Oswalt's no-trade clause is becoming meaningless

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roy oswalt headshot astros.jpgIn the past couple of weeks we’ve heard Roy Oswalt say that he’d waive his no-trade clause to go “an organization that wants to win.”  They all want to win, of course, so that doesn’t say much. Neither, really, does Oswalt fielding questions about specific teams.  Oswalt is a nice young southern gentleman, so I’m sure he was taught that it was rude to disparage people in public. The Nats? Sure, why not. The Yankees? Can’t rule it out!  How about the Mets?

A player who is friendly with Roy Oswalt says
the Astros right-hander would “definitely” accept a trade to the Mets
if they remain in the playoff hunt. But the fact Oswalt is
still owed about $30 million through 2011 makes it extremely unlikely
the Mets would pursue him. The player who is friendly with
Oswalt said the right-hander likes the veteran fiber of the Mets.

Oswalt was long thought to prefer the National League and smaller cities closer to his offseason home down south. Now that he’s said OK to the Mets, the Yankees and the Nationals — more or less — none of that seems to apply. Or maybe he’s just saying that, yes, hypothetically he’d accept anything.  It seems, though, that the more reports like this we hear, the less meaningful they truly are.

Adrian Beltre cleared for extended spring training

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Adrian Beltre has been on the disabled list all year because of nagging right calf strain, but he’s about to take a big step toward getting back to action.

Beltre has been cleared to begin playing in extended spring training games. He’ll commence them tomorrow at the Rangers facility in Surprise, Arizona. After three games the team’s doctors will reevaluate him. If things go well, he’ll likely be sent off for a full minor league rehab assignment.

Joey Gallo has filled in for Beltre all season, bringing a lot of power but not much else to the table. While Beltre is 38, his all-around game would be welcomed back on the field and his leadership would be welcomed back in the Rangers clubhouse. On a personal note, Beltre is only 58 hits shy of 3,000 for his career.

Barring a setback, he’ll be back with the big club in early June and will hit the milestone eventually.

Michael Bourn opts out of his minor league deal with the Orioles

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Outfielder Michael Bourn was traded by the Diamondbacks to the Orioles late last season and hit a solid .283/.358/.435 in 55 plate appearances with them through the end of the season. While that’s not enough to outweigh the miserable season he had in Arizona, it was enough to get the O’s to give him a look in spring training with a minor league deal. They signed him to one in late February.

Then, a couple of days later, Bourn broke his finger while playing catch with a football. Unable to play, the O’s cut him. In early April, once Bourn healed, the O’s signed him again. He played 11 games for their Triple-A affiliate and went 9-for-41 with ten walks in 51 plate appearances. While that makes for a decent OBP, his lack of any sort of pop or good contact suggests that if someone throws him strikes, he can’t do much with the ball.

As such, the O’s had not called him up to Baltimore. And as a result of that, Bourn exercised his opt-out rights and became a free agent.

Someone may take a look at him given that his batting eye seems to be intact and given that, in an admittedly small sample size, he still performed last season. But if he does get a look, it’ll likely be back at the minor league level.