Pitchers and catchers have been in camp across Major League Baseball for the better part of a week, and yet one stud free agent remains out there: Roy Oswalt.
The question: is Roy Oswalt pulling a Roger Clemens?
Clemens infamously started the trend of skipping spring training and joining a team after the start of a season with the New York Yankees in 2007, and it appears that Oswalt is on that same path. While ESPN's Jim Bowden tweeted yesterday that Oswalt could make a decision as soon as today on where he'll sign for the 2012 season, it almost makes sense if he wants to wait it out a bit longer.
Oswalt has been tied to the Texas Rangers, St. Louis Cardinals and Boston Red Sox, according to T.R. Sullivan of MLB.com. However, Rangers GM John Daniels has gone on record stating that the team has no interest in signing Oswalt as of now.
By default, that leaves the Red Sox and Cardinals. Both teams have new managers and have a need for the starter. While the Cardinals have been trying to clear some cap space, the Red Sox have been playing small ball (well, as small as a $180 million payroll team can...)
It is a fairly well-known fact that Oswalt is a family man. He has said that he wants to pitch for either the Rangers or the Cardinals, which are both closer to home. It is unclear if the Cards still have an offer on the table for him.
While he has indicated no desire to pitch in Boston, they may be the best place for him to land financially.
At this point, Oswalt is going to be able to command about half of what he could have earned at the start of free agency. However, in turn, he has been able to have more time at home with his family. In the same vein as Clemens, at this point, Oswalt could probably skip spring training altogether and still get about the same size contract that he would demand today.
The 34-year-old, 11-year veteran could jump on board with the Red Sox or the Cardinals after the grueling opening weeks of spring are over and enjoy a less-stressful transition to a new team with new leadership.
While the Cardinals could definitely benefit from Oswalt's services, it is fair to say that the Red Sox may be in more dire need of the pitcher.
Who knows, the way this offseason has been going, the Oakland A's may swoop in and sign him.