarly, according to Cardinals general manager John Mozeliak the veteran right-hander ending up in St. Louis is unlikely in no small part because they’d have to shed significant payroll to add him and already have a full rotation.

Other potential suitors include the Rangers and Phillies, but Texas has downplayed its interest in Oswalt and Philadelphia would seemingly have to find a taker for Joe Blanton and his $8.5 million salary before possibly re-signing Oswalt.

He’s going to end up with a contender, mostly likely on a sizable one-year deal, but in the meantime there’s a pretty interesting little game of public statement chicken going on.

  1. rollinghighwayblues - Feb 7, 2012 at 10:33 AM

    Personally, I’m tired of this Mexican standoff.

    • shaggylocks - Feb 7, 2012 at 10:50 AM

      Seriously, I almost don’t care where he goes at this point, I just want the shoe to drop already. I imagine these teams are waiting for the results of any pending arbitration hearings before making an aggressive move for him.

  2. busieks - Feb 7, 2012 at 10:48 AM

    JMo needs to realize that Oswalt is on another level than McClellan. Sign him now, she’d the payroll later. If only it worked that way… Wainwright, Carpenter, Oswalt. That’s a beast top 3. Scary kind of.

    • emoser - Feb 7, 2012 at 1:58 PM

      Five years ago, yes.

  3. phlockar - Feb 7, 2012 at 10:50 AM

    Maybe because they’re not all that interested? Especially if he’s wanting 10 million. Old and injured is no way to demand that much money for a year. He’s on his way out and should be paid as such. He shouldn’t be paid for what he used to be able to do on the mound.

    • Ari Collins - Feb 7, 2012 at 11:05 AM

      He’s not that old, he’s not that injured, and even “old and injured” last year he was quite good.

      • cardinalcrazy - Feb 7, 2012 at 11:14 AM

        I’m not sure why they don’t use incentives. Give him a base salary of $5 million. Then give an additional million when he hits 15, 20, 25, and 30. Oswalt can be an exceptional pitcher if he’s actually pitching. I firmly believe you should get what you pay for!

    • paperlions - Feb 7, 2012 at 11:15 AM

      Nah, they are interested….all these teams already had dinner plans, and when Roy called with a better offer, they couldn’t back out of the plans they already made.

      The Cardinals should suck it up and offer a few million more (though they have already spent most of the Pujols reallocation fund, $7M to Furcal, and $13M to Beltran)….they can worry about shedding payroll later, and a healthy Oswalt should lead to a better record and a little better attendance…offsetting any potential loss….or they could just dig into the megabucks made off of their run last year.

      • cardinalcrazy - Feb 7, 2012 at 11:25 AM

        Another idea is to consider a 2 year deal for Oswalt. Maybe give him $5 mill this year, and then back load it with $12 – $14 mill next year when Lohse and Westbrooke are both gone. I still think they should have some incentive clause in there as well.

      • brucewaynewins - Feb 7, 2012 at 12:19 PM

        As a Reds fan I hope anyone but the Cardinals sign him. He’s either the top Reds killer active in the NL or in the top 2 now that all the Braves pitchers retired. He’d give you guys 3-4 extra wins against us. He started out something like 15-0 against the Reds before getting a few no decisions that ended up in losses before losing a few in a row.

        If the Reds don’t sign him I hope its with someone in the AL or someone the Reds won’t have to worry about in the playoffs.

  4. Ari Collins - Feb 7, 2012 at 11:06 AM

    The Red Sox will be fine without him, but they’d be finER with him. Maybe if they win their arbitration case against Ortiz? One can always hope.

    • uyf1950 - Feb 7, 2012 at 11:11 AM

      I’m going to say that the Red Sox and Ortiz settle just before the deadline. I think both sides are to worried they may lose their case. Prediction: They settle at just about $14MM for 2012.

  5. WhenMattStairsIsKing - Feb 7, 2012 at 11:12 AM

    That’s okay, because Oswalt is also downplaying his flexibility to play baseball in anything less than exactly what he wants in every aspect.

    • Alex K - Feb 7, 2012 at 11:28 AM

      Why fault him for only playing if the situation is exactly what he wants? He’s in the position where he’s made his money so the rest is gravy.

      • paperlions - Feb 7, 2012 at 11:41 AM

        Exactly. Teams have essentially no leverage because no playing is a viable option for him.

      • WhenMattStairsIsKing - Feb 7, 2012 at 1:05 PM

        I fault him because the teams he wants to play on aren’t dying to have him. The dude has to get ready to report to camp already. He simply can’t build himself up if Texas and St Louis have full rotations. You gotta bend a little, or go home. Hate to say it, but it’s true.

      • Alex K - Feb 7, 2012 at 2:02 PM

        He’s made enough money to give him the luxuary of being able to pick and choose where he plays, and still be set up for life. If he can’t come to the terms he requires with a team he wants to play for I think he is going to walk away. Why fault a guy for doing what he thinks is best for himself and his family?

    • Utley's Hair - Feb 7, 2012 at 11:43 AM

      That’s what he has said for a while. He has said that he could just walk away. But part of me thinks he wants one more shot at that hunk of metal with the flags and the ring that comes with it.

  6. rexadelphia8 - Feb 7, 2012 at 11:26 AM

    I’ll take lil Roy over Blanton anyway

    • Utley's Hair - Feb 7, 2012 at 11:41 AM

      Unfortunately, it wouldn’t be a choice between Baby Roy and KK.

  7. rexadelphia8 - Feb 7, 2012 at 11:26 AM

    I’ll take lil Roy over Blanton anyday

  8. foreverchipper10 - Feb 8, 2012 at 6:23 PM

    Joe Blanton is making 8.5 million?!?!

  9. unlost1 - Jan 30, 2013 at 5:03 PM

    he can’t pitch a full year. in fact, he wasn’t good even part of the year

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