Roy Oswalt Signing With the Red Sox Becoming Less Likely
With the end of May approaching this week, the likelihood of Roy Oswalt signing with the Red Sox and being ready in time to pitch in June is becoming less likely. According to Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports the sticking point with Oswalt and the Red Sox is his asking price, something that all teams involved in the Oswalt sweepstakes are leery of.
Rosenthal reports that a Major League source told him that Oswalt wants a pro-rated salary of $7.5M, while another source said his salary was a “moving target” but is always high, a consistent report since Oswalt hit the free-agent market back in November.
Earlier it was learnt that the Red Sox were impressed with what they saw from Oswalt when he worked out for them earlier this month according to Nick Cafardo and Oswalt was “eager” to work out for the club. Only to find out later that Oswalt still preferred to sign with either the Texas Rangers or St. Louis Cardinals. The Atlanta Braves and Baltimore Orioles are both said to be interested in Oswalt, although nothing has been reported if either team has watched the former NLCS MVP during his workouts.
The reaction to Boston going after Oswalt is a mixed bag with some fans not wanting the Red Sox to waste their time or money on the righty. The fear is that Oswalt will not be able to stand up to the rugged AL East offensive lineups, something that Hiroki Kuroda is experiencing first hand with the New York Yankees.
For those fans wanting Oswalt in Boston to give the rotation a veteran presence, the odds don’t appear to be very good. Although the Sox and Oswalt’s agent have yet to discuss money/contracts, it’s still painfully evident that Boston would be a last resort signing. With the Cardinals and Rangers battling the injury bug with some starters, Oswalt may get his wish to sign with either of those clubs; but only if the money part of it doesn’t slow down contract talks. If Oswalt is not willing to drop his asking price then both clubs may be inclined to wait it out, with June coming and going, pushing Oswalt’s return back into July. At that point with roughly half of a season left Oswalt may not hold the bargaining chip that he does now.
The other argument against Oswalt is whether the Red Sox need him. Both Daisuke Matsuzaka and Aaron Cook are within weeks of returning to the majors and not only will they further complicate the Sox starting rotation, but adding Oswalt would mean more moves within the 40-man roster, something that always brings a risk of losing someone to waivers.
So nothing has really changes with Roy Oswalt. He wants more money than he may be worth, wants to pitch close to his home in Mississippi and wants to pitch in the rotation for a contender. I for one can’t wait for Oswalt to finally sign somewhere so we can stop talking about the high maintenance and fussy pitcher. If he’s being this particular and demanding now then bringing him into a Red Sox clubhouse that is supposedly a close group could be catastrophic. And the last thing this team needs is another distraction.
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