There is a lot of rumors and news to digest this morning regarding three time All-Star Roy Oswalt, here is the latest.
Jon Heyman clarifies an earlier report, as he is tweeting that the Dodgers did in fact make an offer to Oswalt, but it came a while ago. The earlier report by Tim Brown made it seem as if the offer was made over the holiday weekend. Heyman also agrees that the Rangers are the front-runners to land Oswalt, such a pity.
Heyman later added this morning, the word on the street is an expectation that Oswalt will sign with a MLB team this week. So far the only named teams in the running are the Rangers, Orioles, Brewers, Red Sox, Phillies, and the Dodgers. Obviously not in that order, as it could really be between the Rangers and Dodgers at this point.
Bob Nightengale is reporting that the Texas Rangers are in active negotiations with the coveted free agent. Oswalt has made it very apparent that the Rangers are his preferred destination. A team official has told Nightengale that the Rangers definitely want to sign the former All-Star. Nightengale also confirms that the Dodgers have renewed interest in the right-hander now that Ted Lilly is on the disabled list. However, Jerry Crasnick has heard from several MLB officials that they are convinced Oswalt will end up with the Rangers, especially now that Neftali Feliz is on the disabled list.
So why do the Dodgers want Roy Oswalt in the first place? Kershaw and Billingsley are off to a great start this year. Capuano is performing well above what was expected of him, and Harang is doing exactly what we all thought he would do. Lilly has been for the most part, dominant, minus the embarrassing (putting it politely) performance against the D'backs recently. Waiting in the wings, the Dodgers have Nate Eovaldi, who has already been called up to start for Lilly tonight, has been doing very well for himself over in Double-A ball.
It's actually quite simple. Mattingly and his crew realize that they have a good thing going on here, and so far Mattingly has done a very good job about taking it one game at a time, but also keeping in mind he is playing not only a 162 game season, but also taking steps to be ready for October. That's where Oswalt comes in. Mattingly is preparing for the worst so that he's not doing damage control at the last minute, it's called being proactive, something he learned from perhaps the greatest baseball manager of all time. A guy like Oswalt is huge for the second-half of the season, and ten times more important come October. He's a 2005 NLCS MVP for a very good reason. Of course I realize he's no longer the true ace he once was, but his experience is priceless, and he's a heck of a lot better than most guys even on his worst day. With the Rangers in hot pursuit, it tells me that they have the same thing in mind as well. So as the dust begins to settle, the Dodgers may very well have to up the ante if they are serious about Roy Oswalt. Sure he might come at a inflated price, but it's better than trading prospects we don't have to spare at the deadline to acquire a talent like Oswalt. Magic, Kasten, Colletti, you boys need to get it done. Actually Magic if you could just leave Colletti out of this one, us Dodger fans would really appreciate it.