According to several reports, Roy Oswalt threw under the observation of the Texas Rangers on Friday. The 34-year old pitched for the Philadelphia Phillies in 2011, but entered and exited the offseason as a free agent, and is now looking for a landing spot in 2012. Oswalt had a successful campaign for Philadelphia, posting a 3.69 ERA. Unfortunately, his back was a health concern in the offseason and his asking price too high for any clubs to take the risk of signing him. Reportedly, Oswalt would prefer to play on a contender somewhere near where his family lives in Mississippi. The Rangers would fit both of those qualifications.
However, a team source for the Rangers has said that the team’s situation concerning Oswalt has not changed, and the Rangers were simply doing their due diligence. The team’s situation is that they have five quality starting pitchers, as well as a deep bullpen, making an Oswalt signing superfluous. Oswalt shares a friendship with the Rangers team president and CEO, Nolan Ryan, which adds a little more flame to the fire of any possible rumors between the player and the team.
The Rangers have displayed a knack for leaving no stone unturned, and this is just another example of that tactic. The starting pitchers for the Rangers have yet to go on the disabled list for all of 2011 and 2012, yet the club is doing all that it can to be prepared if such an injury were to take place. Beyond having Scott Feldman as insurance to make spot starts when necessary, the Rangers now also have a firsthand account of how Oswalt is progressing – from an age, ability, and health perspective.
Oswalt will likely join a contender at some point this year, if not in the next few days. That contender will likely not be the Texas Rangers. Oswalt knows that, and the Rangers know that, but both sides are leaving all of their options open, to the benefit of all.