Before Friday’s opener against the Yankees, Roy Oswalt dodged the obvious questions about a potential trade to the Bronx (via Brian McTaggart of MLB.com).
“From the very beginning, I’ve said I want to go to an organization that
wants to win, and the Yankees surely want to win,” Oswalt said. “I’m
going to let the front office and my agent handle that. My main focus
right now is just to put us in a situation to win every time I go out
there. The other stuff can handle itself.”
Oswalt, who has a no-trade clause in his contract, has already made it clear that he would like to go to a contender, but he downplayed a recent report by Ed Price of AOL Fanhouse that he would only accept a trade to a specific list of teams.
“Somebody said something about a list [of desirable destination teams]
not too long ago, and I don’t know anything about that,” Oswalt said.
“We’ll see where I fit as far as my options and go from there. So far, I
haven’t heard anything from the front office. They haven’t come back
and said anything, and until they approach me about a team that fits for
me and fits for the team, nothing’s been said.”
Some will take McTaggart’s report to mean that Oswalt would consider being traded to the Yankees and that could be very well be true. They certainly fit the mold of “a contender” and have the deepest of deep pockets. But in the end it’s not a whole lot different from what he told Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post when he was asked about the Nationals two weeks ago. Nothing much.
In something of a surprising move, the Chicago Cubs fired their pitching coach, Chris Bosio on Saturday. Bosio had held the job since the 2011-12 offseason.
The Cubs made the NLCS this year, but were nowhere as near the formidable as their 2016 World Series champion iteration. While there were several reasons for that, one was that the pitching staff, which featured multiple, better-than-expected performances in 2016, but took a step back in 2017. Some of that was personnel — Joe Maddon did not have Aroldis Chapman to call on in the postseason like he did last year — and a lot of that was mere regression from veterans like Jon Lester and John Lackey. A lot of it had to do with a much higher walk rate this year than in the past.
Still, there was no chatter during the season or at the time of the Cubs’ playoff exit the other day that Bosio might be a fall guy. The Chicago Tribune reports that it was Joe Maddon’s call and that he had grown displeased with Bosio. The Tribune report suggests that Cubs pitchers will be displeased with the move as they were devoted to Bosio. Coaches, of course, come and go, so I suspect they’ll get over it.
Whatever the case, Bosio likely won’t say unemployed for long. He is widely credited with helping Jake Arrieta transform from a project to an ace and for the considerable and the somewhat unexpectedly successful development of Kyle Hendricks. The Tribune suggests that he’d be a good fit in Minnesota, where his former teammate Paul Molitor is in search of a new pitching coach.
There are several intriguing coaches available at the moment, most notably Mike Maddux, who has been the Nationals pitching coach but whose status is now in flux given the firing of Dusty Baker. Maddux’s brother Greg, of course, is a spring training pitching instructor for the Cubs. The Tribune adds that Maddon may look to his old Tampa Bay Rays pitching coach Jim Hickey or, possibly, even recently fired Red Sox manager John Farrell, who made his bones as a pitching coach.