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.
The Mets have begun working outfielder Jay Bruce and second baseman Neil Walker at first base as potential insurance in the event Lucas Duda continues to experience back discomfort, Mike Puma of the New York Post reports. Duda has been sidelined recently due to back spasms and missed all but 47 games last season as a result of a stress fracture in his lower back.
Manager Terry Collins spoke about Bruce’s work at first base on Sunday, saying, “I liked everything I saw today. “It looks like he’s got the athleticism, he’s got the hands, he’s got the arm angle. He made some throws in our drills that you wouldn’t expect an outfielder to be able to make, but yet he does. If that’s where we have to go, I think we’ll be fine.”
Bruce has only three games’ worth of experience at first base at the major league level, but still has high expectations for himself. He said, “I am going to work at it. I want to give myself a chance and the team a chance. I am not going to go over there and be a butcher. It’s just not the way I go about my business on the baseball field and it wouldn’t be fair to the team if I wasn’t capable to do it, so I am going to work at it and we’ll see what happens.”
The Mets made Bruce available via trade over the offseason but didn’t get an offer that whet their appetite. As a result, Michael Conforto appears to be the odd man out in the Mets’ crowded outfield.
Indians second baseman Jason Kipnis has been diagnosed with a strained rotator cuff in his right shoulder, MLB.com’s Jordan Bastian reports. Kipnis has received a cortisone shot and will be shut down from throwing for the next four to five days.
There’s a lot of spring left, so it’s perfectly sensible for the Indians to play it safe with their star player. The club already had Kipnis on a shoulder strengthening program.
Kipnis, 29, helped the Indians to the playoffs after batting .275/.343/.469 with 23 home runs, 92 RBI, 91 runs scored, and 15 stolen bases in 688 plate appearances during the regular season last year. He then helped the Indians reach Game 7 of the World Series against the Cubs, where they were eventually stopped, as he provided a .741 OPS including four homers and eight RBI in 15 playoff games.