So where is Roy Oswalt going?

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roy oswalt headshot astros.jpgI don’t know. But Bernardo Fallas and Zachary Levine of the Houston Chronicle handicap the field today.  Included in their analysis: the Dodgers, Mets, Yankees, Braves, Reds, Nationals, White Sox, and Phillies.

As the writers note, there are issues with all of those, including the willingness to spend money (Dodgers, Phillies), the fact that they aren’t a real contender and thus Oswalt may reject the notion (Mets, Reds, Nationals, Chisox) or the fact that they don’t really have room in the rotation. The writers include the Braves in that last group, though I don’t think it’s safe to say that Kenshin Kawakami is going to keep Roy Oswalt out of the Braves starting five if he were to come over. For Atlanta, the issue is more likely payroll.

Though it’s not at all clear to me that Oswalt — a county boy, we are constantly reminded — wants to play in Los Angeles, the Dodgers make the most sense to me from a baseball perspective. And heck, it’s not like Houston is a small town anyway.  They seem to have less of an excuse than any of the other contenders to not at least try for Oswalt given both their needs and their means, whether or not they’re willing to fulfill them and use them, respectively.

I think the most important thing in all of this is that it’s really, really early in this process.  Trades of this magnitude just don’t come together overnight. Most of the time they sort of linger until the deadline, which is still two months away.  In that time we’ll get a stronger sense of who’s a legitimate contender and who is not and the market will mature.

But really, the Dodgers should totally make a play for the guy.

Diamondbacks return Rule 5 pick Tyler Jones to Yankees

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Diamondbacks’ right-hander Tyler Jones is headed back to the Yankees, the teams announced on Friday. The Diamondbacks had previously selected Jones in the Rule 5 draft last December, but elected to leave the 27-year-old off of their 40-man roster heading into the 2017 season. Rule 5 draft rules stipulate that when a player is not kept on the receiving team’s roster, the player must be offered back to his original team.

Jones signed a minor league contract with the Yankees prior to the 2016 season. He pitched to an impressive 2.17 ERA, 2.2 BB/9 and 13.2 SO/9 over 45 2/3 innings with Double-A Trenton, but was unable to make the leap to Triple-A or beyond during his stay with the organization.

Jones’ outlook with the Diamondbacks appeared slightly more promising. GM Mike Hazen described the righty as a power arm with a “good fastball and power curveball” after selecting him in the Rule 5 draft, and early reports indicated that Jones would be in the mix for a bullpen spot. A rough spring performance — underscored by his lack of experience at the Triple-A and major league levels — undid most of that confidence, however, and the Diamondbacks weren’t willing to keep him on the active roster throughout the entire 2017 season in order to acquire his control rights.

Jones is set to open the season with Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, per a report from the Yankees.

Derek Norris signing with the Rays

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Yahoo Sports’ Tim Brown reports that Derek Norris is signing with the Tampa Bay Rays.

Norris was released by the Nationals nine days ago, made redundant by the Nats’ signing of Matt Wieters and by everyone sliding down a notch on the depth chart below him. Norris hit only .186/.255/.328 with 14 home runs and a .528 OPS for the Padres in 2016.

Still, there always seems to be a place for a backup catcher. For Norris that place is Tampa Bay.