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August 28, 2012

Roy Oswalt can be traded, but should Rangers do it?

News has spread and been confirmed by a baseball source that right-hander Roy Oswalt has cleared waivers and can be traded, though he said recently that's not anything he has requested. But with him unhappy in his role, which right now is restricted to bullpen duty, it seems like he wouldn't stand in the way of a deal. Then again, he was awfully picky about where he would play in 2012.

One of the teams he would have signed on with is the Los Angeles Dodgers, who just completed a mega-trade that included Josh Beckett. The Dodgers, though, are also facing the possibility of being without right-hander Chad Billingsley, who is on the disabled list. There is a fit there.

Baltimore, it seems, is trying to sign any available starting pitcher. Though Pittsburgh has fallen off in the NL Central, it's only three games back in the wild-card chase. Washington is facing the prospect of losing staff ace Stephen Strasburg to an innings limit, and might want an arm.

But if a team had really wanted him, he wouldn't have made it through waivers.

A baseball source said that a trade is possible but nothing is brewing. It's also entirely possible that the Rangers keep Oswalt (4-2, 5.94 ERA) to ensure that they have enough starting pitching depth for the stretch drive.

Scott Feldman has lost four straight starts, and the Rangers recognize that he is the weak link of the rotation. Martin Perez could possibly hop into the rotation, though the Rangers might be wary of putting a rookie into a pressure-packed spot unless it's a spot start against a team weak against lefties. Cleveland fits that mold, and the Rangers have six games remaining against the Indians.

-- Jeff Wilson




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