Nolan Ryan says the Rangers are interested in Roy Oswalt

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Oh, how the worm has turned.

Rangers president Nolan Ryan told T.R. Sullivan of MLB.com on Friday that the team does in fact have interest in acquiring Roy Oswalt from the Astros.

“You know, we definitely are looking to improve our ballclub, and when
you have an opportunity, or might have an opportunity, to acquire
someone like that, you have to look at it and evaluate it and see if
that’s a possibility and see if it’s doable,” Ryan said.

Ryan adds that whatever interest the Rangers have in Oswalt is strictly preliminary.

“There hasn’t been really any conversations I’ve been aware of here in
the last week to 10 days,” Ryan said. “I think, from the Astros’
perspective, that would pick up as we would get closer to the
[non-waiver] Trade Deadline in July.”

Again, we’re hearing the word preliminary here, but remember than this franchise has an entire fanbase and the commissioner’s office to think about, so they obviously need to measure their words carefully. The fact that Ryan was even this specific about another team’s player is surprising.

There’s little doubt that the Rangers have one of the best farm systems in baseball, so the obvious hurdle is the franchise’s current financial constraints. They can’t take on significant payroll right now, however if the ownership situation can be sorted out by the trade deadline — something that has a good chance of happening — they should be able to go out and add whoever they see fit, whether it’s Oswalt or Cliff Lee.

And for what it’s worth, Roy Oswalt wouldn’t mind coming to the Rangers.

“I’m open,” he said. “Just have to wait and see what works for both of
us.”
 

For those keeping score at home, Oswalt would consider a trade to pretty much anyone, inclduing the Long Island Ducks.

Steven Matz likely to start season on DL; Zack Wheeler to adhere to innings limit

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Mets manager Terry Collins said on Wednesday, “It’s unlikely that [Steven Matz] will start the season with us.” The final spot in the Mets’ starting rotation will go to either Zack Wheeler or Seth Lugo, Newsday’s Marc Carig reports.

On Wheeler’s innings limit, assistant GM John Ricco said, “There’s going to be some number but we don’t exactly know what that is.” Wheeler missed the last two seasons after undergoing Tommy John surgery.

Neither Wheeler nor Lugo have had terrific springs as each carries a 5.11 and 5.56 Grapefruit League ERA, respectively. However, Carig notes that Wheeler has impressed simply by appearing healthy and brandishing a fastball that once again sits in the mid- to high-90’s. Lugo, meanwhile, proved crucial to the Mets last year, posting a 2.67 ERA across eight starts and nine relief appearances.

Rockies sign 30-year lease to stay in Coors Field

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Nick Groke of the Denver Post reports that the Rockies agreed to a $200 million, 30-year lease with the Metropolitan Baseball Stadium District, which is the state division that owns Coors Field. As part of the deal, the Rockies will lease and develop a plot of land south of the stadium, which will cost the team $125 million for 99 years.

As Groke points out, had the Rockies not reached a deal by Thursday, March 30, the lease would have rolled over for five more years.

Rockies owner Dick Monfort issued a statement, saying, “We are proud that Coors Field will continue to be a vital part of a vibrant city, drawing fans from near and far and making our Colorado residents proud.”

The Rockies moved into Coors Field in 1995. It is the National League’s third oldest stadium. In that span of time, the Rockies have made the playoffs three times, the last coming in 2009 when they lost in the NLDS to the Phillies. The Rockies were swept in the 2007 World Series by the Red Sox.