Roy Oswalt Rumors: 8 Teams Still in the Mix for the Veteran Right-Hander
Roy Oswalt is still looking for a job.
He's not alone as there are several other big-name stars still available on the free-agent market. Players like Johnny Damon, Javier Vazquez and Vladimir Guerrero are still pacing the baseball unemployment line.
Oswalt put up decent numbers with the Philadelphia Phillies last season, compiling a 9-10 record with a 3.69 ERA in 23 starts.
Why is Oswalt still available despite respectable 2011 numbers? Which teams could be potential suitors for his services?
These are some questions that will be ultimately answered.
Let's examine eight teams who could be in the mix for the services of the veteran free-agent right-hander.
St. Louis Cardinals
There are several reasons why this might be a good landing spot for Oswalt.
It was reported last week that Chris Carpenter will be out indefinitely with a nerve injury in his pitching shoulder.
Cardinals manager Mike Matheny seems to be concerned about Carpenter's health.
"He looked really good and felt good; the next day he just didn't respond like we had hoped," Matheny said Wednesday as reported on ESPN.com. "His shoulder is just not responding, and they're uncertain of the root of it. That's what they're trying to get to with tests on the neck and shoulder and trying to figure out where it's all coming from."
The questionable health of Carpenter could prompt Cardinals' brass to pull the trigger and sign Oswalt. It also seems that Oswalt is keen to the idea of joining the Cards.
Joel Sherman of the NY Post tweeted last week that Oswalt would prefer to pitch for the Cardinals.
Boston Red Sox
There's a lot of pressure on Red Sox GM Ben Cherington to bring in another starter to bolster what some consider a very questionable staff.
The addition of Oswalt would give the Red Sox another proven starter to be coupled with established veterans Josh Beckett and Clay Buchholz. His addition would also act as an insurance policy for Beckett and Buchholz who have had injury problems in the past.
Cherington will have to decide whether or not to scrap the current plan which has seen Daniel Bard, Alfredo Aceves, Aaron Cook and Felix Doubront compete for the fifth starter role.
The recent acquisition of Andy Pettitte by the New York Yankees may be enough to spur on Cherington to make a move for Oswalt. In the highly-competitive AL East, don't be surprised is Oswalt winds up in Beantown.
The Oswalt-to-Texas scenario has been discussed a lot this spring.
Oswalt reportedly has named the Rangers as one of the teams he would like to pitch for in 2012. He also had an exploratory meeting with Rangers brass in January where a contract was not offered.
It seemed a little more plausible that the Oswalt to Texas scenario could happen when Neftali Feliz suffered an apparent shoulder injury last week. However, it seems Perez is feeling better and according to an MLB.com report and will start against the San Diego Padres on Tuesday.
Nolan Ryan and company could change their mind and abandon the youth movement led by the likes of Scott Feldman and Alexi Ogando.
Doesn't seem likely at the moment.
Could an Oswalt to Philadelphia reunion be in the offing?
Anything is possible!
The Phillies are not hurting for pitching as they are anchored by two potential Cy Young candidates—Roy Halladay and Cliff Lee—not to mention a strong third option in Cole Hamels.
Still, the addition of Oswalt could give the Phillies added pitching depth that could help offset the injuries on offense to Ryan Howard and Chase Utley.
The new-look Miami Marlins may decide to bring in another veteran arm to support a staff led by Josh Johnson, Mark Buehrle and company. The Marlins toyed with the idea of signing Oswalt during the winter meetings but ultimately chose Buehrle.
The addition of Oswalt would provide insurance for Miami in case Johnson suffers another injury or Zambrano reverts to the old behavior patterns he exhibited with the Chicago Cubs.
Oswalt has averaged 220 innings per season throughout his career and would add depth to the Marlins' staff.
Los Angeles Angels
The Los Angeles Angels made a lot of noise this past off season with the free agent acquisitions of C.J. Wilson and Albert Pujois. It seems the Angels are now a serious contender for the services of Oswalt, according to a tweet by ESPN and MLB network personality Jim Bowden.
The full story can be seen here as reported by our own Michael Nargi.
The addition of Oswalt would certainly bolster a staff led by the likes of Wilson, Jared Weaver, and Ervin Santana. It doesn't seem like money is a concern for LA Angels owner Artie Moreno as the club looks to secure its second World Series title.
Another possible destination for Oswalt could be the Atlanta Braves.
The Braves could definitely use another veteran arm to back up Tim Hudson and company. This move would make a lot of sense for the Braves as they lack starting pitching depth. The real question is whether or not Braves' ownership is willing to spend extra money for a veteran pitcher.
If Oswalt is still available by midseason and the Braves are in contention for a playoff spot, his signing may become more plausible.
This move would also make sense for Oswalt as he has indicated he would like to stay close to his Mississippi home.
The Milwaukee Brewers could also be a potential landing spot for Oswalt.
The Brewers already boast one of the strongest staffs in the NL Central with the likes of Yovani Gallardo, Zack Grienke and Randy Wolf. The addition of Oswalt to the staff would be a win-win for the Brewers as it would strengthen their team and keep him away from the division rival Cardinals.
The acquisition of Oswalt would also provide insurance for fourth starter Shaun Marcum who has experienced shoulder issues this spring. Marcum pitched three scoreless innings in his Cactus League debut over the weekend against the Los Angeles Dodgers.