Nolan Ryan's relationship with former Astros' ace Roy Oswalt may have landed the veteran right-hander a meeting with the Rangers' suits today, but that is no good reason to give this guy stupid money.
And I say this as someone who really likes Oswalt.
The Star-Telegram's Jeff Wilson is reporting that Oswalt and the Rangers are chatting today about coming aboard.
The fact that he is going to be 35 this year is not the concern. The fact that he has never pitched in the AL is not a concern. The guy was a big winner in the stadium formerly known as Enron Field, so he knows how to pitch.
What should be the mother of all giant red flags is the state of Oswalt's back. With the Phillies last season, Oswalt twice went on the disabled list with back issues. Ask any man, pro athlete or no, who has ever experienced prolonged back troubles if the pain ever really subsides. The answer is generally no.
Unless Oswalt is the rare exception, and his back is really OK, maybe this is worth a shot. Maybe.
This kind of looks like a similar situation the Rangers were in last year when they gave Brandon Webb a one-year, $3 million deal. It was loaded with incentives, but it didn't matter. Webb was never healthy. He never pitched for the big league team, and the Rangers didn't need him anyway but blew $3 million to find that out.
Oswalt's health is much better than Webb's, but the Rangers are in a position of power right now. They have a starting rotation, and don't need Oswalt. Oswalt is growing older, has some doubt on his resume now, and needs to get on a winner.
If the Rangers can get him on the very cheap, great. If not, keep moving.
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