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.

Yoenis Cespedes: “I’m going to play the last year of my career with Oakland”

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Yoenis Cespedes told Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle that he wants to finish his career with the Athletics, according to an exclusive interview released on Friday. The Mets’ 31-year-old outfielder praised Oakland manager Bob Melvin, telling Slusser, “I don’t think there’s a better manager than Melvin” and adding that while he didn’t know if a return to Oakland would be possible, his love for the city had not faded.

Melvin, for his part, said he wasn’t surprised that the slugger wants another go-round with his first major league club, even if only as a final hurrah. Cespedes hit well over two and a half seasons with the A’s, compiling a cumulative .262/.318/.470 batting line from 2012 to 2014 and enjoying two postseason runs with the club before he was traded for Jon Lester and Jonny Gomes in 2014.

There’s been relatively little for Cespedes to complain about since his departure from Oakland, of course: he turned in a career-best performance in 2015, slashing .291/.328/.542 with 35 home runs and 6.7 fWAR in back-to-back gigs with the Tigers and Mets, and netted a whopping three-year, $75 million contract prior to the 2016 season. Still, there’s something special about the A’s, as the slugger relayed to teammate Jerry Blevins:

I told Blevins, ‘I don’t know how many years I’m going to play, but I’m going to play the last year of my career with Oakland.’ I don’t know if that’s possible or not, but that’s my goal.

Whether or not Cespedes gets his wish, it’s unlikely he’ll pursue any kind of deal with the A’s for the time being. He’s still owed $23.75 million in 2017 and 2018 and isn’t scheduled to hit free agency until 2019.

Brewers sell Michael Choice’s contract to the Nexen Heroes

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The Brewers offloaded outfielder Michael Choice’s contract to the Nexen Heroes of the Korea Baseball Organization, per a team announcement on Friday. Choice signed a minor league deal with the Brewers in early May, but did not earn a major league stint in 11 weeks with the team.

It’s been two full years since the 27-year-old outfielder snagged a big league opportunity of any kind. He last appeared with the Rangers in 2015 and played in just one game, striking out in his only at-bat. His production rate sagged through three consecutive minor league assignments with the Indians, Orioles and Brewers and peaked in 2016 after slashing .246/.304/.456 with 14 home runs for the Indians’ Triple-A Columbus. He was off to a decent start this season for the Brewers’ Double-A Biloxi, working a .272/.349/.503 batting line with nine home runs and an .852 OPS through his first 195 PA.

Choice is poised to join several other ex-major leaguers on the Heroes’ roster, including left-hander Andy Van Hekken, right-hander Jake Brigham and infielder/outfielder Danny Dorn.

6:43 PM: Danny Dorn no longer plays for the Nexen Heroes, as he was released to clear roster space for Choice.